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Alumni Profiles & News

Alumni Profiles & News


Alumna Pays It Forward by Investing in Women

Lori Cashman

Lori Cashman PPS ’94 was at a turning point in her private equity career. She had backed off of her workload and travel schedule to focus on supporting one of her children through some medical issues. As her child’s issues subsided, she felt a call to action, a call to use her passion for investing in a more intentional and meaningful way.


Jillian Johnson PPS’03: Creating Policy Solutions in Her Own Backyard.

For Durham’s Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson PPS ’03 the path to affordable housing investment runs through her backyard. Johnson made local headlines last year after she planned to build a duplex on her property to rent out to lower-income families.


Alum Leads Oversight at U.S. Department of Interior

Being confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a high-level government appointment would be a highlight in anyone’s career. But for Mark Greenblatt PPS’ 95, becoming Inspector General of the United States Department of the Interior (IG DOI) also carried a broader significance: It is the first time the office has a Senate-confirmed Inspector General in more than a decade.


Alumnus Profile: A Career Dedicated to Creating Opportunity in Public and Private Sector Alike

“She wanted a solution to migrant labor by end of day Monday. It was a Thursday.” At the time, Sam Walker PPS ’80 was the acting administrator for the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The directive was from Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Secretary of Labor under President George H.W. Bush and fellow Duke alum. Dole had just returned from a visit to sugarcane fields in Florida and was so horrified by the conditions she called on Walker for an immediate solution.


Sanford Alums Honored at Homecoming

Several Sanford alumni were honored at Homecoming weekend at a ceremony in the new Karsh Alumni Center.


Coffee in Jordan Leads to an MPP at Sanford

Hardy Vieux MPP'93 and Maria Rameriz MPP'20

Earlier this year, Maria Ramirez MPP’20 sat down to prepare to speak to members of the Sanford School Board of Visitors about her experiences as a student. As she looked through the packet of information about the board members, she was surprised to see a familiar face: Hardy Vieux PPS’93.  


"The Business of Building Hope" Alumnus Profile: Sarhang Hamasaeed MIDP’07

Sarhang Hamasaeed

“I was born into conflict,” said Sarhang Hamasaeed MIDP’07. His parents met when they had become neighbors after their home villages were destroyed. He was four years old when the Iran-Iraq war broke out and he remembers Iranian jets bombing his city.


‘Accidental Banker’ Lands Dream Job

Sekou Kaalund gesturing at a podium

Sanford alumnus Sekou Kaalund MPP’99 has landed his “dream-come-true job” as head of JP Morgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways initiative. The new program aims to help black Americans achieve greater economic success, and is the first of its kind.


Journalist Turns Her Own Story of Grief Into Company

“The greatest thing that Duke gave me was the reassurance that I could overcome anything,” says Kimberly Holmes Wiggins PPS’02. Her perseverance, determination, and compassion have contributed to her success in journalism and led her to start her own business.


Alum Uses Statistical Analysis to Uncover Patterns, Stories

Emily Hadley PPS’15 discovered what she wanted to study at Duke when she took Public Policy 155 and Statistics 101 during the same semester and felt like they “fit together.” The skills she developed have been integral to her meaningful work as a college advisor, a graduate student, and now as a data scientist at RTI International.


Alum Brett Chambers PPS'79: Public Policy Trailblazer Built Career in Media, Education

Alum Brett Chambers PPS'79: Broadcaster, Musican, Educator

Brett Chambers’ PPS’79 career can’t be described with simply one title, as he’s held varied positions in broadcasting and education. Now a professor at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), one of the top historically black universities in the country, he’s also a television producer, director and musician. His wide range of interests is what led him to become one of the early public policy graduates from Duke.


Alumna Lauren Hendricks PPS'12 Coordinates Appearances for Democrats’ Big Names

When Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez visited the Sanford School in April, a Sanford alumna was at his side. Lauren Hendricks PPS’12 is the political surrogate program manager at the DNC. In that role, she coordinates the efforts of political influencers and celebrities – not just politicians or candidates – who travel around the country sharing the party’s message.