The mission of DUCIGS is to:

  • Support, engage, and connect researchers, students, departments, and schools to work on international issues

  • Promote interdisciplinary research and education to understand and engage with challenging global issues

  • Support and coordinate the activities of the area studies centers, councils, and initiatives

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Events Organized


Events Co-sponsored


Students Funded


Faculty Funded

Director's Letter


Dear Friends,

This year has been exceptional for DUCIGS. We’ve organized and co-sponsored over 200 events, funded research and travel for over 200 students and faculty, and continued to facilitate international and global discourse both on campus and beyond. I am really pleased with all that we’ve accomplished. I would like to personally thank the team at DUCIGS and our partners for all of their hard work.

We hosted experts and promoted discussion on various global themes including development economics, foreign relations, migration, and energy, just to name a few. Bringing global experts to campus allows Duke students and faculty to engage with international research and incorporate these ideas into the classroom enhancing the experience for Duke students. It is one of our goals at DUCIGS to reinforce the importance of thinking globally in everything that we do at Duke.

With so many fantastic events this year, I just wanted to recall a couple of highlights. We coordinated the biennial Biddle Lecturer on International Studies with Ambassador Brian A. Nichols, the former U.S. Ambassador to Peru. We also hosted Zhongxia Jin, executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s first female prime minister of finance as part of the Rethinking Development series. DUCIGS’ Observatory on Europe also collaborated with several Duke partners on inTransit, a multiplatform project, that compares contemporary and historical migration in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

We proudly funded a variety of global experiences this year. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty traveled across the world to engage in research, immerse themselves in language learning, and participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars. We also sponsored 13 global graduate working groups which study a breadth of topics including traditional African medicine, humor and politics, and ocean policy.

The 2017-2018 academic year has been incredibly rewarding, as DUCIGS has seen many new programs develop and flourish within our Duke community. I am honored to lead this important work on campus and look forward to even more to come in 2019. Stay connected with us throughout the year on

Best Regards,

Giovanni Zanalda

Director, Duke University Center for International and Global Studies

Centers & Initiatives

John Hope Franklin Center
John Hope Franklin Center

2017-2018/ Centers

Observatory on Europe
Observatory on Europe

2017-2018/ Centers/ Europe

Concilium on Southern Africa
Concilium on Southern Africa

2017-2018/ Africa/ Initiatives

Global Asia Initiative
Global Asia Initiative

2017-2018/ Asia/ Initiatives

Duke Islamic Studies Center
Duke Islamic Studies Center

2017-2018/ Asia/ Centers

Duke India Initiative
Duke India Initiative

2017-2018/ Asia/ Initiatives

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

2017-2018/ Centers/ North America/ South America

Duke Brazil Initiative
Duke Brazil Initiative

2017-2018/ Initiatives/ South America

Belt and Road Initiative
Belt and Road Initiative

2017-2018/ Asia/ Initiatives

Africa Initiative
Africa Initiative

2017-2018/ Africa/ Initiatives

Asian Pacific Studies Institute
Asian Pacific Studies Institute

2017-2018/ Asia/ Centers

Signature Series

Global Political Perspectives

Seeking to foster leadership sensibilities beyond the U.S. political scene.

Global Governance

Global Governance

DUCIGS launched a new initiative in 2016 to bring global governance leaders and experts to Duke.

Rethinking Development

Rethinking Development

A flagship program to feature speakers with exciting new approaches to development.

Biddle Lecture

Anthony J, Drexel Biddle, Jr. Lecture on International Studies

The Honorable Brain A. Nichols gave the 2018 Biddle Lecture.

Diplomat in Residence

Diplomat in Residence

Career Foreign Service Officers providing guidance and advice to students, professionals and the community.

Wednesdays at the Center


W@TC is a topical weekly series in which scholars, artists, journalists, and others speak informally about their work.

Notable Programs

Thomas A. Shannon Jr., undersecretary of state for political affairs, spoke at Duke University on Thursday, Feb. 1 on the current state of the foreign policy. This video clip outlines the four factors driving global change.


Global trade has expanded for several decades yet wages are stagnant and inequality is growing. The United States and its allies have fought terrorism for two decades but the world is less safe. These were among the perplexities of governing and diplomacy shared Thursday by Thomas Shannon Jr., the State Department’s top career diplomat who served under six presidents.

Despite providing a long list of challenges facing American foreign policy and the US Department of State, Shannon sounded optimistic.

“We are in a period of great political effervescence, and we are in the midst political change that I believe will transform our political parties” and institutions, he said. “This will be done from the grassroots up and will be done through elections and will be done through other parts of our political life.

