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Duke names new vice president for Durham affairs

Phail Wynn, vice president for Durham and regional affairs, announced he was stepping down from his position in January after 10 years, and Duke has now named his successor. 

Stelfanie Williams, Trinity '98 and president of Vance-Granville Community College, will take the position of vice president of Durham affairs effective August 13, the University announced Monday.

“I am thrilled that Stelfanie will be returning to Duke to join my senior leadership team and build on the vitally important work conducted by Phail Wynn and his team over the course of the past decade,” said President Vincent Price in the press release. “She brings a wealth of experience in higher education, with a particular focus on community engagement and innovative partnerships."

She earned her undergraduate degree at Duke in Spanish and public policy before going on to receive a master’s from Western Carolina University and a doctorate in education from N.C. State. Williams became president of Vance-Granville Community College, which serves four North Carolina counties, in 2012. Under her leadership, the school had its largest graduating classes in history in 2015 and 2016. 

Williams has been involved in higher education for more than 20 years. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper appointed her to the Governor’s Commission on Sound, Basic Education in 2017, and she has also received an appointment to MyFutureNC, which is a commission of leaders from various areas—including education, government, business and faith—that was created in 2017 to push North Carolinians toward better education.

She was also chosen for the White House Regional Community College Summit in 2011, and this year she was named "President of the Year" by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges.

“It is an honor to return to my alma mater as a member of President Price’s leadership team, serving as vice president for Durham affairs and building on the fine work of Phail Wynn and the staff,” Williams said in the release. “I look forward to advancing public service, community engagement and strategic partnerships to the mutual benefit of the university and the community. "

Williams received the appointment after a nationwide search by a committee chaired by A. Eugene Washington, chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of the Duke University Health System.

"Stelfanie stood out as that exceptional leader for this important role because of her great intelligence, energy, wisdom and stellar record of success in the areas that are critical for Duke’s future success," Washington said in the release.


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