January 5, 2022

Duke Leadership Academy Class Explores Pressing Issues

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Under normal circumstances, the Duke Leadership Academy offers participants a chance to challenge themselves, build connections and harness their collective brain power to offer Duke leaders insights into how Duke can work better.

But the academy’s 2020–21 class, which graduated from the program in December 2021, operated under nothing close to normal circumstances, convening in early 2020, prior to the pandemic, but then COVID-19 arrived, which put the academy on pause.

In January 2021, the 11th academy resumed after the pause and 27 participants—including the Nicholas Institute's Lydia Olander—began working on group projects in four teams. Meant to provide a fresh perspective or potential solutions to an issue important at Duke, class projects took on concerns—many pandemic-related—that affected nearly everyone at Duke.

“This group's experience was very different than any of the ones we’ve had in the past,” said Duke Assistant Vice President of Learning & Organization Development Keisha Williams. “But that also means that what they did was very relevant to what’s happening out there in the environment right now.”

This fall, the teams shared their projects in a virtual presentation for Duke leaders. Learn more about the projects and the work that went into putting them together in the full Duke Today article.