Cynthia "Mil" Duncan returned to the University of New Hampshire in the spring of 2004 as founding director of the Carsey Institute. Widely recognized for her research on rural poverty and changing rural communities, Duncan was a sociologist at UNH for 11 years before leaving to become director of the Ford Foundation's Community and Resource Development Unit in 2000. At the Ford Foundation she was responsible for a team of national and international leaders in the community development, youth, and environmental fields. Duncan was the associate director of the Rural Economic Policy Program at the Aspen Institute prior to her former work at the University.
In 1999, Duncan published Worlds Apart: Why Poverty Persists in Rural America, which received the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best book in Community and Urban Sociology. Duncan is the author of numerous book chapters and refereed articles. She received her PhD from the University of Kentucky in sociology and is a recipient of the University of Kentucky Department of Sociology Thomas R. Ford Distinguished Alumni Award. Duncan has a BA from Stanford University.
University Dialogue contribution: Poverty and Community: Understanding Culture and Politics in Poor Places