Tanner Lockhead
The Community Empowerment Fund, Fellow

Tanner Lockhead is a Durham native, Duke graduate, and community leader focused on breaking cycles of poverty at the intersection of policy and law.

Tanner currently serves as a Fellow at the Community Empowerment Fund where he leads initiatives on legal and employment services for 1,000 Durham and Orange County residents transitioning out of poverty and homelessness. Previously, he worked as an analyst at Hickman Analytics, a top DC political consulting firm, where he handled polling data on several major races, including those of Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Rep. David Trone (D-MD). Tanner has worked on human trafficking policy at the NC Department of Justice, campaign finance at the Brookings Institution, and HIV/AIDS pharmaceutical patent standards at the Treatment Action Campaign in Cape Town, South Africa. Before that, Tanner interned at Plantersville Summer Academy in Georgetown, SC where he taught elementary math to at-risk students. He is currently volunteering with the Bail Reform Initiative at the NC ACLU.

At Duke, Tanner was awarded the prestigious Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship, and holds degrees in Public Policy and Political Science (cum laude). He served as a voting member of the Duke Board of Trustees, overseeing university-wide strategic planning for two years on its Institutional Advancement Committee. As Vice President of Duke Student Government, he led a state-wide advocacy campaign against HB2 among student government associations, co-founded a new academic program on Durham at Duke, and secured an on-campus voting site. Tanner was also a varsity debater, regular Duke Chronicle opinion columnist, and founder of the University’s first LGBTQ-Christian ministry. He studied political philosophy abroad at the University of Oxford, and is an incoming JD Candidate at Columbia Law School where he was awarded the school’s Hamilton Fellowship, its highest award. He hopes to pursue a career in civil rights law and policy in North Carolina.