Sending Support to our Community and World

 February 28, 2022

Dear Sanford community,

Last week brought heart-breaking news to our community.

On Feb. 21, our Duke alumnus and Trustee Emeritus, Paul Farmer, passed away. Paul was our Rubenstein Distinguished Lecture speaker in February 2020. His lifelong work in global health and the partnerships he created have made a tremendous difference to people worldwide. We were honored to call him our friend. We send our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues and will continue to honor Paul’s legacy in our own international development and health policy work.

Then we all heard more disheartening news. On Feb. 24, Vladimir Putin led a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. First and foremost, Sanford sends support to our Ukrainian alumni who are in the midst of this horrific situation, and to all in our community with connections and family in Ukraine. Let’s lift up all the people destabilized and affected as this conflict continues. To anyone in our community needing extra support, our Diversity & Inclusion assistant dean is providing extra mental health support and a safe space to process this ongoing traumatic event.

I want to recognize our Sanford faculty who are providing important context and insights related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Just hours after the invasion began, Simon Miles and Bruce Jentleson assessed the situation and the U.S. response in a Duke University media briefing. Bruce has just published a new book called Sanctions: What Everyone Needs to Know. I sat down with Bruce for Policy 360 to discuss his book, and I encourage you to listen to this important conversation in the context of current events.

Many of our centers, programs and faculty are working to help students and the community understand the context and implications of what is occurring in our world. On March 1, AGS hosts Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. McFaul, a leading expert on American foreign policy, Russia, and democratic development, will participate in a moderated conversation on the invasion, Putin’s ambitions, and the future of the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. You can find more events, videos, podcasts and links related to Russia and Ukraine on this Sanford webpage.

Faculty member Frank Bruni said in his New York Times opinion piece last week: “There should be no great shock about Russia’s audacious attack on Ukraine — only profound sadness and painstaking thought about what to do and what’s to come.”

Today requires analysis and action from our community and world, and deep care for one another, now more than ever. We can only get through these times with more understanding, more thought, and more empathy.

With care,

Dean Judith Kelley


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