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,

2019-20 was another remarkable academic year for DUCIGS and affiliated units, albeit a challenging one, as we faced the local and global disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a dense schedule of events already planned and organized for the spring semester, DUCIGS and affiliated centers and initiatives had to shift to online platforms and review arrangements for a large number of programs. We are pleased to say that we were able to quickly adapt to the new format. The flexibility and resilience demonstrated by Duke students, faculty, administrators, and staff in navigating the new reality of teaching and working remotely during the spring and summer semesters demonstrated that we will be able to continue to offer programs and activities in the new academic year.

Although many in-person events had to be canceled last spring, in the year 2019-2020 we organized and co-sponsored over 240 events; awarded research and travel grants to over 200 students and faculty; and continued to facilitate international and global conversations on campus and beyond.

In 2020 we launched the Rethinking Diplomacy Program (RDP), a scholarly forum where diplomats, faculty, professionals, and students convene to explore, research, and debate the intersections of diplomacy with expertise in public health, science, new technologies, trade/finance, environment, water, demography, food and other areas in which Duke University features strong academic programs. Diplomacy through negotiation skills, sensitivity to national and multinational contexts, and public engagement facilitates cooperation while science and technology through research and fact-based knowledge help to find solutions to complex problems. The need for stronger collaboration between diplomacy and disciplinary expertise in science, technology, and social sciences has become even more apparent in looking at the wide range of national and international responses to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in dealing with long-term challenges such as climate change and those set forth in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Starting in January 2020 with a keynote speech by DUCIGS/RDP fellow and former U.S. ambassador William R. Pearson, the RDP hosted—among many others—World Health Organization Special Envoy on COVID-19 David Nabarro; IMF economist Tamim Bayoumi; and data scientists Elliott Wolf (a Duke alumnus) and Dr. Daniel Wintz. Our virtual events on the impact of COVID-19 on health, global supply chains, the environment, and other areas received national and international attention with representatives from US, foreign, international public and private institutions, and NGOs, in addition to faculty and students in attendance.

DUCIGS also continued to contribute to the conversation on other transnational themes. During Fall 2019, famous Kenyan paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey spoke in front of an overflowing Nasher Museum about his decades-long work on fossils, as well as his conservationist campaigns and his advocacy on climate. In February 2020, we hosted a panel on “New Monetary Policy Frameworks,” where we brought together Richmond Federal Reserve President Tom Barkin, former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury & Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, Sarah Bloom Raskin, and former Director-General of European Central Bank’s statistics department, Aurel Schubert. The call for a closer coordination between monetary and fiscal policies and the implementation of new measures to respond to future economic downturns discussed by the panelists became even more relevant in the following months as central banks and governments around the world looked for policy measures to lessen the economic impact of COVID-19.

Our series Wednesdays at the Center—a signature series of DUCIGS and the John Hope Franklin Center (JHFC)— was another highlight of the year. We hosted 19 lectures, with many more scheduled and canceled due to COVID. Among the various interdisciplinary topics touched upon, the mini-series Conversations with Religious Life Leaders at Duke highlighted the role of faith leaders and religiosity on campus.

As in the past year, DUCIGS renewed its support for the Graduate Working Groups on Global Issues, a platform where 14 groups of graduate students met to discuss a broad range of interdisciplinary projects (to name a few: Decolonizing Global Health in LMICs; Slavery, War & Gender; and Ocean Policy.)

Our Global Working Papers Series has also attracted interesting submissions, renewing DUCIGS’ commitment to publish new research on global topics produced by Duke researchers and visiting scholars using the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) platform. During the AY 2019-20, we published 18 papers, including contributions on Diplomacy, Middle-Income Trap, COVID-19 Vaccines, Africa Development, AI-Based Technologies, and Chinese World Order.

While we are aware that the 2020-2021 academic year will prove to be very challenging, we are also confident that DUCIGS and affiliated centers and initiatives will continue to provide a range of programs and academic opportunities that will engage a wide variety of faculty, students, professionals, as well as the local and international community. In solidarity with Duke’s renewed commitment to build a more inclusive and equal institution via research and action, we decided to dedicate various activities to explore the issues of inequality, marginalization, and racial injustice both at the local/community and global level. The Wednesdays at the Center will focus on the legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin to explore the implications of such issues in a series of events under the rubric: JHF | Global Anti-Racism (histories of action).

