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Madison Mastrangelo (PPS’19) carved a unique path at Duke. She delved into child advocacy in New Orleans with DukeEngage, immersed herself in French culture during a six-week stint in Paris with Duke In Paris, showcased Duke's campus as the Head Tour Guide, and even managed to major in global health and public policy.

Two students smiling at camera with basketball court in background.
Madison (right) was an active Blue Devil. 

She was recognized for her work in both majors, earning the Michael Merson Undergraduate Student Leadership Award in Global Health and the Sanford Award for Best Honors Thesis for her work on No Hit Zones, a policy to prevent corporal punishment. Working with Sanford’s Jennifer Lansford, it was published in Children and Youth Services Review in 2020.

However, building a résumé isn’t what Madison points towards when reflecting on her time on campus. Those accomplishments were all made possible by the community she built with students, staff, and faculty.

Now, as a Senior Associate Consultant for Bain & Company in Washington, D.C., she has continued empowering others through her professional and personal work. Madison’s ties to her Duke community have endured as an active member of the Duke Alumni Women’s Forum, and she is on the planning committee for her 5-year reunion coming next month.

Madison is excited about the upcoming reunion. “I'm looking forward to reconnecting with classmates, seeing my sister Elizabeth who is a current junior, and spending time in Durham. I also can't wait to see my thesis advisor, Professor Jennifer Lansford, who is hosting a talk at Sanford for reunion.”

We recently talked with Madison about how her time at Sanford fueled her collaborative spirit and how her continued connection to Duke has been an important part of her life.

What impact has Sanford had on your professional and personal journey?

When I took my first class at Sanford during my freshman year, I knew I was excited about public policy and about tackling big problems, but I had no idea what kind of career I wanted to pursue. Sanford allowed me to embrace that ambiguity and build a strong problem-solving skillset. I learned how to break down a policy issue by looking at it from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and by leveraging all my data sources to come up with sound recommendations. Sanford professors, like Nick Carnes and Ken Rogerson, pushed me to hone my communication skills and defend my ideas. I walked out of Sanford with a great toolkit that helped me collaborate with government clients at Accenture and now allows me to develop business strategies at Bain.

Woman standing on lincoln memorial steps in DC smiling at camera.
Madison is currently a Senior Associate Consultant for Bain & Company in Washington, D.C.

The beauty of Sanford is that the skills are incredibly transferable and can be applied across industries. I have friends from Sanford who work for congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, friends who work in finance in the auto industry, friends who are currently in law school, and friends who are in every career in between! We all apply what we learned from Sanford in different ways, and it’s been so fun to celebrate career milestones together.

What is an interesting highlight so far in your career?

Since starting my career, I’ve focused on the people side of technology, specifically on how to build strong customer experiences and marketing strategies. One project highlight was jumping in to support the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including designing websites that communicated key information on the landmark legislation. After the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed in November 2021, I worked on a team that mobilized quickly to connect grant applicants with funding from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law and increase public awareness around the bill.

One of my favorite parts of the project was leading workshops with different stakeholders to determine the design of our main website and find ways to make it easy for applicants to access funding opportunities. Our team delivered the first version of the site within a month, and it was rewarding to work on a project that directly impacted grant applicants. The website and our work enabled applicants to secure funding for critical transportation and infrastructure initiatives, such as improving roads and bridges, building new electric vehicle charging stations, and expanding access to clean drinking water.

I loved my time at Sanford, and it has been a joy to stay involved and meet current students and other alums.

Madison Mastrangelo

Terry Sanford implored students to 'stand for something.'  What do you stand for?

I’m passionate about mentorship and about building community. My mentors have served as a critical part of my support system, and I’ve tried to “pay it forward” by mentoring other young professionals, especially women in consulting. In DC, I help create supportive spaces for women by co-leading the Duke Women’s Neighborhood Conversations series. Our events allow Duke women to get to know each other in an informal setting. The energy from those conversations is infectious, and it’s been so much fun connecting with amazing Duke women in the DMV area. I started a similar program for alumnae from my all-girls high school, Kent Place School, and our gatherings bring me so much joy.

Woman in black graduation robe in front of Sanford building throwing her graduation hat into the air.
After graduating in 2019, Madison has continued to be an active alumni volunteer and mentor. 

I’ve been lucky to have incredible mentors who helped shape me into the person I am today. I’d love to say a quick thank you to the Sanford mentors below, who have played a significant role in my journey and embody what it means to lift up others.

  • My undergraduate thesis advisor, Professor Jennifer Lansford, believed in me and my project from the very start. We co-authored a journal article after graduation, and I wouldn’t have submitted the article without her support and confidence in my work.
  • William Overton PPS ’15 was my first manager after college and is a mentor to this day. He was the person who taught me how to advocate for myself in the workplace, present my ideas to clients, and lead teams.
  • Carly Wade PPS ’19, Jacob Glasser PPS ’19, and countless other Public Policy alums are friends and mentors. They have been huge sounding boards in my career and cheered me on every step of the way.

What drives you to support Sanford (through your committee involvement and giving to the Sanford annual fund)?

I support Sanford through the annual fund to give other students the opportunity to learn from the incredible professors who went above and beyond to support me during my time at Duke. I want other students to be able to puzzle through memos in the Sanford Commons, complete thesis research on topics that matter to them, and build their own Sanford experiences. I loved my time at Sanford, and it has been a joy to stay involved and meet current students and other alums.


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