You are here

Senior Leadership Insights: Conversations with Distinguished Duke Alumni

Join The Graduate School for a series of conversations with alumni reflecting on the role that their Duke education played in their careers, facilitated by faculty and current students. These 30-minute virtual conversations focus on six key questions:

  1. Tell us about your background. What was your path to your current role?
  2. Can you tell us about your organization and describe a typical day for a Ph.D.-level hire? 
  3. What do you see as the value that doctoral training has added to your professional trajectory?
  4. Beyond strong research skills, what other skills, experience and/or training are important for success in your field?  
  5. Are there any skills, training, or experiences you wish you’d had in graduate school to prepare you for your current career path?
  6. What can students who would like to work in this field (or explore it further) do to prepare?

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

3:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Evelyn Murphy ’61, Ph.D.’65, Founder and President, The WAGE Project, Inc.

Evelyn Murphy, Ph.D.How did her Economics Ph.D. training prepare Evelyn Murphy for a history-making career in politics and her fight for equal pay for women? Find out in the inaugural event of the Senior Leadership Insights series. Dr. Murphy is the founder and president of The WAGE Project, Inc., a grassroots nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the gender wage gap. Dr. Murphy is also the former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts—the first woman in the state's history to hold a constitutional office—and the author of Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It.

Watch Event Recording

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

3:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Lisa Yvette Waller, Ph.D.’97, Head of School, The Berkeley Carroll School

Lisa Yvette Waller, Ph.D.On June 1, we’ll feature History Ph.D. alumna Dr. Lisa Yvette Waller, Head of School at The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, New York—a pre-K-12 independent, preparatory school that draws students from a wide range of neighborhoods throughout the city and beyond. Dr. Waller's research and work to resolve the inequities in U.S. education have made her a leading scholar and speaker on theory and practice related to race and education. The conversation will be facilitated by Associate Professor Dirk Bonker, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Studies in History.

Watch Event Recording

Monday, July 12, 2021

3:00 to 3:30 pm

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Adam Sharkawy, Ph.D.’97, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Material Impact

Adam Sharkawy, Ph.D.How did Adam Sharkawy blend engineering and leadership expertise to launch a venture fund that invests in companies developing novel material technologies? Join us on July 12 for a conversation with the Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. alumnus in dialogue with Dr. Joel Collier, Theodore Kennedy Professor of Biomedical Engineering.


Watch Event Recording

Thursday, September 2, 2021

11:00 to 11:30 am

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Ron Temple, ’90, Managing Director and Head of U.S. Equities and Co-Head of Multi-Asset Investing at Lazard Asset Management

Ron TempleHow did Ronald Temple leverage his training in economics and public policy to build a finance career that seeks to do public good through global asset management? Join us on September 2 to hear from the host of the Lazard Asset Management podcast “The Question Is…” and frequent contributor to CNBC, in a conversation with Travis Dauwalter, Ph.D. candidate in public policy and economics.

Watch event recording

Friday, October 15, 2021

2:00 to 2:30 pm

Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Bob Beckler, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO at TemperPack

Bob Beckler, Ph.D.If you’ve ever received a healthy meal kit or a shipment of reagents for your research, you know how important it is to protect what’s perishable. As Chairman and CEO of TemperPack, Dr. Bob Beckler leads a company founded to break away from Styrofoam and bring its plant-based, recyclable ClimaCell insulation material to customers around the world. Join us to hear about Dr. Beckler’s career as a leader in the packaging and chemicals industry in this conversation with Courtney Johnson, Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry.

Help Us Plan Future Conversations

We welcome suggestions of other Graduate School alumni in leadership roles to be featured in future events.

Submit a Suggestion



Melissa Bostrom, PhD
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development
Duke University Graduate School