Duchess Harris

Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Professor of American Studies/Political Science, Macalester College


  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A.
  • University of Minnesota, Ph.D.
  • Mitchell Hamline, J.D.

Dr. Duchess Harris is the Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives and a Professor of American Studies at Macalester College. She is also an affiliated member of the Political Science Department and co-directs the Congress to Campus Program.

She began her academic career at Canterbury School in New Milford, CT. After prep school, she was a Mellon Mays Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. While in graduate school, she worked for the late U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone and attended Yale’s First Summer Campaign School in 1994.

She did a Policy Fellowship at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and also completed Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Georgia. She earned a J.D. from Mitchell Hamline College of Law and is now a Trustee. Harris has advocated on the national level at the Congressional Black Caucus. She was on the Shirley Chisholm Presidential Accountability Commission during the Obama Administration, and is currently a member of the Kamala Harris Project.

Her awards and recognitions include the 2015 Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, “Profiles in Courage” Award.

Law and Black Health: Cradle to Grave