This three-week intensive course, presented by the Hart Leadership Program, explores the theory and practice of community engaged leadership in public service. Beginning with an assets-based framework, we will explore how to build and execute meaningful community engagement strategies for partnership development, program design, and participatory governance.

    About the Program

    Course participants will learn from leadership faculty at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy as well as accomplished practitioners who put principles of community engagement to work every day in government, nonprofits, and social impact organizations. Class sessions will also be structured for participants to learn from each other through breakout discussions and knowledge sharing. In this course you will gain new skills, a network of potential collaborators, a theoretical grounding for your own purposeful leadership, and a plan to apply your learning.

    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify avenues for communication regarding community assets, aspirations, and needs;
    • Assess the strengths and potential engagement points with local community stakeholders;
    • Adapt current programming and projects to increase levels of community engagement.
    Session Format:
    • 6 Live Online Sessions via Zoom
    • Session Length: 90 minutes (40 mins of presentation & 40min discussion)
    • Additional Online Networking Session
    Session Topics:
    • Session 1: The Leader’s First Act is to Listen
    • Session 2: Asset-Based Community Development
    • Session 3: Building Partnerships
    • Session 4: Designing Programs
    • Session 5: Participatory Governance
    • Session 6: Your Plan for Action

    Tuition for this program is $750*

    Tuition and fees cover:

    • Faculty instruction from Duke faculty and expert guest speakers
    • All course materials and resources
    • Access to course website for 6-months after course completion

    *Partners & alumni are eligible for tuition discounts

    Though all are welcome, modules will be tailored to leader-practitioners in the public, nonprofit, and social impact sectors who want to incorporate thoughtful community engagement and participatory decision-making into their leadership practice.

    If you have questions about whether this course is a fit for you, email us at


    Program Dates: 
    The application period for the 2024 program has ended. If you are interested in future programming, please join our mailing list.

    Email the Executive Education Team at

    More Courses:
    Interested in hearing more about similar courses? Check out the Sanford Executive Education Open Enrollment programs.


    Meet the Program Director

    Andrew Nurkin is a Hart Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the Hart Leadership Program. His areas of expertise include experiential education, dialogue facilitation, civic engagement, social sector leadership, the role of libraries in the 21st century, and cultural policy. At Duke, he teaches courses on arts policy and community-based leadership models. From 2017 to 2021, Andrew served as the Deputy Director for Enrichment and Civic Engagement at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where he led public programs in the humanities and civic engagement for one of the largest public library systems in the country. He previously served as Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps, an independent, national nonprofit that builds civic leadership capacity among individuals and organizations, and on the staff of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University. Andrew earned his MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and an AB in English from Duke University.