Julia Elam, B.A., 2000

Supervisory Policy Analyst, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Healthcare and Insurance, Washington, DC

2000 Major:  Sociology and African & African American Studies

How has being an African & African American Studies graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

AAAS has shaped my personal and professional goals because of my commitment to addressing racialized health disparities through policy change. After graduating from Duke, I obtained a Master of Public Health from Yale School of Public Health and later obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt Law School. I was able to combine my commitment to addressing health disparities by working on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Health Policy Fellow. I currently am a Supervisory Analyst in Policy at a Federal agency and primarily work on legislation and rulemaking. It has been especially rewarding drafting rules and legislation extending Federal health insurance benefits to tribal employers and working on maternal health disparities. AAAS has benefited me personally because I have volunteered as an NAACP Parents Council representative advocating for African American students in Montgomery County, Maryland.

What advice would you give students in Duke's African & African American Studies programs?

Duke’s AAAS is important for understanding the African diaspora all over the world and how we as a global community should contribute to not only our local communities but the global black community. Students in this wonderful program should move forward with this understanding in their personal and career paths, which can ultimately bring about progress in health, education, and policy across the world.

A profile photo of Julia Elam