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Noah M. Pickus, Professor of the Practice of Global Studies and Sanford School of Public Policy  

Office Location: 220 Allen Bldg, Box 90432, Durham, NC 27708
Duke Box: 90005
Email Address: pickus@duke.edu
Web Page: https://provost.duke.edu/associate-provost-and-senior-advisor-to-the-provost/
Web Page: https://dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/news/pickus_named_dean_curricular_affairs_faculty_development

Areas of Expertise

  • Immigration and Migration
  • Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1995
M.A., Princeton University, 1990
B.A., Wesleyan University, 1986

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Pickus, N; Skerry, P. "Good Neighbors and Good Citizens: Beyond the Legal-Illegal Immigration Debate." Debating Immigration. Ed. Swain, C Cambridge University Press, August, 2018  [abs]
  2. Pickus, N; Godwin, K. "Liberal Arts and Sciences Innovation in China: Six Recommendations to Shape the Future." Liberal Arts and Sciences Innovation in China: Six Recommendations to Shape the Future The Boston College Center for International Higher Education. (November, 2017): 1-60.  [abs]
  3. Pickus, N. "Laissez-faire and its discontents: US naturalization and integration policy in comparative perspective." Citizenship Studies 18.2 (January, 2014): 160-174. [doi]  [abs]
  4. Pickus, N. ""Bargains and Contracts in Immigrant Integration: The United States, Europe and Israel,” in Nation State and Immigration: The Age of Multiculturalism, Anita Shapira, Shahar Lifshitz and Yedidia Z. Stern eds. (Israel Democracy Institute and Sussex Academic Press, 2015)."  Sussex Academic Press, 2014
  5. Galston, W; Pickus, N; Skerry, P. "From deep disagreements to constructive proposals." Society 47.2 (March, 2010): 85-101. [doi]


Noah Pickus is Associate Provost and Senior Advisor to the Provost at Duke University, Dean of Undergraduate Curricular Affairs and Faculty Development at Duke Kunshan University (DKU), and Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy.  At Duke, he co-authored the university’s new strategic plan and focuses on cross-university initiatives and academic innovations. At DKU, he led the design of an interdisciplinary and problem-based undergraduate curriculum and is responsible for hiring a new faculty, implementing the curriculum, and developing new pedagogical approaches

Pickus was previously the Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics (KIE) at Duke University, where he established the institute as a signature university-wide program and oversaw its expansion in research, policy engagement, and high impact undergraduate programming. Prior to joining the Kenan Institute for Ethics, he was the founding director of the Institute for Emerging Issues under former Governor James B. Hunt Jr. at NC State University, a university-based venture in shaping public debate, public policy, and institutional practices.

An American Council on Education Fellow at Franklin & Marshall College, he currently co-directs the Arizona State University-Georgetown University Academy for Innovation in Higher Education Leadership Intensive Program. His book (with Bryan Penprase), Start Up U: Stories from 21st Century Colleges and Universities is under contract with Princeton University Press and he is the author of articles and opinion pieces on innovation, globalization, and higher education. He previously co-directed the Brookings-Duke Immigration Policy Roundtable and is the author of True Faith and Allegiance: Immigration and American Civic Nationalism (Princeton University Press) and Immigration and Citizenship in the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield).

Pickus has published multiple policy reports including Liberal Arts and Sciences Innovation in China: Six Recommendations to Shape the Future; Breaking the Immigration Stalemate: From Deep Disagreements to Constructive Proposals; Jump-Starting Innovation: 10 Principles to Guide the New EconomyBiotechnology and Humanity at the Crossroads of a New Era; and Becoming American/America Becoming.

He teaches courses on higher education, immigration, and ethics. He has previously taught at Middlebury College as well as in China and Israel. Pickus has held fellowships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, and the H.B. Earhart Foundation. A native Californian, he is a triathlete and faculty advisor for the Duke Triathlon Club and the Duke Honor Council. He is president of Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC. Pickus earned a bachelor’s degree in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and a doctorate in politics from Princeton University.

Noah Pickus is the Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and also teaches in the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. He is also a Senior Policy Advisor to the Arbor Group, consultants to innovation-driven companies and communities. Prior to joining the Kenan Institute, he was the founding director of the Institute for Emerging Issues.

At the Kenan Institute, Pickus’s portfolio includes the Institute’s business ethics program, Ethics at Work, Transforming the Ethical Cultures of Institutions, a university-wide research initiative, and the Institute’s Graduate Colloquium in Ethics. Pickus writes extensively on issues of immigration, citizenship, and national identity and has advised the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Smith-Richardson Foundation and other public and private organizations.

Pickus’s newest book, True Faith and Allegiance: Immigration and American Civic Nationalism (Princeton University Press, September 2005), is a provocative account of nationalism and the politics of turnings immigrants into citizens and Americans. He argues for a renewed American identity that tempers polarized positions on immigration and citizenship. Peter Schuck of the Yale Law School describes this work as “a rare combination of lofty ideals, careful analysis, and practical reformism.”

Previous publications include: "Becoming American/America Becoming" a report that Edward Grant, former Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration, praised for “pointedly examining whether immigration should be welcomed as a means to transform the American polity or be managed to ensure that core values and traditions that are the foundation of that polity are preserved”; and Immigration and Citizenship in the 21st Century a volume that William Galston, former Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy, commended for “illuminating the basic issues that a 21st century immigration and naturalization policy will have to address.”

Pickus has written for the National Journal, The Responsive Community, The Claremont Review of Books, Freedom Review, and the Center for Immigration Studies, and provided commentary for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and other national media. He received his Ph.D from Princeton University and has held fellowships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, and the H.B. Earhart Foundation.

Noah M. Pickus