News - Archive 2013

December 11, 2013

A prominent program that claims to reduce infant and maternal deaths in rural India by encouraging mothers to deliver in private hospitals has been unsuccessful, despite the investment of more than $25 million since 2005, a new Duke University study finds.

The Chiranjeevi Yojana program in Gujarat, a state in northwestern India, received the Wall Street Journal Asian Innovation Award in 2006 and has been hailed by some as a model for wide adoption throughout India.

December 4, 2013

“It’s no secret that government in not working in America,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Tuesday at the Sanford School. Two things are stopping government at the federal and state level from getting things done: partisanship and lack of courage by elected officials, he said.  At the federal level, President Obama has “basically no Republican support on anything,” he said. 

November 13, 2013

Two national security experts from opposite sides of the fence explored divergent views on whether U.S. surveillance tactics should be revealed to the American public during a debate at the Sanford School of Public Policy on Monday.

“The government has secrets and we try to find them out.  We have to be free to write or we don’t have self-government,” Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Barton Gellman said.

October 24, 2013

Two of the leading voices in the national debate over government surveillance programs and press freedoms will square off Nov. 11 at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

October 23, 2013

The Sanford Board of Visitors welcomed eight new members this academic year. They take the place of Paul Braithwaite, Martin W. Morris, Robert J. Pelosky Jr. John Rice Jr. and student representatives, Jessica Isaacs, Thupten Norbu and Andrei Santalo. Thank you to the departing members for their service. The new members are:

October 22, 2013

When it comes to children’s attention problems, the difference between first and second grade is profound, says a new study from Duke University.

October 17, 2013

Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute of Ethics
Growing up, Judith Kelley didn’t come from a privileged background. “In Denmark, that’s all relative,” she says, “because we have a very good social network and so nobody goes hungry or anything like this. We don’t have a lot of inequality, but my family never had a car and my parents didn’t go to high school.”

*Kelley will be moderating a workshop on human trafficking in Spring 2014 as part of the Conversations in Human Rights series.

October 7, 2013

Duke Magazine
New Sanford dean takes stock of nutrition, obesity, and health policy

September 26, 2013

When Bill Adair launched the PolitiFact website at The Tampa Bay Times in 2007, he wanted to provide a different kind of campaign coverage through fact-checking.  With its Truth-O-Meter rating scale, ranging  from “True” to “Pants on Fire” for the  most ridiculous falsehoods, the site became the go-to source for evaluating political promises and claims. The site was such a success that it won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009.   

September 18, 2013

North Carolina’s recent controversial voting law, the effectiveness of the Moral Monday protests and the future of the state’s education funding were among the prominent issues discussed by House Representatives Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), Grier Martin (D-Wake) and Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) at the Sanford School of Public Policy on Tuesday.

All three legislators agreed that Moral Mondays have not resulted in policy change, and have sometimes exacerbated conflicts.

September 13, 2013

“We did something a bit unusual in Washington; we tried to change,” said Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID, during his talk Thursday at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Since his arrival at USAID in 2009, Shah has overseen numerous structural changes within the department while at the same time witnessing global shifts in indicators of social and physical well-being.

September 12, 2013

Former CIA Director Ret. Gen. David Petraeus expressed skepticism about the feasibility of Russia's proposal to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons to an international coalition, but added that in a complicated and dangerous situation, "The Russian gambit is worth a try."

Petraeus, the former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, discussed the Syrian war as well as democracy in the Middle East and the balancing of security and civil liberties during a talk at Duke Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

August 30, 2013

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has awarded Sanford School of Public Policy Assistant Professor Nick Carnes the 2013 Harold D. Lasswell Dissertation Award, the Carl Albert Dissertation Award, and the Sage Award for Best Paper in Comparative Politics.

All three awards were presented to Carnes at the APSA annual conference in Chicago Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in ceremonies held by the respective conference sections. 

August 29, 2013

Ryan Thornburg, associate professor at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will share his expertise with Duke for the 2013-14 academic year, as a mentor to the students of Duke’s independent student news organization, The Chronicle.  Thornburg will help guide The Chronicle’s transition to a digital-first news product. 

“Working with students who see real opportunity in the future of journalism and media generally is one of the greatest privileges of being a professor at UNC and now a visiting lecturer at Duke,” Thornburg said.

August 27, 2013

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will discuss “The Development Innovation Economy” at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Thursday, Sept. 12.

The 5:30 p.m. event in the Sanford School of Public Policy's Fleishman Commons on West Campus is free and open to the public. It will include an audience Q & A, followed by a reception. Parking is available in the Science Drive Visitor Lot.

