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Come Join the Announcement of the Duke Climate Commitment

Get connected with what’s happening in the Duke climate community during special events held Sept. 29-30.

Duke University President Vincent Price and Toddi Steelman, Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, share the Duke Climate Commitment announcement. Video by Megan Mendenhall

The Duke Climate Commitment will be formally announced on Sept. 29 and builds on the university’s longstanding leadership in climate, energy and sustainability to educate a new generation of climate-fluent innovators and create equitable solutions for all.

During a two-day event series on Sept. 29-30, participants can hear more from members of the Duke community already engaged in this work and find out how they can get involved. The events will begin with remarks from Duke President Vincent Price on Duke’s climate vision. The effort unites the university’s education, research, operations and public service missions to engage the entire community in the pursuit of climate change solutions.

“It is a wonderful and important moment for our university,” President Price said. “Across every aspect of our mission, we are deepening our commitment to addressing climate change, one of the most critical challenges of our times.”

“Duke has the talent, the resources, the know-how and the moral obligation as the second largest private employer in North Carolina to work with the younger generation to chart a new course,” said Toddi Steelman, Stanback Dean of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “This commitment is core to our mission, and we're committed to acting with purpose to address the climate crisis.”

Register for events at


Thursday, Sept. 29

4 pm – 5:30 p.m. in Page Auditorium

Please note, this event is ticketed. Duke students, faculty, staff and community members, please reserve your tickets. Duke alumni, please register for this event as part of your homecoming registration.

Presidential Remarks: Duke’s Shared Climate Vision

Vincent Price, PresidentVincent E. Price, Ph.D., President of Duke University

Panel Discussion: Duke Graduates Making a Difference

image of panelists

Moderated by Brian Murray, Ph.D. ’92 interim director, Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability

  • Donnel Baird ’03 founder of BlocPower
  • Alison Taylor ’84 chief sustainability officer of Archer Daniels Midland
  • Claire Wang ’19 international climate policy expert


Panel Discussion: Next Generation Climate Leaders

image of panelist  

Moderated by Toddi Steelman, Ph.D. ’96 Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment

  • Benjamin “Benji” Backer, founder and president, American Conservation Coalition
  • Cameron Oglesby ’21 environmental justice storyteller, journalist and activist, Public Voices Climate Crisis Fellow, Memorial Foundation Social Justice Fellow, master of public policy student in the Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, climate justice activist, international youth engagement advisor for Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, master of environmental management student in the Nicholas School of the Environment

Presentation: Building Climate and Sustainability Fluency Across Campus

Norman Wirzba


  • Norman Wirzba, Ph.D., Gilbert T. Rowe distinguished professor of Christian theology in the Duke Divinity School


Keynote Fireside Chat

Judy WoodruffCharmichael Roberts

  • Judy Woodruff ’68, Hon. ’98 Duke trustee emerita
  • Carmichael Roberts, Jr. ’90, Ph.D. ’95 business lead of the investment committee for Breakthrough Energy Ventures and founder of Material Impact, vice chair of the Duke University board of trustees

Friday, Sept. 30

10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Field Auditorium in Grainger Hall

Live Recording of Student Climate Podcasts

Join live recordings of two Duke student-run podcasts: “Energy Terminal” and “Operation Climate.” Student hosts will interview Duke alums working on climate issues.

  • “Operation Climate” will interview Claire Wang ’19, international climate policy expert.
  • “Energy Terminal” interviews Haroon Inam ’84 and ’86, chief technology officer of SmartWires.


Noon – 1:15 p.m., Ahmadieh Family Auditorium (Gross Hall 107),

Panel Discussion: The Roots, Experience and Future of Climate Justice

Join a discussion about the roots of the climate justice movement and reflections on how to create an equitable and actionable vision of climate justice.

Moderated by Gabriela Nagle Alverio, JD/PhD candidate at Duke

  • William Barber III, director of climate and environmental justice for The Climate Reality Project and founder of the Rural Beacon Initiative
  • Jennifer Hadden, associate professor in the department of government and politics, University of Maryland
  • Yumna Kamel, co-founder of Earth Refuge


4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Gross Hall

Climate Connections: Networking Reception for Duke Students and Alumni

The reception will include structured networking for Duke students and alumni interested in climate issues.