New MPA for Leaders to Solve Tomorrow’s Challenges on the Job

 January 3, 2024

Reece Rios
Reece Rios MBA/MPP '23

Imagine pursuing two master’s degrees while working at an AI semiconductor startup. It sounds impossible, but Reece Rios MBA/MPP’23 is proof it can be done.

I had the great opportunity to meet Reece before his Duke graduation, when he was wearing yet another hat – showcasing his wine business that he nurtured while working and studying. He energized me in the brief conversation, and he is an inspiration to all working professionals.

How did Reece do two degrees, hold a job and start a business simultaneously? He told me the answer was about balance, focus and passion. He said it was beneficial to be learning at Duke and then immediately apply the master’s coursework to his job and business. He tailored his course load to add value to his career. Reece said pursuing two degrees did not feel like work because of the personal rewards.

Sanford has been providing this kind of flexible and excellent education for years through our longstanding Master of Public Policy and Master of International Development Policy programs – both residential programs. In 2021, we launched our first executive hybrid Master of National Security Policy program with great success.

Now, professionals and executives have another opportunity at Sanford: the executive Master of Public Affairs. Our new MPA will equip leaders with necessary skills for the future and add to suite of transformative programs, with the first class starting in summer 2025. Like the MNSP, executives in the new MPA can study online with immersions at Duke.

This program is for ambitious leaders like Reece Rios of the public affairs world. The nonprofit professional who wants to lead at a higher level. The government professional who wants to achieve a new dream. The higher education professional who wants to elevate their impact. Any mid-career professional who has achieved many of their goals in life and are ready for a new challenge.

As Duke celebrates its centennial and looks to a strong future, Sanford is broadening and reimagining our professional degree offerings to equip leaders for the next century. We are thrilled to announce our new executive MPA and we invite everyone to learn more and engage with us. The tenacious visions of our students lead to a better world for all of us.


Dean's blog, MPA