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Bruce Jentleson, William Preston Few Distinguished professor of public policy and professor of political science, is being honored with the 2020 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (ADUTA).

The annual student-selected award sponsored by the Alumni Association recognizes a Duke professor who has excelled as a teacher, advisor and leader of undergraduate students.

Man, speaking
Bruce Jentleson

Undergraduates noted throughout their nomination how Jentleson inspires individual achievement and personal growth. One student said: “Professor Jentleson has driven me to work harder on papers for his class than any other class,” and a student described him as “one of the most important mentors.”

Jentleson’s expertise and classroom approach inspired an undergraduate to note: “His lectures are engaging and he draws on his extensive experience in the foreign policy community to bring lessons to life.”

Dean Judith Kelley of the Sanford School of Public Policy said this well-deserved award for teaching reflects the Sanford School’s mission. “In Sanford, we educate some of the best undergraduate students in all the world. We challenge our students on multiple dimensions to inspire them to lives of service and leadership. Bruce is a stellar example of excellence in teaching and mentorship for all faculty. I am grateful for his service and I congratulate him on this honor.”

Jentleson served as a senior foreign policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore in his 2000 presidential campaign, in the Clinton administration State Department, and as a foreign policy aide to Senators Gore and Dave Durenberger. He served as senior advisor to the U.S. State Department policy planning director from 2009 to 2011. In 2015-2016, Jentleson was the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress.

From 2000 to 2005, Jentleson was director of the Terry Sanford Institute (now Sanford School) of Public Policy.

The Peacemakers book jacket

Jentleson’s most recent books are The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from 20th Century Statesmanship, published in 2018, and Economic Sanctions: What Everyone Needs to Know, available in 2021. Among his honors, Jentleson received the 2018 Joseph J. Kruzel Memorial Award for Distinguished Public Service from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for distinguished service in national security affairs both in scholarship and in public service.

In appreciation of the undergraduate teaching award, Jentleson said, “As much as we as faculty value our scholarly research and policy engagements, working with undergraduate students can be the most impactful work we do. This award reminds me how much I owe the amazing professors I had as an undergraduate at Cornell University.”

The Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, solely selected by Duke undergraduates via a competitive nomination process, recognizes professors who are creative and clear in the classroom and who foster an environment for learning that promotes intellectual curiosity, personal growth and achievement.

Featured Audio

Secrets of Great Political Leadership with Bruce Jentleson