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Alumni Profiles & News

Alumni Profiles & News


Betsy Broaddus PPS’20 and the Pulse of Public Opinion

Betsy Broaddus PPS20

As a research assistant at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, Betsy Broaddus PPS’20 has the type of policy research job she had hoped for. But like many people, and especially those in the class of 2020, the pandemic made the job search more protracted and difficult.


A Sanford Love Story: Emily Hutz MPP’16 and August Mao MPP’16

Emily Hutz MPP'16 and August Mao MPP'16

Emily Hutz MPP ’16 remembers meeting August Mao MPP ’16, her future husband, at Admitted Students Day. August, regrettably, doesn’t remember meeting her that day — it’s a point they joke about often.


Nevins PPS’07 MPP’16 helped forge a united veteran community at Duke

Patrick Nevins PPS'07 MPP'16

Patrick Nevins’ military experience is book ended by his two stops at Sanford. He began active-duty service after his Duke undergraduate graduation in 2007 and wrapped up his service upon returning to Sanford for his MPP in 2014.


Alumna Profile: To Ebonie Simpson PPS’12, Policy is Personal

Ebonie Simpson PPS ’12, the co-executive director of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, feels the impact of representation every day. As a Black woman leading an organization that primarily serves girls of color, she is a witness to the intangible value of her presence to the community she serves.


Alumna Profile: Stephanie McGarrah MPP’00--Leading the State’s Pandemic Recovery

On May 4, 2020, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 1043, which among other things established the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) to “ensure coordination of federal funds received by State agencies and local governments, and proper reporting and accounting of all funds,” including the $3.6 billion from the Cares Act. Three weeks later Stephanie McGarrah MPP ’00 was appointed to direct the office.


Using Technology for Peace: Alumna Branka Panic MIDP ‘19

After an expansive career in peace building and reconciliation, Branka Panic MIDP ‘19 founded AI for Peace, a global organization based in San Francisco. True to its name, she describes the work as “using artificial intelligence to create lasting peace, security, and sustainable development.”


Alumna Profile: A Global Citizen Dedicated to Paying It Forward

Joy Basu

Before coming to Duke, Joy Basu PPS’08 lived her entire life in the same house, a split-level on a suburban corner in a conservative Illinois town. Since leaving Duke, she has moved almost twenty times, crossing the country and the globe. Currently living in San Francisco, Basu strives to “act as a thoughtful global citizen, with strong Midwestern roots.” While her path has carried her between the public and the private sphere, she has always felt a clear connection to her public policy training.


Turning Collective Memory into Collective Action: Alumnus David Estrin, PPS’13

David Estrin, Together We Remember

While his post-Duke career started off on the oh-so-familiar trajectory of consulting, what David Estrin PPS’13 is focusing on now is far off the beaten path.  After four years at Accenture Strategy, where he advised numerous Fortune 500 clients as well as the firm’s first corporate philanthropy program, he left to start Together We Remember, a nonprofit aimed at honoring victims of the Holocaust and other genocides throughout history.


A Career in an Essential Service: Alumnus Eric Dinallo MPP'87

When Eric Dinallo MPP’87 set out to build a career, insurance wasn’t what he first had in mind.  He was interested in public service and had gone to law school to gain more tools that would be helpful in government work.  “No one wakes up and says, I want a career in insurance,” he said.


2020 Graduation Stories: Daniel Gardner

Daniel smiles underneath the Duke Chapel arches

For Daniel Gardner PPS’20, becoming a Duke student – and now alumnus – has been a lifelong dream. Coming from a Duke family, he has photos on campus at various points throughout his childhood, culminating in his graduation pictures this week.


Working From Home, Aiding COVID-19 Response Abroad: An Interview with Parviz Ahmadov MIDP ’18

A headshot photo of Parviz Ahmadov

Parviz Ahmadov MIDP ’18 is working as an Economic Consultant at the World Bank. Recently the World Bank launched COVID-19 emergency support for countries that are struggling with the impact of coronavirus on the poor and vulnerable. So, Ahmadov is working with the Global Health Practice team to prepare and help implement a lending project for the country of Georgia for their coronavirus response.


Alumna Profile: A Lawyer Fighting Corruption with Public Policy Tools

Susana Garcia Garcia MIDP ’14 was in the midst of a legal career with government of Mexico when she realized she needed to go back to school. However, as a skilled and experienced lawyer, she needed the right program to bolster her strengths and equip her with the tools necessary to move forward. That was when she found Sanford’s Master of International Development Practice.