Duke Alum Wins Clinton Award

The award gives Katherine Becker the opportunity to study global security and borders at Queen’s University Belfast beginning in fall 2020.

-By Carla Burkhard / Office of University Scholars and Fellows

Duke alumna Katherine Becker, Trinity ’17, has been awarded the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Peace and Reconciliation.

The award provides a full tuition-fee waiver to an exceptional female student from the United States who wishes to pursue study in a field related to politics, conflict transformation or human rights at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. This is the second year the award has been offered.

Becker is the sole recipient of the award for 2020-2021. She will use her award to complete a master of arts in global security and borders, furthering her research interests in global migration.

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Becker graduated from Duke with distinction, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in history. During her time at Duke, she sang in the Duke Chorale, was involved in the Presbyterian Campus Ministry, and was the Duke Chapel student preacher in 2017. Becker also interned twice at Sanctuary for Families in New York City and completed a research fellowship at the U.S. Census Bureau. She was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English at a college in Ixtapan De La Sal, Mexico from 2017 to 2018.

Since returning from Mexico, Becker has served as a bilingual program assistant at the University of North Carolina School of Law Clinical Programs and as an outreach volunteer with Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Farmworker Unit. 

At Queen’s University Belfast, Becker will study the experiences of asylum seekers and low-wage migrant workers in Northern Ireland. After completing her studies in Belfast, she plans to complete her J.D. at Yale Law School. Her long-term goal is to return to practice law and advocate on behalf of low-income clients in North Carolina.

Queen’s University Belfast appointed Clinton as chancellor in January 2020, and the Peace and Reconciliation Award honors the former first lady, Senator and Secretary of State for her role as an advocate for the inclusion of women’s voices in the Northern Ireland peace process and her long-standing commitment to peace, stability and education.