Our Team

Duke Health Government Relations 

Catherine Liao, MSPH
Associate Vice President

Catherine Liao leads Duke Health's government relations office, working to strengthen Duke's identity and reputation on biomedical research, education, training, and service. She previously served as Assistant Vice President and Director for Duke Health Government Relations. Prior to joining Duke, she worked on Capitol Hill for six years managing health, education, labor, and housing appropriations issues for a senior member of Congress. She has worked as a research assistant at the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, assisting staff with review of federal health reform legislation and recommendations for implementation at the state level. She also completed an administrative fellowship and served in the office of the Chief of Staff at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Ms. Liao was selected to participate in Leadership North Carolina Class XXVI, which aims to inform, develop, and engage committed leaders across the Tar Heel State. She also is one of 18 fellows in the Class of 2019 of the Carol Emmott Fellowship, a national program that develops and empowers female leaders to leave a mark on health care.

Ms. Liao holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health.


James Tucker, JD

James Tucker manages a broad portfolio of health policy issues with an emphasis on Veterans and Department of Defense health programs and initiatives. Prior to joining Duke, James was Director of Policy Strategy for Independent Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based national leadership network of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations, leading the government relations team’s work on health care, tax, and appropriations issues. He also served as the Director of Policy for the Parkinson’s Action Network / Michael J. Fox Foundation, guiding the organization’s engagement on issues related to federal appropriations for medical research, health care reform implementation, Medicare access, Social Security Disability Insurance, and the Department of Defense Health Program. He has over a decade of experience in public policy, advocacy, and constituent service.

Mr. Tucker holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Administration from Clemson University and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.


Julie D. Gay
Business Manager

Julie Gay is responsible for overall administrative management and coordination of a variety of business related functions such as finance, budget, payroll, space and facilities planning, and policy interpretation and reporting. Prior to joining the government relations team, Ms. Gay served as the national coordinator for Project Medical Education, a program developed at Duke and now a part of the communications initiatives of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Previously, she was coordinator of continuing education programming for Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Ms. Gay earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.