Dear Students, Friends, and Colleagues,

Two weeks before a new President took the oath of office in Washington, on a day known to Christians as epiphany, I was driving west out of Savannah Georgia on Interstate 15, having spent the previous day helping citizens who needed rides vote in the Georgia runoff election.  When I received a text from my best friend, a Congressman from Maryland, who told me that he was OK but was still locked down at the U.S. Capitol, then still under siege, I realized just how perilously fragile life and democracy are in this pandemic moment. The previous day I had worn, along with fifteen Durham voting rights activists, KN-95 masks all day when providing citizens rides to the polls. But no mask could save us from the virus of white supremacy or the violence committed by its adherents in the name of democracy. 

Read Story

Recent News

ESTD 1986

We're HLP.

The Hart Leadership Program challenges students to practice the art of leadership in public life. What is the art?  Lao-Tzu said it with minimal words: “With the best of leaders, when the work is done, the project completed, the people all say, ‘Amazing. We did it ourselves.'”  It’s taking on challenging work in groups, organizations, institutions and social systems–the kind of work that usually takes people beyond their comfort zones.  It requires courage, but it also builds it.  It tests us and forms us.  It helps us discover who we really are, and what we are capable of doing together, when we locate common purpose.  It’s about learning to ask big questions, and then hard questions.  It’s an art where groups become the unit of transformation, and where the right questions have the power to generate far more engagement and endurance than easy answers ever would.

Tell me More


Get Involved


Explore our core programs


Political Engagement Project

PEP is a leadership initiative for Duke undergraduates interested in political engagement and includes coursework, support for summer internships, and mentoring.


Featured Story

“Tony Brown came from the corporate world to become a Professor of the Practice at Sanford School of Public Policy in 1993. Tony’s approach centers on action-oriented learning that produces real results and challenges students to define their own moral fiber and values.”


Tony Brown

Read Story

News & Events

HLP students receive Duke leadership awards

Several current and former Hart Leadership Program-affiliated students won awards recognizing their achievements in leadership and service. Duke's annual "In The Spotlight" ceremony showcases individuals and organizations, nominated by members of the Duke community, whose influence has made a significant impact on University life and beyond. The students were honored at a ceremony on April…