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Center Staff


Joel Fleishman is Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University. He joined the Duke faculty in 1971, was the founding director of what is now the Sanford School of Public Policy, and has served the university as vice president, senior vice president, and first senior vice president. He took part-time leave from Duke from 1993 to 2003 to serve as president of the Atlantic Philanthropic Service Company, the United States program staff of the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Joel is author, co-author, or editor of numerous books and articles reflecting his long-standing interest in ethics, public policy, and nonprofit organizations. His most recent book, Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy for Today or Investing for Tomorrow?, was published in September 2017 by the Hachette Group. Another book, Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results, was co-authored with Thomas Tierney of the Bridgespan Group, was published in Spring 2011 by PublicAffairs. In addition, The Foundation: A Great American Secret—How Private Wealth Is Changing the World, was released in an expanded paperback edition in 2009.

Joel serves as a trustee of the Artscroll Mesorah Heritage Foundation, the American Hebrew Academy, and the Partnership for Public Service. He was formerly chairman of the visiting committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; chairman of the board of trustees of the Urban Institute; and trustee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Joel also serves as director of the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society within Duke’s Sanford School. As a part of this center, he hosts bi-weekly seminars during the academic year, known as FIRG.

In addition to his academic activities, Joel is a member of the board of directors of the Ralph Lauren Corporation. On the lighter side, for eight years he wrote a monthly wine column for Vanity Fair magazine.

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Cassie Lewis had been with the Heyman Center for Ethics as the staff assistant since 2011. In May of 2019 when Pam Ladd announced her retirement as Joel’s Executive Assistant of nearly 37 years, Cassie was promoted to the Administrative Assistant to Joel Fleishman. Upon Pam Ladd’s full retirement on November 1, 2019, Cassie’s duties evolved into program coordination for the Heyman Center and oversight of the Center for Strategic Philanthropy & Civil Society as well as Joel Fleishman’s Administrative Assistant.

Before taking her position in the Heyman Center and the Center for Strategic Philanthropy & Civil Society, she was a first-grade teacher. Aside from her duties in both centers, she enjoys playing the piano and teaching lessons to 10 students. She and her husband welcomed their first child, a baby boy, in December 2014. She is originally from Warsaw, Indiana.