David's interest in ethics and environmental policy is rooted in his experience of growing up and living in rural Montana, where he was on the receiving end of environmental policies concerning everything from mining, timber, and range land to endangered species, wilderness areas, and national parks, and where such things are regular topics of conversations at dinner tables and in bars.David Toole has a joint appointment in the Divinity School, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Duke Global Health Institute. He is a convener of the Religions and Public Life program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. He teaches courses on theology and social science, the history and ethics of humanitarianism, and health systems and policy, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. His current research centers on the role of mission hospitals in African health systems, with a particular focus on the countries of the Nile River Basin in eastern Africa. He is the author of Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo: Theological Reflections on Nihilism, Tragedy, and Apocalypse. In addition to his teaching and his research on hospitals and health systems, he serves as the associate dean for Interdisciplinary Initiatives in the Divinity School and is the principal investigator of the Clergy Health Initiative. He is a lay Catholic and a member of Holy Infant Catholic Church in Durham, N.C.
Kay’s motivation for engaging with the ethics in environmental policy comes from her practical experience working in environmental policy as well as her training in sociology and law. Her work on issues ranging from environmental justice to endangered species have given her deeper insight into the complexities that values, beliefs, and ethical commitments introduce into environmental decision making processes and to the importance of addressing such complexities.Kay Jowers is a senior policy associate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Her work focuses on analyzing state regulatory and policy approaches to addressing environmental issues.
Before joining the Nicholas Institute, Kay worked as an environmental attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center and the University of Denver’s Environmental Law Clinic. She is pursuing her doctorate in political and environmental sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She holds a J.D. with a concentration in environmental law from Tulane University Law School, a master's degree in environmental health sciences from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina.
Ruxandra Popovici is an associate in research at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Her work at the Nicholas Institute supports the PLANET project. In 2017, Popovici completed her Ph.D. in environment at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment Where her research focused on the outcomes of payment for environmental service (PES) programs in rural Mexico communities. Her work with Mexican community members, NGOs, and government officials continues. She is presently helping rural entrepreneurs invest PES payments into environmentally sustainable community businesses.
Popovici holds a master’s degree in geography from Carleton University and a bachelor’s degree in international development with a minor in Spanish from the University of Ottawa.
Ryan first encountered the ethical dimensions of environmental policy while working for a human rights organization in the Peruvian Amazon, where he saw the complex impacts of mining and a cement factory on indigenous peoples and lands. His academic work, in part, looks at how descriptive statements about land and the environment include moral, theological, and evaluative claims within them.
Ryan is a PhD student in the Christian Theological Studies track of the Graduate Program in Religion. His research engages theological ethics, political ecology and political economy in the Americas, and religion in modernity. He is particularly interested in how people conceptualize and politicize their theological relation to "nature."