Kristin A. GossKevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science
Kristin Goss joined the Sanford School of Public Policy in 2005 as a professor of public policy studies and political science. Her research focuses on why people do (or don’t) participate in political life and how their participation or non-participation affects public policymaking. At Duke, she is working with Professor Joel Fleishman to expand our understanding of philanthropic foundations’ impact on public policy.
Goss is the author of Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006). The book is based on her doctoral study, which won the American Political Science Association’s 2003 Harold D. Lasswell Award for the nation’s best dissertation in policy studies.
Goss has published articles in Social Science Quarterly, Women & Politics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and the Fordham Law Review, as well as several book chapters. She is author of Better Together, the report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America. She is working on a book about how the policy agendas of women’s voluntary associations have changed over the past two centuries and how those changes have affected the politics of important policy issues.
Before her appointment at Duke, Professor Goss spent three years at Georgetown University, where she taught courses on the U.S. political system, political participation, the media’s role in politics and the politics of the policymaking process. She received a BA degree with high honors from Harvard; an MPP from Duke; and a PhD in political science from Harvard. Her master’s thesis explored the challenges facing voluntary associations seeking to stop the epidemic of gun violence in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.
Goss grew up near Denver, where she developed a passion for figure skating and animal welfare. Before entering academe, she was a Washington-based journalist for six years covering non-profit organizations and foundations for The Chronicle of Philanthropy. She has served as a consultant to two government agencies: the U.S. Agency for International Development (San José, Costa Rica, 1995); and the Corporation for National and Community Service (Washington, D.C., 2002-2003). Her earliest political memory is of Watergate, which her parents defined as “a hotel in Washington.”
Goss splits her time between Durham and Arlington, VA. During 2008-09, she was a visiting scholar in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University. She also serves as vice president of the League of Women Voters of Arlington.