“With her distinguished legal career, wide-ranging interests and expertise, and her deep roots in the Carolinas, we know Allyson Duncan will be a strong addition to our Board,” said Chair Minor Shaw. “Our founder wanted his Trustees to be ‘persons of character and ability,’ and she fits that mandate completely.”
A native of Durham, N.C., Duncan served as a judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 2003 until her retirement in 2019. She was the first African American and first woman from North Carolina to serve on the 4th Circuit; the first African American woman to serve on the North Carolina Appellate Courts; and, from 2003 – 2004, the first African American (and the third woman) to serve as President of the North Carolina Bar Association.
Before joining the 4th Circuit, Duncan was a partner in the Raleigh offices of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, where she focused on government relations and utility matters, primarily involving energy. She was a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission from 1991 – 1997, served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and was an Assistant Professor of Law at North Carolina Central University. Duncan worked for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1978 – 1986, serving as an Appellate Attorney, Legal Counsel, and Executive Assistant to the Chairman. She earned her J.D. from Duke University School of Law after graduating first in her class at Hampton University.
Duncan’s involvement within the legal and judicial communities includes serving as President of the North American/Asian Group of the International Association of Judges and past president of the Federal Judges Association. She was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to chair the International Judicial Relations Committee and she is a member of the American Law Institute. Duncan was a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees from 2011 – 2021.
Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.