From fighting cyber attacks, tackling terrorism to building international affairs, Sanford faculty are working to understand and prepare students for national security challenges of the 21st century. Graduates have secured jobs in key executive departments, such as defense, state, and homeland security, as well as in intelligence agencies and consulting firms.

Related Programs & Courses


The Public Policy Studies major is a perennial top major at Duke University.

Professional programs

graduate program

PhD in Public Policy


Sanford faculty members offer an outstanding combination of academic and practical credentials in the world of foreign policy and national security, including professors of the practice with years of relevant experience in the Pentagon.

Core Faculty: Security Policy
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David Schanzer, Director, TCTHS

Triangle Center on Terrorism & Homeland Security

TCTHS enhances the understanding of terrorism and the means to combat it. They conduct research and sponsor events.

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Tim Nichols, Faculty, Master of National Security Policy Program

Professor Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols, a former intelligence officer in the Marine Corps, has extensive experience in special operations and counterterrorism. 


Research Feature

Faculty member Bruce Jentleson makes a case that an updated assessment of national security should focus on pandemics and climate change. COVID-19 has a death toll greater than four recent wars combined, while climate change has greater death tolls than terrorism.

Read his report

Student Spotlight

Ben Dratch MPP'23 says Sanford offered him a unique opportunity to interact with national security experts and leading academics. "The faculty challenge students to wrestle with complex topics and think deeply about the factors that shape the global security environment," he says. "I know that the skills, knowledge, and friendships I acquired at Sanford will help me tremendously as I continue on in my career."

Army Major Ben Dratch is currently serving on active duty as a U.S. Army Strategist.


Browse Sanford military resources

Diversity Spotlight

Major General Ron Clark spoke about challenges still faced by the U.S. Army on issue of race, diversity and inclusion during an event hosted by American Grand Strategy and co-sponsored by the Sanford School of Public Policy. Previously Clark was a Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellow at the Sanford School. His project examined the reasons for the dearth of Black senior officers in the U.S. Army in the Infantry and Armor branches. 

Explore his project

Alumni Spotlight

Amy Kramer PPS’18 worked in the Pentagon as part of the inaugural class of John McCain Strategic Defense Fellows. She is currently serving as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. While at Duke, Amy built on her experience as a Cadet in Army ROTC and completed an undergraduate thesis on the impact of female leadership in Army ROTC programs nationally. 

Her from Amy in her own words

Featured podcast

Fmr Senator Richard Burr

Our podcasts regularly feature stories about national security and foreign policy. In this episode of Policy 360: Former Senator Richard Burr talks bipartisanship, political polarization, and the importance of passing down to children a tradition of service. He came to campus to speak to students in the course Promise and Peril of US Intelligence.

National Security & Foreign Policy Stories

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Contact us

Interested in pursuing a degree with a focus on national security and foreign policy? Great! The admissions page for each program has detailed guidelines, including our contact info. Please reach out!