Public Policy Graduate Program Staff

Mac McCorklePope “Mac” McCorkle III

Director of Graduate Studies, Master of Public Policy Program

Pope “Mac” McCorkle served as an issues consultant to political candidates, state governments, and various organizations for the over two decades. After starting McCorkle Policy Consulting in 1994, he worked for state and federal candidates in North Carolina as well as 28 other states.

Mac has published articles on politics and public policy in such academic journals as the Journal of Law and Politics and the Journal of the Historical Society as well as such magazines as Columbia Journalism Review and Commonweal. He graduated from Princeton magna cum laude in history and Duke Law School with honors, clerked on United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1984-85), and practiced law for a number of years in Raleigh with the firm founded by former Duke President Terry Sanford.

Mac currently oversees the Sanford MPP program, works with staff and students on curriculum issues, and teaches courses on the politics and ethics of public policy.

Phone: 919.613.4390       Email:

Helene McAdamsHelene McAdams

Director of Student Services and Program Development

Helene works with current students and the Director of the MPP Program in support of the Master of Public Policy Program.

From matriculation through graduation, Helene interacts with current MPP students to provide support services. She coordinates orientation and graduation events, serves as a liaison between the MPP Program and University agencies to include the bursar and registrar; provides course and academic career advice to students. Helene represents student needs to the program, faculty, Sanford administration, and University officials. Students are encouraged to view her office as a gateway to addressing their concerns.

Prior to relocating to the Triangle in 2001, Helene taught middle and high school English at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, DE. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education/Communications from Temple University in 1991. Before joining the MPP Program, Helene worked in Duke University’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Providing support to MPP candidates continues Helene’s commitment to enhancing students’ learning experiences.

Phone: 919.613.9207       Email:

Jessica A. PanJessica A. Pan

Director of Admissions & Financial Aid

Jessica travels around the country and world to recruit the best students for Sanford's master's programs.

Prior to joining Duke in 2010, she served as Associate Director of Admissions for Georgetown University's Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS). She also worked for Georgetown University's Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) and the State University of New York at Binghamton's Career Development Center. Jessica holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature and a minor in Asian and Asian American Studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She earned her M.A. in English from Georgetown University. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she lived in NY, London, and DC.

Phone: 919.613.9205       Email:

Misty BrindleMisty R. Brindle

Director of Financial Aid

Misty is chiefly responsible for administering Federal Student Aid for the Master of Public Policy (MPP) and the Master of International Development (MIDP) programs and their students. She works with the Duke Graduate School and the PhD Program Coordinator on developing/posting PhD student funding plans. In another facet of her position Misty manages information flow regarding admissions, matriculation, student careers, and degree completion for the MPP Program. 

Misty joins us after already working five years at Duke's Fuqua School of Business as Assistant Director of Financial Aid. She has eight years of experience in the field. She holds a B.S. in Communication from Appalachian State University and her M.A. in Communication and Education from Columbia University.

Phone: 919.613.9204       Email:

Kenneth Dodge

Kenneth Dodge

William McDougall Professor of Public Policy; Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience; Director of Graduate Studies, PhD Program; Director, Center for Child and Family Policy

Kenneth A. Dodge is the founding director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. In this role, he leads an effort to bridge basic scientific research in children's development with public policy affecting children and families. The Center provides an integrated system of research, public engagement, and teaching, addressing issues of child and family policy.

Dodge joined the faculty of the Sanford School in September 1998. He is trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist, having earned his B.A. in psychology at Northwestern University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University in 1978. Prior to joining the faculty at Duke, Dodge served on the faculty at Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and Vanderbilt University.

Dodge’s research is directed toward understanding how problem behaviors such as delinquency, substance use, school dropout, and child abuse develop across the lifespan, how programs can be developed to prevent these problems, and how public policy can be shaped to improve the public health of communities.

Phone: 919.613.9303      Email:

Elizabeth FrankenbergElizabeth Frankenberg

Professor of Public Policy and Sociology and Associate Dean for Academic Programs 

Elizabeth Frankenberg is a professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Department of Sociology at Duke University. Her research focuses on three thematic areas: the ways in which the health and social service environment shape the well-being of individuals, the ways that interactions among family members influence well-being, and how individuals respond to changes induced by unexpected events such as economic crises and natural disasters. Frankenberg has directed several large-scale longitudinal surveys in Indonesia, including the Indonesia Family Life Survey and the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery. At the Sanford School Elizabeth oversees the academic programs, works with students and staff on curriculum issues and student advising, and teaches Survey Methods and Management. She has an M.P.A from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in demography and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Phone: 919.613.9311       Email:

Lisa Kukla

Program Coordinator, Public Policy PhD Program

PhD Program Coordinator (DGSA) of the PhD in Public Policy Program Lisa works with PhD students and the Director of the Graduate Students, Ken Dodge, to help students navigate through the PhD process. She manages student orientation, recruitment, admissions, matriculation, preliminary exams and degree completion for the PhD program. She is also the school representative to the Graduate School. She also assists with the Duke in DC: Public Policy program and the Summer School for Future International Development Leaders program. Prior to working at Duke, Lisa received a Journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s in Education from George Mason University. She worked as a legislative aid in the US Senate and House of Representatives and was a high school history teacher. She enjoys working with the students at Sanford School of Public Policy and is energized by their aspirations.

Phone: 919.613.9214       Email:

Emily Grenzke MPP '07

"What I love most about Durham is that the community has a really authentic desire to address social problems... I think it’s rare that you see such a community-based drive to do better. Also, I love the arts community here. It’s got such a funky, activist vibe."

Emily Grenzke MPP '07