Executive Branch

The GPSG Executive Branch is elected annually by the GPSG General Assembly in May. The Executive Branch meets regularly and oversees various Government operations and committees. The Executive Branch is composed of eight (8) members.


Keanu Valibia (he/him/his)
Bio: Keanu is a 2nd-year dual Master’s student in Public Policy and Environmental Management. Originally from California, he graduated from UC Riverside with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Information Systems. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked in both the private and public sectors over 5 years across tech consulting, advertising, nonprofit management, and disaster relief. His work with the Filipino diaspora on disaster relief inspired his decision to pursue his graduate studies at Duke University, where he’s interested in climate finance, impact investments, and general sustainability consulting. During his first year at Duke, he served in the Sanford School of Public Policy Student Council as Secretary while focusing on career services and academic initiatives. Outside of work and class, Keanu is usually found in the gym, playing video games, cooking, watching Formula 1 racing, or chasing new hobbies. For concerns regarding graduate and professional student life, inquiries about how to get involved in GPSG, or proposals for campus wide initiatives, email gpsg.president@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The President is the chief spokesperson of the Council and is the official liaison between the Council and all outside bodies, both inside the University community and outside.

Contact the President: For ideas, thoughts, or concerns regarding Graduate Student Life that you would like GPSG to focus on or discuss, if you are interested in serving in any capacity with GPSG, or if you would like to propose a co-sponsorship with a campus-wide initiative.

Vice President

Jay Panuganti (he/him/his)
Bio: Jayant "Jay" Panuganti (he/him/his) is a candidate for the Master of Biomedical Sciences at Duke University’s School of Medicine. Originally from Michigan, Jay Graduated from Michigan State University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Human Biology. During his time there, Jay participated in several important roles on campus such as undergraduate general assembly representative, resident assistant, student success mentor, and level 3 security council member. Using the experiences from these roles and others, Jay hopes to work towards developing an inclusive graduate community that acknowledges our differing backgrounds, thoughts, beliefs, and identities. In his free time, Jay often enjoys playing the piano, playing basketball, doing stand–up comedy, and hanging out with friends. Feel free to email him at gpsg.vicepresident@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Vice President is responsible for supporting the Directors and works closely with the President. The Vice President shall assist with coordinating the effective operation of the Executive Branch.

Contact the Vice President: For ideas, thoughts, or concerns regarding Graduate Student Life that you would like GPSG to focus on or discuss, if you are interested in serving in any capacity with GPSG, or if you would like to propose a co-sponsorship with a campus-wide initiative.
Gabriel Kennedy

Director of External Advocacy

Gabriel Kennedy (he/him/his)
Bio: Gabriel is a 2nd year PhD student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics. He is a born and bred North Carolinian, though he has lived across the country and across the world. He earned his BS in Psychology from Tufts University working in spatial cognition. After his undergraduate career, he worked for the Stanford Alzheimer's Disease Research Center as a data analyst with a focus on the cross-section between genetic data and MRI scans. He has spent time working at the US Capitol and is passionate about ensuring that as students, our voice is heard just as loudly as any other constituent within our democracy. As scholars, we have an important perspective to share, and he is committed to that goal. Outside of Duke, he enjoys biking, hiking, acting,and reading, sometimes simultaneously! He is an active board gamer and theatre nerd. He is always down to chat about musicals and plays. If you have any interest in advocacy from local to state to federal, please reach out. Additionally, we are always looking for people to join our committee, so come be a part of our community! Feel free to email him at gpsg.externaladvocacy@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Director of External Advocacy focuses on broad issues affecting graduate and professional students at the local, state, and national levels. The Director keeps the General Assembly members aware of what’s happening, how GPSG is involved, and what the Government can do to help. They also manage annual GPSG voter registration efforts.

Contact the Director of External Advocacy: For questions about what types of advocacy GPSG is involved in, suggestions for how we can do more to ensure we are representing everyone and taking action on the relevant issues for our community or if you’d like to volunteer with the External Advocacy Committee.
Allie Hargrove

Director of Durham Relations

Allie Hargrove (she/her/hers)
Bio: Allie Hargrove is a second-year M.Div./MSW dual at Duke Divinity and UNC Chapel Hill. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Allie graduated from Furman University, where she received a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Poverty Studies. Post-graduation, Allie worked at a nonprofit, where she came alongside unhoused individuals and those with low wealth to work towards self-identified goals and focus areas. It was experiences like that fostered an interest both in community organizing and economic development, and ignited a passion for flourishing neighborhoods. Allie spearheads the Duke Graduate and Professional Student Chapter of Durham CAN, and would love to plug interested students in the chapter. Feel free to shoot her an email at gpsg.durhamrelations@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Director of Durham Relations is responsible for developing programming to connect Duke Graduate and Professional students with the broader Durham community and for promoting engagement with local community organizations.

Contact the Director of Durham Relations: For getting involved with community outreach or knowing about Durham-based organizations.