August 22, 2013

Gen. David H. Petraeus (U.S. Army-Ret.), the former CIA director and commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, will speak in Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Petraeus will deliver the Ambassador Dave and Kay Phillips Family International Lecture at 6 p.m.

July 30, 2013

When the economy falters and communities lose jobs, teen birth rates fall, at least among black youths,according to a new study from three Sanford School professors.

July 11, 2013

Before Professor Bruce Jentleson found his passion for foreign policy, he had a passion for baseball. He played for his high school team and is still a devoted amateur league softball player. Since coming to Sanford in 2000, he has played on two local teams, one in Durham and one in Chapel Hill. He even made contact with a team in Boston that plays friendship games abroad, but the schedules never seemed to work out.                                                               

May 31, 2013

Sanford School Assistant Professor of Public Policy Nick Carnes has won two awards from the American Political Science Association (APSA), the Carl Albert Dissertation Award for best doctoral dissertation in the area of legislative studies, and the Sage Paper Award for best paper in comparative politics.

May 30, 2013

Jenni Owen, lecturer in public policy at the Sanford School and director of policy initiatives at the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, offered suggestions for implementing the Obama administration’s preschool initiative during a panel discussion on May 29 in Washington, D.C.

May 24, 2013

Were all those standardized tests for nothing?

Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Jacob Vigdor, co-author Thomas Ahn and a panel of education practitioners explored this question Wednesday at an event in Washington, DC, sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute.

May 15, 2013

The Sanford School of Public Policy awarded degrees to 301 graduates on May 11, the largest ever for the school.  The class of 2013 included 203 undergraduates, 55 Master of Public Policy graduates, 38 Master of International Development Policy graduates from 16 countries and five PhD graduates.  Professor Bruce Kuniholm presided over the ceremonies for the last time as the founding dean of the Sanford School.   

April 30, 2013

Duke University trustee David M. Rubenstein is giving $10 million to the Sanford School of Public Policy to endow graduate fellowships and undergraduate internships, and to create a fund that will enhance the school’s engagement with the policy world, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Tuesday.

It is the largest single gift to Sanford and supports priorities of Duke Forward, the $3.25 billion fundraising campaign across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs.

April 25, 2013

Philip Bennett, the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy, has been named director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University. His two-year appointment will begin July 1.

Bennett joined the Sanford School of Public Policy faculty in 2009 after a four-year stint as managing editor of The Washington Post during which he helped lead the newspaper to 10 Pulitzer Prizes.

April 24, 2013

After 23 years at Duke, James T. (Jay) Hamilton will leave at the end of this semester for Stanford University in California, where he will become the Hearst Professor of Communication and direct the school’s graduate program in journalism.

April 20, 2013

With the Friday arrest of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing investigation has entered a new phase. Yet to be uncovered are the motives of the bombers—the other suspect, Dzhokhar's older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during a gun battle with authorities—and their possible connection to foreign groups that use terrorism to advance political agendas.

April 17, 2013

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Tucson – these place names have become shorthand for the worst mass shootings in the United States.  On Dec. 14, 2012, when 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Conn., was added to that miserable list.

April 15, 2013

The Republican Party needs to take a hard look at what conservatism stands for, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. said Thursday in a talk at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

April 11, 2013

During her four years at Duke, senior Melissa Yeo has explored media from different angles: snapping photographs for The Chronicle, serving as a research assistant on media-related projects, interning for the Sanford School of Public Policy’s communications office and, finally, writing a thesis analyzing media coverage of the Fukushima disaster.

April 10, 2013

Patrick Oathout and Jacob Tobia, juniors at Duke University, are among 62 students selected this year as Truman Scholars.

Truman Scholars are chosen on the basis of their leadership potential, high academic achievement and a commitment to a career in public service and advocacy sectors.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation received 629 nominations from 293 schools.

April 9, 2013

After 10 years as director of the Duke Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy, Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan has stepped aside to focus on research, policy engagement and teaching. He weighs in on the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding patentable genetic matter (in which he co-authored several amicus curiae briefs), the privacy implications of mapped genomes and his role in the new Duke in D.C. program.

April 5, 2013

Bill Adair, creator and editor of PolitiFact, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning website of the Tampa Bay Times, has been appointed the Knight Professor of Computational Journalism at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

April 2, 2013

As the debate over comprehensive immigration reform unfolds in Washington, a new report reveals dramatic changes in immigrant assimilation as a result of the so-called Great Recession. The report, “Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in Post-Recession America,” was authored by Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Jacob Vigdor for the Manhattan Institute.

April 1, 2013

Senior Ian Harwood chose to write an honors thesis as a way to prepare himself to effect social change.

