Kornbluth Names New Leaders for Kenan, Duke Kunshan

Shanahan to direct ethics institute; Pickus appointed dean at Duke Kunshan

Suzanne Shanahan, who joined the Kenan Institute for Ethics (KIE) in 2008 as associate director and currently serves as co-director has assumed the institute’s directorship, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced this week.

Current Co-Director Noah Pickus, who has been part of the Kenan leadership since 2007, has a new role as dean of curriculum and faculty development at Duke Kunshan University. Pickus also continues to serve as an associate provost and senior adviser reporting to Kornbluth.

“I’m pleased that Duke will continue to benefit from the strengths and talents of both Suzanne and Noah, a leadership team that has capably served at the helm of the Kenan Institute,” Kornbluth said. “I look forward to helping Suzanne build on Kenan’s successful initiatives, and working with Noah in planning the exciting next steps at Duke Kunshan University.”

“Suzanne Shanahan has been a leader at KIE for many years, whether in her engaged research and teaching around refugee migration and citizenship, or in her roles as associate director and more recently co-director,” said Ed Balleisen, vice provost for interdisciplinary studies. “KIE is very lucky to have her at the helm as it continues its work of bringing the best moral reasoning to bear on our most pressing social problems.”

An associate research professor in sociology, Shanahan was named co-director of the institute in 2015. She also directs the Kenan Institute’s Refugee Resettlement project and is chair of the Imagining the Duke Curriculum Committee, which is in the process of reviewing and developing a new undergraduate curriculum. Shanahan was on the original steering committee that conceived and launched Bass Connections.

She is deeply committed to Duke students and to Duke’s guiding principle of knowledge in the service of society, and received the Robert B. Cox Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005 and the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009.

Pickus assumes a new role at Duke Kunshan at a time when the institution is in the final stages of planning to launch a new undergraduate degree program. He led the committee that developed the undergraduate degree curriculum proposal that has been approved by the Academic Council and the Board of Trustees. At Duke Kunshan, he will also help to oversee faculty hiring.

He was named KIE director in 2007 and has overseen its growth in numbers of affiliated faculty and students and new initiatives in vocation and purpose, global migration, human rights, regulatory policy, moral attitudes and decision-making and environmental ethics. He expanded the institute’s policy engagement and practitioner-in-residence programming and led the Brookings-Duke Immigration Policy Roundtable.

“We are all grateful to Noah Pickus for the creativity that he has brought to KIE over the past decade,” Balleisen said.  “Under his leadership, the institute has brought dynamic new faculty to Duke, and branched out into such fields as moral psychology, the ethics of regulatory decision-making, and the role of religion in public life.”

Pickus is also associate research professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He serves as vice-chair for Strategic Planning at Duke, chair of the Liberal Arts in China Committee, and co-chair of the Duke-UNC Keohane Visiting Professor Committee.