Careers in Child and Family Policy Speaker Series

This speaker series is for Duke students who want to learn more about careers in child and family policy. Meetings are designed to help students explore the wide range of job opportunities and careers available in the field of child and family policy while creating a network of students who share their professional interests.

At bimonthly meetings, students learn how to forge a career in policy by speaking with people doing policy work in education, health, juvenile justice, child welfare, economic security, and other areas. Students learn from people who went straight into policy jobs, pursued law school, joined Teach for America, or have made a careers in academia. Speakers talk about their career paths—from undergrads to where they are today—and about the decisions they made about where to live, whether to attend graduate school, what their work involves, and how they have identified job opportunities along their journeys. They talk about about how they got started, the values that drive their work, the impact their work has on children and families, and what they have enjoyed most. They will also share tips for launching your career and what they look for when hiring.


Fall 2023 Sessions


POSTPONED  September 9 @11:15 Careers in Child and Family Policy: Local and State Government Rebecca Feinglos will join us to talk about opportunities to work in child and family policy within state and local governments, drawing on her experience as the chief policy and strategy advisor to the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, the senior early childhood policy officer in the Office of the Secretary of NC Department of Health and Human Services, and her time working in the Office of the Mayor in Chicago. Ms. Feinglos will also discuss other career adventures including being an elementary school teacher and her current year-long grief sabbatical (see


September 23 @11:15 Careers in Child and Family Policy: Teach for America and Beyond

Nichole Davis, Cassie Lutterloh, and Whitney McCoy will join us to talk about their experiences in Teach for America and how TFA launched their careers in education policy. They have pursued different paths since their classroom days—a JD, MPP and PhD and work in higher education, the non-profit sector and academia. Join us to learn more about Teach for America as a launching pad for working in child and family policy.


October 14 @11:15 Careers in Child and Family Policy: International Edition

This session will feature Jessica Au, senior policy analyst with The Hunt Institute and former Fulbright English Teacher in Taiwan, and Maria Castrillon, currently a dual degree student, MPP/MBA at Duke and former health volunteer with the Peace Corps. We will learn about opportunities to work in child and family policy in other countries, what it’s like to live and work abroad, and how their experiences have influenced their career paths.

October 22 Careers in Education Policy: Color of Education Summit

We are excited to offer this opportunity to get involved in education policy through the Color of Education 2022 Conference on Saturday, October 22, 2022 in Raleigh. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about current issues in education policy in North Carolina, with a focus on racial equity and dismantling systemic racism in education, and to network with people from across NC working in education. The summit pulls a wide range of education folks—teachers, administrators, policymakers, advocates—all of whom have stories to tell about the work they do and their career paths. With multiple meals, breakout sessions, and breaks, you will get to meet and network with people throughout the day. For more details, contact Berkeley Yorkery

COE event 2022
October 28 @11:15 Careers in Child and Family Policy: The Path from Undergrad to Graduate School

Join us to learn from current and former PhD students about what their work experiences looked like between undergrad and graduate work, why they decided to go back to school, how they figured out what to go back to school for, and what being a graduate student is like. We will be joined by Garrett Baker, a joint PhD student in public policy and sociology; Gayane Baziyants, currently pursuing a joint PhD in public policy and psychology, and Jane Leer, a recent graduate with a PhD in public policy and psychology. Between them, they have work experience at RAND, Save the Children, Child Trends, Franklin Porter Graham, and working internationally in child and community development.

November 4 @11:15 Careers in Child and Family Policy: Legal Advocacy

Join us to learn about pursuing a career in legal advocacy from April Adeeyo, staff attorney with the North Carolina Association of Educators; Madison Allen, senior program officer for health improvement at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; and Rachel Holtzman, dual MPP (Duke) and Juris Doctor (UNC) candidate in the class of 2023. Their careers in legal advocacy have included working on issues including health care access, education, and public benefits. They are social justice advocates who are using their law degrees to improve the lives of children and families. We will hear how they got started, the twists and turns their careers have taken, and what they enjoy most about the work they do.


Special Thanks

The Center for Child and Family Policy's Careers in Child and Family Policy Series is supported by the Purpose project out of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University