Rukmini Balu

Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff
(919) 684-0319

Rukmini Balu is the Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff in the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs (DCA). In this role, she is responsible for strategic planning and implementation, monitoring community engagement impacts across the university and health system, and ensuring organizational effectiveness to best serve the needs of partners at Duke and in the surrounding communities.

Prior to this role, she served as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor for Health Affairs and President/CEO of the Duke University Health System. In this role, she worked closely with the Chancellor and other Duke Health leaders to conceptualize, prioritize and implement a variety of initiatives, including, strategic planning, coordinated communications and management of high-performance leadership teams.

Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office, Rukmini was Director of Strategy and Partnership Development for Duke Medicine Global (DMG), a group that she helped to establish and launch. Her responsibilities included building out the DMG team, developing sustainable models for funding and growth, business development and implementation of global community and health-focused projects. Rukmini’s experience prior to Duke includes R&D planning, clinical trial implementation and global commercial strategy for a leading pharmaceutical company, life sciences investment evaluation for a venture capital firm and work in a nonprofit community organization focused on environmental health, capacity building and advocacy.

As Adjunct Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, Rukmini teaches an undergraduate course at Duke on the social determinants of health and has also instructed students at Peking University and Duke Kunshan University on the fundamentals of global health. She holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MBA from the Harvard Business School and BS (Zoology Honors) and MS degrees (Life Sciences/Immunology) from India.