Michael J. Schoenfeld oversees communications and advocacy for the university and medical center, the university’s Washington, DC, center, and serves as Duke’s chief spokesperson. He is also an adjunct lecturer in the Sanford School of Public Policy, where he teaches a course on media and politics. As the chief external affairs strategist, he directs the Duke’s efforts to connect with local, regional, national and global audiences, represents the university before a wide range of constituencies, and oversees crisis and issues management. Schoenfeld is also co-founder and chairman of Futurity (www.futurity.org), a multimedia consortium of more than 60 leading research universities from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
Schoenfeld previously served as vice chancellor for public affairs at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, from 1997-2008, where he created and led a comprehensive public affairs program that earned multiple honors, including regional Emmy awards for television production. He was twice named volunteer of the year by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and received the Otis Floyd Award for Distinguished Service to Education from the Tennessee College Public Relations Association.
Earlier, Schoenfeld was senior vice president for policy and public affairs at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Washington, D.C. He also held reporting and leadership positions at the Voice of America, including news and sports anchor, Congressional liaison officer, executive assistant and chief of staff to the director, and served as the first director of program development at Worldnet, the United States Information Agency’s global satellite television network.
Schoenfeld is a member of The Seminar, a group of senior public relations executives from the leading corporations and nonprofit organizations, a member of the board of trustees of Council for the Advancement and Support of Higher Education (CASE), and chairman the Public Issues Committee of the Consortium on Financing of Higher Education (COFHE). Schoenfeld also serves as chairman of the Durham Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the WUNC Public Radio Community Advisory Board and as a board member of the Triangle Community Foundation, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Museum of Durham History, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Midsouth), the Triangle Film Commission, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and the Carolina Theatre. In 2009, Schoenfeld was appointed by Governor Perdue to the North Carolina State Library Commission. He previously chaired the Nashville Cable TV Commission and the University School of Nashville, among others.
A 1984 Duke graduate, Schoenfeld received a master’s degree in public policy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1986.