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Elizabeth M. 'Betty' Duke

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Elizabeth M. (Betty) Duke joined the School of Public Policy in August 2009. She teaches in management, leadership and finance. 

Leading and managing complex organizations is central to Duke’s work. She focuses on network collaborations across the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Firing her passion for teaching is her desire to help students develop policy, leadership, management and communication skills to excel in this complex policy arena. While this focus begins with the needed skill set for individual leaders, it also encompasses the broader societal implications of this approach to public policy.

Duke came to the School of Public Policy after a career in federal service. During 2009, as a career federal senior executive, she was In charge of programs to improve the business processes and human resources of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Prior to joining FDA, Duke was the administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), another component agency of HHS, like FDA, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and seven others. HRSA is a "safety net" providing health care for the underserved with over eighty programs and a budget of seven billion dollars. Before being appointed HRSA Administrator in 2001, Duke was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration in-another HHS agency, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). 

In the years before serving at FDA, HRSA and ACF, Duke held senior position supporting five HHS Secretaries and.spent ten years at the Office of Personnel Management.

Prior to federal service. Duke was a tenured professor at Trinity College (now University) in Washington, DC. She continued her academic career after joining the federal government by teaching at nights at Trinity and Georgetown University and the Washington Consortium of Lutheran Colleges.

Duke has been honored in both her federal and academic careers. She was selected to receive the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executives in 2006. This is the highest award available for career members of the Senior Executive Service. It celebrates long-term achievements in federal service. She was honored with the Teaching Excellence Award in the liberal studies program of Georgetown University In 2006. In 2007, she was one of three Exchange Fellows of the Council of Women World leaders. The Fellowship matched the US Fellows with Tanzanian women leaders in health, education and finance for three intensive weeks of shared learning. In 2009, Duke was initiated into the Douglass Society of Douglass College at Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey. Membership in the society recognizes the accomplishments of the college's rnost distinguished graduates. 

After receiving a BA in political science from Douglass College, Duke earned an MA from Northwestern University in political science and sub-saharan African studies, and a PhD in political science from the George Washington University. 

Duke is married to Richard M. Duke, an economist with long experience with the Federal Trade Commission. She is the widow of Carroll S. James, Jr. who died in 1997. She has two daughters, one is a nurse practitioner and the other is a federal budget specialist. She has five grandchildren.

Areas of Interest
  • Network/multi-sector management; leadership & management; public administration