Duke's three newest trustees are David Gergen Hon. '01 of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Kathryn A. Laidlaw '04 of Katy, Texas; and William P. Miller '77 of Greensboro, North Carolina. They began their terms on the thirty-seven-member governing body July 1.
Gergen is a professor of public service at Harvard University and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also editor-at-large of U.S. News & World Report. Over the past thirty years, he has served as an adviser to four U.S. presidents. At age thirty, he was head of the speech-writing and research team for President Richard Nixon. He was special counsel to President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977 and, in the early 1980s, was the first communications director for President Ronald Reagan. In 1993, Gergen was counselor to President Bill Clinton on both foreign policy and domestic affairs and then special international adviser to the president and to Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
A longtime journalist, Gergen frequently lectures and comments on world events. In 2000, he published a best-selling book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton, now used in many college classes.
Gergen, a native of Durham, has strong ties to Duke. He was a member of the faculty of Duke's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy from 1995 to 1998. His father, John J. Gergen, was a professor of mathematics at Duke from 1936 to the time of his death in 1967. Gergen received an honorary degree from Duke in 2001 and delivered the commencement address at Duke's graduation exercises in 1995.
Laidlaw graduated magna cum laude from Duke in May, having majored in French and European studies with a minor in comparative area studies. She also earned a certificate in markets and management. She will join The Parthenon Group, a strategy-consulting firm in Boston, as an associate in September.
While at Duke, Laidlaw was a founding member of the Nasher Museum Student Advisory Board, executive vice president of the Duke Union, and chair of the union's visual-arts committee. She also served as a Duke Student Government legislator and president of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. During her college summers, Laidlaw interned with a Houston law firm, conducted market research for the outsourced benefits administration firm Ox International, interned with U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson's press office in Washington, and was a summer associate at The Parthenon Group.
Laidlaw will serve a three-year "young trustee" term, serving as a nonvoting member the first year and as a voting member the following two years.
Miller is a managing partner of the High Point law firm of Roberson Haworth & Reese. His practice is concentrated in the areas of bankruptcy law, commercial real property, and municipal law. He has been a member of the Chapter 7 Panel of Trustees for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina since 1998. He has served as a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Bankruptcy Council of the Bankruptcy Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and the President's Council of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees.
Miller received his law degree from the University of North Carolina in 1980. He is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy law at legal conferences and at Wake Forest University's law school. He is also the city attorney for Archdale, North Carolina, a former member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Municipal Attorneys Association, and a council member of the Bankruptcy Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has been board counsel to the High Point Regional Association of Realtors for the past fifteen years.
Active in civic and charitable organizations in the High Point area, Miller is a past president of the Duke Club of High Point and has served on a number of university boards and committees. He is president of the Duke Alumni Association for 2004-05. He will serve a two-year term on the board, the first year in a nonvoting capacity and the second year as a voting member.