Scholar Profiles

Leland Ben

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Loudonville, NY
High School: Choate Rosemary Hall

Born and raised in Albany, New York, the state capital, I have been privy to government dysfunction since a young age. By age ten, I was working on political campaigns, including those of my mother, who is an elected official. The political process has been a cornerstone of my development and has shaped my academic and extracurricular interests. At Duke I plan to pursue an academic track in either public policy, political science, or economics.

While at Choate Rosemary Hall, I was active in the community in ways beyond the traditional academic setting. As a representative on the Student Council, I was very active in the politics of the School. On the debate team, I provided instruction to novices and won several awards on the Debating Association of New England Independent Schools tournament circuit. I also wrote opinions pieces for The Choate News about contemporary political issues. In the summer of 2016, I was appointed to be the Head Page for the Democrats in the United States Senate by Senators Harry Reid and Kirsten Gillibrand.

In my free time, I enjoy working as as ski instructor at Stratton Mountain in Vermont and playing golf competitively.

What drew you to the Robertson Program? 

I came across the Robertson Program when I was applying to Duke and researching the school. Unlike any program at other universities, I was blown away by the Robertson’s focus on identifying and developing leadership skills and character traits of those students looking to make a difference across a wide range of fields–whether it be in the world of finance or the non-profit sector. Furthermore, the resources the program provides to students to undertake personal development initiatives in the summer is simply unparalleled.

Ben Leland 2021