Christopher Kilner

Dr. Christopher Kilner is a quantitative ecologist studying how climate change affects biodiversity and sustainable development; he is also the founder of the non-profit Woape Foundation and Hibernian Ventures—a firm working towards equity in higher education. As a Presidential and Goldwater Scholar at The University of Scranton, he parlayed his community engagement into positive change, serving as student body president and with the University Governance Council and Board of Trustees. Prior to arriving in Durham, Christopher earned an M.Sc. in Biodiversity & Conservation at Trinity College Dublin as a Mitchell Scholar, where he engaged with the nationalist and unionist parties of Northern Ireland to maintain and promote the Irish peace process. At Duke, Christopher continued his institutional service as: the Graduate/Professional Student representative to the Academic Council (2017-2019), a GPSG Representative (2019-2022) & Vice-President of Student Affairs (2022-2023), member and Chair (2021-2022) of the Young Trustee selection committee (2020-2023). 

Christopher’s passion for Duke stems from a deep respect for academia as a catalyst for societal progress. His tenure as a Blue Devil—marked by a pandemic, academic adversity, and a commitment to building communities—mirrors the challenges and opportunities facing higher education today. His experiences in fiduciary roles and international scholarship/diplomacy uniquely position him to contribute as a Trustee, ensuring Duke remains committed to its motto 'Eruditio et Religio.’ Keenly aware of the evolving landscapes of higher education, technology, and global research, Christopher will help build a Duke that leads the next 100 years with humility and justice.