I would like to personally thank the DUCIGS team and our partners for all of their efforts this year as well as our sponsors for their continuous support. With all of our activities shifting online, we will still be able to promote a rich conversation on international issues with our community, and expand our collaborations and partnerships with our Duke, national, and international network. We look forward to staying connected with you throughout the year on

Best Regards,

Giovanni Zanalda,
Director, Duke Center for International and Global Studies

Centers & Initiatives

Asian Pacific Studies Institute
Asian Pacific Studies Institute

2019-2020/ Asia/ Centers

Africa Initiative
Africa Initiative

2019-2020/ Africa/ Initiatives

Duke Islamic Studies Center
Duke Islamic Studies Center

2019-2020/ Asia/ Centers

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

2019-2020/ Centers/ North America/ South America

Concilium on Southern Africa
Concilium on Southern Africa

2019-2020/ Africa/ Initiatives

Duke Brazil Initiative
Duke Brazil Initiative

2019-2020/ Initiatives/ South America

Duke India Initiative
Duke India Initiative

2019-2020/ Asia/ Initiatives

Global Asia Initiative
Global Asia Initiative

2019-2020/ Asia/ Initiatives

Observatory on Europe
Observatory on Europe

2019-2020/ Centers/ Europe

Belt and Road Initiative
Belt and Road Initiative

2019-2020/ Asia/ Initiatives

John Hope Franklin Center
John Hope Franklin Center

2019-2020/ Centers


At DUCIGS, we value our partnerships and over the last year have expanded into new ventures and collaborations both at Duke and externally. In October, we collaborated with various DKU and Duke centers in the organization of a symposium at the Duke-Kunshan campus on the Belt and Road Initiative. In May, DUCIGS and the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) organized the workshop “Responding to the Crisis in the Northern Triangle” at the Duke in Washington, DC office, which explored the underlying causes of recent migration from the region. Also in May, as part of our partnership with Venice International University (VIU), we contributed to the organization of an international conference on Republics and Republicanism that took place at the VIU campus in Venice.

Signature Series

Global Political Perspectives

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

Global Governance

Global Governance

DUCIGS launched this series 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

Due to COVID-19, DUCIGS postponed the 2020 Biddle Lecture with speaker Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns.

Diplomats in Residence

Diplomats 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

Highlights from the webinar: COVID-19 and Global Supply Chains: Disruptions and Restructuring.


In this webinar organized by the DUCIGS/Rethinking Diplomacy Program, two leading experts in the field of global supply and value chains talked about the disruptions of Covid-19 on supply chains in the United States and emerging markets, and discussed the long-term impact and main policy issues of the pandemic. The panel was comprised of Gary Gereffi, Director of the Duke Center on Global Value Chains, and Tamim Bayoumi, Deputy Director of the Strategy and Policy Review Department of the International Monetary Fund. The Director of the Duke Center for International and Global Studies, Giovanni Zanalda, moderated the discussion. The event was broadcast on Zoom on April 21, 2020.


The Duke Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) hosted a conversation with Dr. David Nabarro as part of the Rethinking Diplomacy Program, Science-Diplomacy Seminar Series. A Special Envoy to the WHO Director-General on COVID-19, Dr. Nabarro is also Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London, and Strategic Director of Skills, Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development (4SD). In this role, Dr. Nabarro provides strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world to help WHO coordinate the global response to the pandemic. The webinar was broadcast on Zoom on May 28, 2020.

Highlights from the webinar: ‘Balancing National Unity and Global Solidarity,’ with W.H.O. Special Envoy for COVID-19 David Nabarro.

Highlights from the panel: ‘New Monetary Policy: Why Now?’


This panel discussed some recent proposals in terms of new macro policy frameworks, including close coordination between monetary and fiscal policies in the United States and European Union. With Tom Barkin, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; Duke Rubenstein Fellow Sarah Bloom Raskin, Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury & Governor of the Federal Reserve Board; and Aurel Schubert, Former Director-General, Statistics Department, European Central Bank. Duke University’s Giovanni Zanalda and Lawrence G. Baxter moderated the discussion. February 19, 2020 at the Perkins Library, Duke University.


