Jenna Newman, B.A. 2002

Social Science SME/sociologist, U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Science & Technology Directorate

Class of 2002, PhD in Sociology from New York University - dissertation focused on transitional justice and gender violence in post-genocide Rwanda. Newman's initial job out of graduate school was as a civilian Research Psychologist (and undercover sociologist!) with the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.  

In 2018, she transitioned to Headquarters, Department of the Army , where she successfully advocated for and established the Army’s first foundational research portfolio on violence prevention (sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, suicide, climate, and culture. Almost a decade with the Army taught her how to fight for the things that matter, even – especially – when they seem most impossible; how to be on a team and be a good teammate; how to do the work; and then – when the time inevitably comes – how to let it go.


How has being a Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies (formerly Women's Studies) graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?

"It was in those seminars and syllabi where I first found myself engaged on/in issues of silence, absence, and positionality. They're also where I first found myself, as a scholar and as an advocate, and my academic tribe. My professional success has been fundamentally shaped by the wisdom, wit, and great kindnesses I encountered amidst those seemingly small halls."

Headshot of older woman with grey hair pulled back