Nan Jokerst Named Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives

New position will initially focus on enhancing undergraduate experience, support for women in STEM

Nan Jokerst, the J. A. Jones Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, has been named Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives of the Pratt School of Engineering.

The new position was created by Engineering Dean Ravi Bellamkonda to provide a dedicated focus on short- and long-term initiatives that strengthen, renew and build the school as a community of scholars. To begin her new appointment, Professor Jokerst will lead conversations and planning initiatives to assist and advise our department chairs and faculty search committees in strengthening Duke Engineering’s recruitment, retention and advancement of women tenure track faculty (as a particular emphasis), and enhancing the undergraduate student experience by leveraging relevant Duke-wide programs.

“Pratt has a history of innovation and leadership around women in STEM and our undergraduate experience that I am excited to build on,” said Jokerst. “Our goals are to make Duke the destination for women in STEM at all levels of engineering and to provide a distinctive experience for our undergraduates as they take advantage of what greater Duke has to offer. I think we can accomplish both goals by building a community and culture that encourage and value the contributions of everyone.”

“We are on a journey to truly explore excellence in scholarship and impact while partnering with colleagues across Duke to create the best possible learning opportunities for our students,” said Bellamkonda. “I am very pleased that a scholar and leader like Professor Jokerst will help lead our conversations on, and fashion solutions to, our strategic priorities.”

A self-described “people person,” Jokerst says she is excited about strengthening the Pratt community through personal engagement. She plans to begin her new role by assessing what programs are available both at Duke and beyond, and to understand the level of involvement of Pratt individuals in those programs. She will also be listening to women in STEM at all levels in Pratt—and to all Pratt undergraduates—in comfortable, friendly settings to understand the school’s current status and aspirations. 

“Pratt has an opportunity to lead Duke, the Triangle and the nation in these kinds of innovative programs that support women in STEM and our undergraduates,” said Jokerst. “Through the focus that Dean Bellamkonda and the Duke upper administration have placed upon these topics, we can aspire to serve as a model for Duke and for other institutions.”