Director of Academic Affairs

Julian Liber (he/him/his)
Bio: Julian Liber is currently a second-year PhD student in the Department of Biology and serves as the Secretariat Representative for Trinity students in the knowledge domain of Natural Sciences. He also serves as the chair for the Doctoral Student Affairs Committee. Previously, Julian served as the General Assembly representative for his department and as GPSG’s representative to the University’s Campus Sustainability Committee. Julian studies the diversity and biotechnological potential of microbes, especially fungi, that live on plant leaves. He hopes to use these organisms to help plants survive impacts of climate change, notably disease, heat waves, and drought. Outside of his research, Julian enjoys looking for fungi on hikes, cooking and baking, photography, and playing with his two cats, Attie and Belle. Feel free to email him at gpsg.academicaffairs@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Director of Academic Affairs acts as a resource with regard to University policies and academic affairs, including the broader issues of diversity, harassment, discrimination, and due process. The Director of Academic Affairs also manages the GPSG Lawyer Assistance Program.

Contact the Director of Academic Affairs: For questions about University resources and policies, Alumni events and resources, career services, and the Lawyer Assistance Program.
Sandra Okeke Bates

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Sandra Okeke Bates (she/her/hers)
Bio: Sandra is an ABSN student at Duke University School of Nursing. She is interested in addressing health inequities among people of color, immigrants, individuals with disability, older adults, and LGBTQ+ communities through patient advocacy, evidence-based practices, and organizing awareness campaign at the community and nationwide level. She is Nigerian born and raised; after obtaining her bachelors in business administration and management in the year 2012, she worked in business banking for 5 years before moving to Virginia, where she spent the last few years assisting healthcare providers in caring for diverse population of patients. Sandra enjoys visiting Duke Gardens with her husband and two children, she loves cheering at her son’s soccer games, and learning how to play piano. She also enjoys exploring different cuisines, attending cultural festivals, creating memorable experiences with people, and volunteering at community pantries and schools. Feel free to email her at gpsg.dei@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Director of DEI focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion on campus to create a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for a broad diversity of identity and affinity groups, establishing direct relationships with student leaders for identity and affinity groups, and serving as the liaison to all structural centers dedicated to the historically marginalized or underrepresented students on campus.

Contact the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: To ask questions about current Duke DEI policies, suggest GPSG projects, or address concerns related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Director of Environment and Sustainability

Meera Ayyagari (she/her/hers)
Bio: Meera Ayyagari is a graduate student at the Nicholas School of the Environment with a focus on Energy. As an international student and former program representative from the Nicholas School in the GPSG and a current member of the Climate Crisis committee and Nicholas School Energy Club, Meera is active in advocating for sustainable spaces and addressing energy insecurity in developing countries. As a mechanical engineer – turned environmental specialist, she looks forward to making Duke more sustainable, and bring greater climate awareness to and action in the graduate and professional student community at Duke. She enjoys reading, hiking, and sketching, and is always open to talk about issues surrounding climate change. Feel free to email her at gpsg.environment@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Director of Environment and Sustainability focuses on organizing GPSG’s efforts to advocate for increased environmental protection and is responsible for holding Duke accountable for its commitment to environmental justice and sustainable business practices. The Director also coordinates and assists with functions of the Climate Crisis Committee and serves on or liaises with the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility.

Contact the Diector of Environment and Sustainability: For questions about sustainability initiatives, comments about Duke's climate policies, and suggestions for environmental justice initiatives and policies in GPSG and in the Duke University community as a whole.
Kiran Shehnaz Kaur

Director of Community Pantry

Kiran Shehnaz Kaur (she/her/hers)
Bio: Kiran is a second-year Master of Science student studying Neural Engineering in the Biomedical Engineering department at Pratt School of Engineering. Her main research interests are focused on neurodegenerative and neurotherapeutic fields. Originally from Punjab, India, Kiran completed her Bachelor of Technology in Electronics Engineering with a specialization in Biomedical Engineering at VIT Vellore. She actively participated in several non-profit organizations during her college studies, including Juvenile Care and the Red Cross Association. She was a board member for a few organizations, both scientific and cultural. She has had the privilege of managing a team of 30 employees in capturing and documenting assets while working for the International Standard Organization (ISO) Committee. Being a Sikh, community service is a fundamental part of her culture and what drives her to continuously improve. In addition to her involvement in school and the community, she has a passion for plants and is always happy to chat about them. When she can, she likes to go horseback riding as well. Feel free to email her at gpsg.communitypantry@duke.edu.

Responsibilities: The Director of the Community Pantry is responsible for the organization and operations of the Durham Pantry and its mission of reducing food insecurity. The Director is the official liaison and chief spokesperson between the Pantry and the broader Duke community.

Contact the Diector of Community Pantry: For questions about the Community Pantry hours of operations, volunteer opportunities, and general inventory.