The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

David A. Duckenfield '88

David A. Duckenfield is the President and a partner at Balsera Communications, where he focuses on new business development, strategic management of client accounts and day-to-day management of the firm. He has over 20 years’ experience in public diplomacy, corporate and marketing communications, brand building, crisis communications and public policy.

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Between 2014 and 2016, Duckenfield was a senior official in the Obama Administration, where he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs.  In this role he oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, which engaged the American public and state and local elected officials on the foreign policy policies and priorities of the administration.

During his tenure at the State Department, Duckenfield launched the “Cities@State” Department-wide initiative that focused on the nexus of foreign policy and urbanization and sought to develop diplomatic options and opportunities in that space.

In 2008 Duckenfield was a member of the Obama Campaign’s Florida Finance Committee and was part of the team that scripted and produced the national Spanish-language ads for the Obama for America campaign.

Duckenfield started his professional career as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the United States Information Agency (USIA), serving in Mexico City and Bogota, Colombia as press and cultural affairs attaché. He later moved on to become the senior communications manager and then director of marketing for NBA Latin America, at the league’s regional headquarters for Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market in Miami, FL. Before joining Balsera, Duckenfield was the director of PR and Marketing for Yahoo! Latin America, also based out of Miami.

He received the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award for his work during the 1995 civilian U.S. airliner crash in then rebel-controlled territory of Colombia.

David is a board trustee at the Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, FL and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a former vestry member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Coral Gables, FL and board member of St. Philips Episcopal School. David is also past board member on the Abbot Academy Association and past member of the Andover Alumni Council.

Duckenfield obtained a MA in Latin American Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.; earned a BA in History from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire; and graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

He is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.

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