About the Rubenstein Fellows Academy


A university-wide initiative to bring top thought leaders to Duke to share insight and spark discussion on current and future global challenges. Rubenstein Fellows work across the university teaching classes, mentoring students, collaborating with faculty, and serving as advisors to signature university programs.

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“What I love the most is the students who are great critical thinkers.
These students cut to the chase. It’s refreshing.”


"This is an amazing opportunity to learn from and work with someone with incredible experience and, more importantly, sincere passion for making the world a better and more sustainable place … Alex is the kind of person that operates with sincere integrity and belief in the work he does. That is truly rare."

Andee Hendee

MEM/MBA Candidate, Class of 2016

"Even outside of the classroom, Jim's commitment to students has been incredible. He's made time to have lunch or dinner with each of us to review resumes, chat about his experience, and provide career advice."

Jake Reeder

MPP/MBA Candidate, class of 2015

“Alex brings to Duke the rare combination of deep scientific knowledge of conservation issues as well as hands-on experience operationalizing global conservation and development programs, experiences that in turn are of tremendous value to faculty and students alike.”

Alan Townsend

Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment

19Jan, 2015

The Diplomat Chimes In

Monday, March 27, 2017

Duke Magazine | March 6, 2017 By Robert J. Bliwise Here’s an exercise to focus the mind: Imagine a new nuclear-arms race with no end in sight—except, maybe, Armageddon. And so in late January, Jack Matlock’s personal website carried his “Open Message for Presidents Trump and Putin.” As the two leaders were preparing for a phone chat,…

19Jan, 2015

Former U.S. Ambassador to Soviet Union Explains how Trump Should Deal with Russia

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Chronicle | November 22, 2016 By Caroline Brockett Jack Matlock, a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, discussed the the future of U.S.-Russia relations under Donald Trump’s presidency Monday evening. A crowd of about 100 people gathered in White Lecture Hall to listen to Matlock’s perspective on Russia and the U.S.…

19Jan, 2015

Gen. Dempsey To Fellow Officers: Stay Off The Political Battlefield

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

NPR News | August 3, 2016 Two retired generals spoke at the national political conventions last month — one in favor of the Democratic candidate and one for the Republican. … These high-profile appearances have spurred a third retired general to step forward. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,…

19Jan, 2015

Power for All: Energy Access for the Rural Poor

Sanford 223, Rhodes Conference Room - Friday, October 30, 2015

Duke-RTI Professors and Practitioners in Conversation In an era of accelerating innovation and increasing dependence on technology, much of the world’s rural population still lacks reliable access to energy. Living without power inhibits household incomes, access to education, good health outcomes, and labor productivity. Drawing on a wide range of experiences, panelists will discuss the…