Skip to main content

First in Future: Duke Endowment President Rhett Mabry

Summary: Well before his passing, James. B. Duke already had a vision for his philanthropic legacy, and he created the Duke Endowment with specific issues he cared about in mind, such as the support of child welfare. 

This week’s First in Future guest, Rhett Mabry, president of the Duke Endowment, and talks to us about a program that will benefit from this legacy—the multi-year launch of an experimental initiative that will explore what would happen if every child in a county who needed help in their early years received it.

This installment of First in Future is part of a special TV series produced in collaboration with UNC-TV, and recorded in UNC-TV’s Legislative Studio in downtown Raleigh. Taped segments will air on the North Carolina Channel. Visit for specific air

Excerpts:“You can have a great idea, but if it does not interface with the system, if the system does not adapt to it, then the system is going to reject it and that great idea will not thrive.”

Book recommendations:   Banker to The Poor by Muhammad Yunus

What key issues should we be working on within the next couple of years to make North Carolina a better place? The state of North Carolina’s perspective, I think we have got to figure out a way to have better civil discourse.

What do we need to focus on to be ready for the next 20 years?I think it is education, education, education… I think it is early childhood, I think it is public schools.”

Next great North Carolinian to watch? The Duke University students

Listen to the podcast: