The Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture brings the best and brightest public leaders to speak at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

Endowed by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, this prestigious lecture series facilitates addresses from “men and women of the highest personal and professional stature, such as presidents, prime ministers and cabinet members, chief executive officers of corporations, visionary artists, and esteemed scholars.”

The lectures are open to the public as well as Duke University students and are meant to promote engaged and enlightened leadership. They are held in honor of the late Terry Sanford, a bold leader who served as North Carolina governor (1961-1965), U.S. senator (1986-1993), and president of Duke University (1969-1985).


Dr. Rajiv ShahUSAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will share his vision of American leadership through development innovation.

Thursday, Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m.
Fleishman Commons
Free and open to the public, reception to follow

Watch the YouTube live stream

Event details

Dr. Shah is head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Shah managed the U.S. government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations, and now spearheads President Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative.

Previous Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecturers include:

Derek Bok, former Harvard President

Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Dan Blue, North Carolina State Senator, former NC Speaker of the House

David Brooks, New York Times columnist and PBS Newshour commentator

Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Jon Huntsman, Jr, former Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China or

Nan Keohane, author and former President of Duke

Joseph Lieberman, United States Senator

Neal Lane, physicist and former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology

Richard Lugar, United States Senator

Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security

Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Prime Minister of Japan

Turgut Ozal, former President of Turkey

Shimon Peres, former Israeli Prime Minister

Gale Rosseau, chief of surgery at the Neurologic and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago and speaker on health care

Óscar Arias Sánchez, former President of Costa Rica

Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Shashi Tharoor, Indian politician and human rights activist

Juan Zarate, former Deputy Assistant to the President