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Joel L. Fleishman
Professor of Law
Director of the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society
Director of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center
Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Areas of Expertise


LL.M., Yale University (1960)
J.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (1959)
B.A., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (1955)


Putting Wealth to Work book jacket

Putting Wealth to Work should be urgently downloaded to the reading apps of newly minted Silicon Valley billionaires, Wall Street titans, and captains of industry who aspire to carry on the legacy of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford into a new century of giving.” —Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation


Joel discussed his book on the Policy 360 podcast:



A.B. 1955, J.D. 1959, M.A. (Drama) 1959, University of North Carolina; LL.M. 1960, Yale University.

Professor Fleishman is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He began his career in 1960 as assistant to the director of the Walter E. Meyer Research Institute of Law at Yale. From 1961 to 1965, he served as legal assistant to the governor of North Carolina. He then returned to Yale, first as director of the Yale Summer High School, and then as associate provost for Urban Studies and Programs. In 1969, he became associate chairman of the Center for the Study of the City and Its Environment and associate director of the Institute of Social Science at Yale. In 1971, he came to Duke as a member of the law faculty and as director of the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, now the Sanford School of Public Policy, in which position he served until 1983. He is now Professor of Law and Public Policy, and Director of the Heyman Center on Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions. He also directs the Duke Foundation Research Program. His principal writings deal with legal regulation and financing of political activities as well as the regulation of not-for-profit organizations. His book, The Foundation: A Great American Secret — How Private Money is Changing the World, was published in January, 2007 by Public Affairs Books. He is now serving as co-chair of Independent Sector's Committee on the Self-Regulation of Nonprofit Organizations.