Richard Leakey is a Kenyan paleoanthropologist, politician, explorer, and environmentalist. Together with his teams, Leakey made an astounding number of significant finds throughout the 70s and 80s, including Turkana Boy, the 1.6 million-year-old skeleton of a juvenile Homo erectus. Richard Leakey visited Duke for a public lecture at the Nasher Museum on October 22, 2019. The event was organized by the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) and the Duke Africa Initiative.

Humankind: Past, Present, and Future. Richard Leakey at Duke

Richard Leakey visited campus on October 22, 2019 to discuss the timeline of humankind’s existence.


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

DUCIGS and its affiliated centers and initiatives administer 25 student awards and 12 faculty awards.
The student awards support both undergraduate and graduate students while they conduct research abroad, learn a language, or travel for academic conferences. Our Faculty awards host scholars from around the world through the Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program and provide faculty funding for conferences and research.
This year 165 students received awards to travel around the world. Their research spanned topics and disciplines including the impact of social media on vaccine hesitancy in the UK, or the technology of earthquake early warning in Nepal, and social capital in immigrant communities in Costa Rica.
Travel awards have been assigned in 2020 but they haven’t been used due to restrictions and will resume when bans are lifted.

2019-2020 DUCIGS Award Breakdown

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Faculty

2020 Graduate Grant Recipients

Graduate grant Recipients

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

2020 DDRA Fellow

Fulbright-Hays awarded a Duke graduate student DDRA fellowship in 2019-2020.

2020 Undergraduate Grant Recipients

Undergraduate Grant Recipients


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  readings, audio-visual materials, and food. Groups are eligible to request additional support for special programming during the academic year, including workshops, symposia, mini-conferences, and publications.

2019-2020 Graduate Working Groups on Global Issues

  • Working Group for the Amazon
  • Black Sound & the Archive
  • Corruption in Developing Countries
  • Decolonizing Global Health in LMICs
  • Forest Elephant*
  • Global Mental Health Coalition
  • Global Perspectives on Artisanal & Small-Scale Gold Mining
  • Graduates Engineering & Researching Microbiomes (GERM)
  • Informed Choices for Equitable Development
  • Marxist Initiative
  • Moving Aesthetics of Empire
  • Ocean Policy
  • Post-Colonial Racial Oppression in Africa: Ethnic Discrimination, Political Oppression, Crime, and African-on-African Violence*
  • Slavery, War & Gender
Sponsored by the Africa Initiative (*).
To learn more about the working groups visit:
At the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS), we are actively engaged in publishing new research. The Duke Global Working Paper Series provides a space for scholars from across the disciplines to explore international topics. DUCIGS welcomes submissions from Duke experts and affiliated scholars.
Papers in this series are published to the Social Science Research Network as part of the Duke Global Working Paper Series. This series is edited by Giovanni Zanalda.

2019-2020 Global Working Papers

  • Unlocking Utilities of the Future in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • What Diplomacy Can Do for You
  • Transitioning Away from Donor Funding for Health: A Cross Cutting Examination of Donor Approaches to Transition
  • Funding the Development and Manufacturing of COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Multilateral Constraints on Chinese Behavior in South China Sea Territorial Disputes
  • Public Financial Management Perspectives on Health Sector Financing and Resource Allocation in Ethiopia
  • Growth Strategies to Avoid the Middle-Income Trap
  • Can Social Capital and Network Homophily Facilitate Community Participation?
  • Aligning multilateral support for global public goods for health under the Global Action Plan
  • The Chinese World Order in Historical Perspective
  • ‘Second Nature’: Realism’s Transatlantic Origins, 1880-1910
  • The New International Economic Order, Utopian Realism, and the Recovery of an Alternative Vision for Global Governance
  • The 1970s and the Politics of Political Realism
  • Progressive Realism: Possible? Yes. Cogent? Perhaps Not
  • Africa’s Debt: Three Concerns, Three Remedies
  • Transitioning from Foreign Aid: Is the Next Cohort of Graduating Countries Ready?
  • Improved Sanitation Increases Long-Term Cognitive Test Scores
Global Working Paper Series_Ducigs
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

  • Duke in Venice
    • Fall
    • Spring
    • Academic Year

Graduate Opportunities at VIU

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

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