“I think at the end of the day we will come out this a stronger democracy” that involves more Americans, Shannon said.

Nigeria’s Former Finance Minister Visits Duke


As part of their Rethinking Development seminar series, the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) and the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) welcomed Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to Duke University on Thursday, February 15. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala served two terms as Nigeria’s Finance minister and a short period as its Foreign Minister.  She also spent more than two decades at the World Bank, eventually rising to the Number 2 position of managing director. She is currently the Chair of the board of the Global Vaccine Alliance and Immunization program (GAVI).  Over the past four years she has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders, by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, and by Time Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala spoke on development in Africa as part of the Rethinking Development series at Duke University on February 15, 2018.

Forensic psychiatrist and government counterterrorism consultant, Marc Sageman outlines his most recent book, “Turning to Political Violence”(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

Sageman visited Duke University on January 22, 2018, to present, “The Emergence of Terrorism: A New Paradigm” as part of the Bass Connections project “Networks of Cooperation and Conflict in the Middle East: within the Information, Society & Culture theme.

Why People Join Terrorist Groups

A few misconceptions about what motivates a person to become a terrorist:

• They usually aren’t recruited. “People want to become those members; they want to be suicide bombers.”

• “There’s no such thing as pathological hatred. That’s what we like to believe because we reduce the other guy to a stereotype. It’s really the result of group dynamics.”

• “Political violence is the result of the political process, not deviant personality or ideology.”

These views were shared Monday by Dr. Marc Sageman, an independent scholar on terrorism whose background includes working three years supporting the Afghan Mujahedin resistance against the Soviet occupation as a case officer at the Central Intelligence Agency


We support global research, academic travel, and language learning opportunities through student and faculty awards.

DUCIGS and its affiliated centers and initiatives support 22 student awards. These global studies student awards support both undergraduate and graduate while they conduct research abroad, learn a language, or travel for academic conferences.

This year 164 students received awards to travel to six continents- North and South America, Australia, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Their research questions spanned the disciplines and included the heath impact of gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon, a historical review of the Soviet working class after Stalin, a study of Chinese migrants in Paris, fact-checking in Argentinean media outlets, and field research on biodiversity and sustainability among African animals.

Duke students received funding to attend conferences like the World Congress of Environmental & Resource Economics, Methodological Issues in Conducting an End-of-Life Care Study Among Older Korean US Immigrants, and Curtailing Access to Alcohol: Evidence on the Impact Over Child Outcomes in Brazil.

Group Support

DUCIGS supported 19 student groups including 13 Global Graduate Working Groups and six Africa Initiative Groups.

2017-2018 DUCIGS Award Breakdown

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Faculty

Graduate Field Report

Ryan Huang

“I can confidently say that this was the most the amazing trip I have taken in years.”

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

2017 DDRA Fellows

Fulbright-Hays awarded five Duke graduate students DDRA fellowship in 2017.

Undergraduate Field Report

Emily Nagler

“Though I did not single-handedly improve reproductive healthcare in Quito, my life was undoubtedly changed and inspired by my time there.”


Master of Arts in East Asian Studies

Students in the Master of Arts in East Asian Studies program engage in the interdisciplinary study of China, Japan and/or Korea.

The Duke University Center for International & Global Studies (DUCIGS) invites proposals for Graduate Working Groups on Global Issues at the start of each academic year. DUCIGS provides funding for expenses related to meetings, such as food, readings, and audio-visual materials. Groups are eligible to request additional support for special programming during the academic year, including workshops, symposia, mini-conferences, and publications.

2017-2018 Graduate Working Groups on Global Issues

  • Challenges in International Development
  • Electricity in Latin America & the Caribbean
  • Entrepreneurship & Preventive Medicine in Global Health
  • Explainable Artificial Intelligence in the Real World
  • Exploring Traditional Medicine in Africa
  • Global Environmental Health & Energy
  • Graduate Engineering & Researching Microbiomes (GERM)
  • Humor & Politics
  • Informed Choices for Economic Development
  • Money, Finance & Culture
  • Neurosurgery in East Africa
  • Ocean Policy
  • Slavery, War & Gender

To learn more about the working groups visit:

Duke University students, both undergraduate and graduate, and faculty are afforded special opportunities to study or teach at Venice International University. Undergraduate programs are administered through the Duke Global Education Office.

Undergraduate Opportunities at VIU

Graduate Opportunities at VIU

  • VIU Winter/Summer/Autumn Schools
  • VIU International PhD Academy
  • VIU Graduate Seminars
Students in Venice

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