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.


Spring 2022 Sessions


January 21 (virtual): Exploring Careers in Child and Family Policy- Denise Forte

Denise Forte is the interim CEO at The Education Trust. With more than two decades of experience in the federal legislative and executive branches advancing progressive education and family policy, Forte brings strategic leadership to the organization’s efforts to engage policymakers and diverse coalitions of advocates in demanding and securing equity-advancing policy change at the national and state levels. She also leads Ed Trust’s legislative efforts and, as a member of the senior leadership team, coordinates an organization-wide advocacy agenda and strategy. Learn more

Exploring Careers in CPR Series_Forte
February 4 (virtual): Law Careers in Child and Family Policy

Join us to learn about pursuing a career in legal advocacy from Shajuti Hossain, JD ’18, associate attorney at Renne Public Law Group, Chavis Jones, JD ’20, associate counsel in the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Peggy Nicholson, supervising attorney, Children's Law Clinic, Duke Law.

They have pursued careers in legal advocacy working on issues including housing, civil and human rights, education, and public benefits. They are social justice advocates who are using their law degrees to improve the lives of children and families. We look forward to hearing how they got started, the twists and turns their careers have taken, and what they enjoy most about the work they do.   REGISTER

February 18: Careers in Child and Family Policy: State and Local Government

We will hear from Kelly Andrews, Program Coordinator, Durham Misdemeanor Diversion Program, Criminal Justice Resource Center, Durham County and Alena Antonowich, current MPP student, former analyst, NYC Department of Education. They will talk about opportunities to work in child and family policy within state and local governments, as well as other career adventures.  REGISTER

February 25:  Careers in Child and Family Policy: Child and Family Advocacy 

We will be joined by Elizabeth Anderson, Program Director, Chatham County Partnership for Children,  Suzy Khachaturyan, Policy Analyst, NC Budget & Tax Center, and Denise Rebeil, current Duke MPP student and former legal assistant, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. They will talk about their current work advocating for children and families, as well the jobs and experiences that brought them to their current jobs. Between the two of them they have held a variety of positions including as Peace Corp volunteer teacher, College Advising Corp advisor, Communities in Schools site coordinator, university research assistant, Triangle Community Foundation fellow, youth organizer, and more. REGISTER

Careers 2-25
March 18: Careers in Education Policy

We will hear from Ashley Kazouh, Policy and Program Associate, Flood Center, Julia Whitfield, Associate Policy Analyst, Hunt Institute, Molly Osborne, Director of Policy and Engagement at EducationNC.

We will learn what their work in education policy entails and what motivates them to work in their field. We will hear about what led them to their current positions, and some of their previous roles, including Teach for America teacher, day care teacher, respite care provider, and employers, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, and Carolina Performing Arts. REGISTER

April 8: Alumni Panel

As part of alumni weekend, we will be joined by alumni working in child and family policy who are in town for their reunions. Speaker details will be added later this spring.

Careers 3-18

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