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Stephen R. Kelly, Visiting Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Canadian Studies  

Office Location: 106 Rubenstein Hall
Office Phone: (919) 613-6050
Duke Box: 90312
Email Address: stephen.kelly@duke.edu

Areas of Expertise

  • Energy Security
  • National Security and Defense, U.S. Borders
  • North American trade and security issues

MS, National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington, DC, 1995
M.S., National Defense University, 1995
BA, Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1972
A.B., Cornell University, 1972

Research Categories: Energy security, North America, Canada, Mexico, the U.S. border.

Research Description: North American issues, including energy, continental defense, immigration, trade and the U.S. border.

Teaching (Fall 2015):   (typical courses)

  • Canadian 350s.01, The u.s. border Synopsis
    Sanford 102, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Office Hours:
Tuesdays 12-2 p.m.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. S.R. Kelly. The U.S. Ambassador Canadians Loved to Hate.  Toronto Globe and Mail (June 8, 2014). [available here]
  2. S.R. Kelly. Be careful what you wish against on Keystone pipeline.  Detroit Free Press (April 29, 2014). [article]


Stephen R. Kelly is a Visiting Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. His specialty areas are energy, security, and North American issues, including trade, immigration and border management. He has been teaching at Duke since 2008 in connection with his assignment as the U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence assigned to Duke from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Kelly officially retired from the U.S. Foreign Service at the end of 2010.

During his 28-year Foreign Service career Mr. Kelly served at seven foreign postings on four continents. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Kelly was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to Mexico, one of the largest U.S. diplomatic establishments in the world. Mr. Kelly focused in particular on the myriad border issues with Mexico, growing law enforcement and immigration problems, and on efforts to further North American integration.

From 2000-2004 Mr. Kelly was Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to Canada. Mr. Kelly also served as Consul General in Quebec City from 1995-1998, where he was the chief U.S. reporting officer on the Quebec Sovereignty Referendum of October 1995.

Other overseas postings include the Netherlands as political counselor, Indonesia as human rights officer, Belgium as a political and consular officer, and Mali, in West Africa, as a management officer.

Prior to his assignment to Duke, Mr. Kelly was Director of the Senior Level Assignments Division at the State Department in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the counseling and assignments of the most experienced and high-ranking career officers in the U.S. diplomatic service. His early domestic assignments included the State Department Operations Center, special assistant to the Deputy Secretary, and desk officer for Senegal, Mauritania and The Gambia.

Mr. Kelly is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and holds a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. His foreign languages are French, Spanish, Dutch and Indonesian. Before joining the Foreign Service, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Zaire and as a journalist for various U.S. newspapers, notably the Charlotte Observer, for whom he was the Raleigh and later Washington correspondent.

Stephen R. Kelly