Public Affairs and Government Relations Staff

Michael J. Schoenfeld

Michael J. Schoenfeld - Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations
Phone: (919) 681 3788
Schoenfeld oversees communications and advocacy efforts for the university and medical center and serves as Duke’s chief spokesperson. Full Bio

Donna Hubert

Donna Hubert - Executive Assistant
Phone: (919) 668-1780
Fax: (919) 681-8919

Michele Wittman

Michele M. Wittman - Executive Assistant
Phone: (919) 681-3788
Fax: (919) 681-8919

Senior Staff

Kristen Brown - Associate Vice President for News and Communications
(919) 684-2823
Office of News and Communications
Carolyn Gerber - Special Assistant to the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations
(919) 681-8067
Chris Simmons - Associate Vice President for Federal Relations
(919) 668-6270
Office of Federal Relations
Doug Heron - Associate Vice President for Government Relations
(919) 416-8923
Office of State Relations
Paul A. Vick - Associate Vice President for Government Relations
(919) 416-8911
Duke Health Government Relations


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 (, 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 reporter/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 organization, the Arthur W. Page Society, and the National Press Club.  He is the immediate past chairman of the Durham Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the WUNC Public Radio Community Advisory Board, and chairman of the Public Issues Committee of the Consortium on Financing of Higher Education (COFHE).  He also serves on the board 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, The Music Health Alliance and the Carolina Theatre.

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.

Donna Hubert came to the Office of the Senior Vice President in December 2002. Previous experience includes 18 years with the following Duke departments: Office of the Executive Vice President, FAST Track Project, Facilities Planning and Management, and the Central Payroll Office. A graduate of East Carolina University, Donna’s responsibilities include acting as the Senior budget and personnel/Human Resource officer for the division of Public Affairs and Government Relations.

Michele Wittman provides the Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations with administrative and event management support; manages the day-to-day calendar and travel needs for the Vice President; manages daily operational and administrative activities for the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations (PAGR); and serves as the main point of contact for the PAGR office. Previous experience includes 6 years with the Duke Nicholas School of The Environment as Development Program Coordinator & Office Manager, 2 years as outside event coordinator for the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and Duke Liver Center, and 2 years as banquet manager with the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Michele is a graduate of Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.