The Sanford School of Public Policy sprang from the vision and leadership of its founder, Terry Sanford. As President of Duke University, Sanford believed a powerful measure of any great university is its capacity to make its research relevant to real-world problems.
He knew from his experience as Governor of North Carolina and, later, as a U.S. Senator, that government sorely needed people of passion and purpose. People who cared. People with sharp, analytical minds and the practical skills to transform ideas into policies.
In 1971, with the help of Professor Joel Fleishman, Sanford launched Duke’s public policy program in order to educate a new kind of pragmatic, ethical leader prepared to contribute in any work sector. An equally important goal was to make it possible for scholars and policymakers to interact with, and learn from, each other.
Nearly 40 years later, our public policy program continues to grow in remarkable ways. This maturation led to Sanford becoming Duke’s tenth School in 2009. The change is attracting creative scholars to our faculty, which has grown by 50 percent in the last four years.
These scholars deepen our capacity to teach core analytical skills. They also expand our depth of expertise in environmental and energy policy, global governance and development policy, communications policy, child policy, social policy, and global health and population. Our leadership program, our visiting journalists program and numerous active research centers in areas such as philanthropy and civil society are bringing in fresh, outside perspectives. Students are benefiting from increased research opportunities and financial aid, and closer mentoring.
Terry Sanford urged students to set “outrageous ambitions” and work diligently to achieve them. At the Sanford School, you’ll find mentors and peers who will challenge you to reach your highest potential. I invite you to engage with the Sanford School of Public Policy—the choice can transform your life.
Bruce Kuniholm, Dean
Professor of Public Policy and History
Bruce R. Kuniholm
Dean, Sanford School