“People that I knew had been sexually assaulted in a college setting, and I thought that was really messed up,” Harwood said. “I was really angry and I wanted to do something about it.”

March 28, 2013

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., diplomat, businessman and twice-elected Republican governor of Utah, will deliver part two of his Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture series, on Thursday, April 11, at 5 p.m. at Duke University.

The talk, “Today’s Changing Political Landscape: Foreign and Domestic,” in Fleishman Commons at the Sanford School of Public Policy is free and open to the public.  A reception in the lobby will follow the talk.

March 21, 2013

“Money talks” has long been a truism in politics, but can ordinary citizen be heard by politicians and hold them accountable for policy? A panel of political scientists and practitioners discussed the question at the Sanford School of Public Policy on Wednesday night.

March 11, 2013

A panel of national- and state-level scholars will discuss political accountability in the 21st century at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Wednesday, March 20.

The panel discussion, “Who Does Government Work For?”, begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Fleishman Commons and is free and open to the public. Five panelists will discuss what factors affect how accountable our political institutions are and who they are accountable to, including mass media and big money.

March 8, 2013

Philip Bennett, the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, will step down from his role as managing editor of FRONTLINE when his contract expires in May, the program announced today.

March 4, 2013

Washington, D.C.—The Nonprofit Media Working Group, a nonpartisan group of foundation and nonprofit media leaders, today recommended that the IRS modernize its rules to remove obstacles in the way of nonprofit news outlets.

The agency’s “antiquated” approach to granting tax-exempt status has undermined the creation of new media models, the group said in its report, “The IRS and Nonprofit Media: Toward Creating a More Informed Public.”

February 18, 2013

The PBS program FRONTLINE earned the George Polk Award for Documentary Television Reporting for “Money, Power and Wall Street,” a four-part investigation into the global financial crisis that aired in 2012, Long Island University announced.

February 14, 2013

Professor Ken Dodge, director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, will host the first meeting of a think tank on assessment measures of learning in grades K-3 sponsored by the NC Department of Public Instruction.  The panel will meet in Rubenstein Hall at the Sanford School of Public Policy on Friday, Feb. 15.

February 13, 2013

Six-term U.S. Senate veteran Richard Lugar used his first speech since leaving office last month to address the nation’s ”out of control” partisanship, criticize Congress for failing basic tests of governing and call on President Obama to sit down with political foes for potentially healing dialogs.

February 8, 2013

Former North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue has been named a distinguished visiting fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy for the fall semester, Sanford School Dean Bruce Kuniholm announced Friday.

February 7, 2013

Now that President Obama has put climate change back on the table in his second inaugural address, a new national poll finds growing public support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions and requiring utilities to switch to lower-carbon fuel sources.

February 1, 2013

The number of homegrown terrorism incidents by Muslim-Americans has dropped for the third consecutive year, a study released Friday by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security has found.

Fourteen Muslim-Americans committed or were charged with terrorist crimes in 2012, down from 21 in 2011, 26 in 2010 and 49 in 2009.

February 1, 2013

The flood of money in political campaigns unleashed by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has had a corrupting influence on both elections and governance, a panel of politicians and activists said Thursday. The event, “Big Money vs. Grassroots Democracy: Empowering Citizens to Take Back Their Government” was part of symposium on the issue taking place at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

January 30, 2013

Kelly Brownell, the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale University and a leading authority on public policies to enhance nutrition and combat obesity, will become the next dean of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead and Provost Peter Lange announced Wednesday.

January 30, 2013

Former GOP Sen. Richard “Dick” Lugar, who represented Indiana for 36 consecutive years, will discuss the nation’s divisive political climate on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

January 29, 2013

Two Democratic congressmen will discuss legislative solutions to the influence of big money in politics on Thursday, Jan. 31, at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

“Big Money vs. Grassroots Democracy: Empowering Citizens to Take Back Their Government” will feature U.S. Reps. John Sarbanes, D-Md., and David Price, D-N.C. The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 5 p.m. in the Sanford School’s Fleishman Commons and concludes with questions from the audience. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

January 29, 2013


Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will explore the Obama administration’s decision to focus U.S. foreign policy more on the Asia-Pacific region during a talk at Duke University.

January 16, 2013

DURHAM, N.C. -- The racial balance in North Carolina’s public schools has remained steady since 2005-06, ending a trend of growing disparity from the previous decade, but students are increasingly separated by income. These are among the findings of a comprehensive report from three Duke University public policy professors who studied whether schools in each of the state’s 100 counties mirror the racial and economic composition of that county as a whole.