About Wendy

I’m a parent, a former educator, and an advocate for social and economic justice. My commitment to making our world better is rooted in my upbringing and my 40 years living here in Durham. As your county commissioner, I love working with people across the community to make change through local government. I’m running for re-election because Durham is at a moment of incredible growth and opportunity. I want to keep working for affordable housing, walkable and bikeable communities, connections to good jobs for our residents, and community safety.

I grew up in a supportive family in New Jersey, where I was grounded in my Jewish faith tradition and the beliefs of Tikkun Olam (heal the world) and Tzedakah (giving). As a student at Duke, I learned about the power of listening to and organizing with others. I helped to create the Duke Coffeehouse, a space where the Duke and Durham community could come together that still thrives today. I also worked with students and young people in the West End, which cemented my love for teaching.

As a teacher at Holt Elementary, Carolina Friends School, and at public schools in Caswell County, I experienced firsthand the importance of public funding for education, and how lack of funding disproportionately affects low-income, Black and Latino/e kids. My commitment to public education continued as my three kids moved through DPS.

As a DPS parent, I got involved in my kids’ schools, then became the chair of my neighborhood group. I worked with my neighbors to create a new park. This was a collaborative effort with local governments, nonprofits, and residents. Today, people from across the Triangle continue to enjoy Hollow Rock Nature Park every day. I learned how persistence and organizing can create real benefits for our community, and went on to serve on the Durham Planning Commission. I ran for County Commissioner in 2012 because as our County grew, I wanted to help make thoughtful decisions about housing and our environment.

As your Commissioner, I work hard to address local issues. I take a collaborative approach and listen closely to community members and County staff. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to make sure that every child in Durham has access to high-quality, affordable pre-K. We’ve increased funding for Durham Public Schools, and I will continue to support quality public education for every child. I’m excited about the investments we’re making in services for people with complex mental health and substance use needs—individuals in our community who deserve housing and supportive services outside of the justice system. And I want to see through our historic investments in transit and affordable housing in my next term.

Together we can keep building systems and making changes that benefit all of us.

Learn More About Wendy

Current Boards, Commissions and Committees

  • Member, Durham County Board of Commissioners (Chair 2016-2020, Vice Chair 2020-2023)
  • Chair, Durham County Social Services Board
  • Chair, Durham Familiar Faces Initiative
  • Board Member, Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (Chair 2020-2021, Vice Chair 2018-2019)
  • Chair, Upper Neuse River Basin Association
  • Co-Chair, Durham Joins Together Saving Lives
  • Member, Durham Stepping Up Initiative
  • Board Member, Discover Durham Tourism Development Authority
  • Co-Chair, City-County Museum of Durham History Subcommittee
  • Board of Visitors Member, North Carolina Central University
  • Chair, Dementia Inclusive Inc.
  • Member, Joint City-County Planning Committee
  • Member, TJCOG-enter of the Region Enterprise (CORE)
  • Member, Voices Together Advisory Board
  • Board Member, Lincoln Community Health Center
  • Member, NACO Justice and Public Safety Peer Learning Network
  • Member, NACO Familiar Faces Initiative Leadership Network
  • Member, NACO Stepping Up Initiative Innovator County Network
  • Member, NACO Immigration Reform Task Force
  • Member, NCACC Presidential Leadership Steering Committee, “One More Thing” Collaborating to Reduce Overdoses
  • Member, NCACC Health and Human Services Steering Committee
  • Member, NCACC Environmental Steering Committee
  • Member, NCACC Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee
  • Member, Triangle Bikeways Plan Steering Committee
  • Member, CAMPO and DCHCMPO Joint Regional Rail Subcommittee
  • Member, Access to Care, Capacity and Community Education SUI Subcommittee
  • Member, Durham Rotary Club
  • Associate Member, Rougemont Ruritan Club

Work Experience

  • Durham County Commissioner, December 2012-Present
  • Project manager and administrative assistant, Unique Places, A conservation-driven real estate and land management company
  • Teacher, 5th and 6th grades, Anderson Elementary School, Caswell County Public Schools
  • Teacher, Special Education, Grades K-5, Bartlett Yancey Elementary, Caswell County Public Schools
  • Teacher, 5th grade, Holt Elementary School, Durham Public Schools
  • Teacher intern/Assistant teacher, Grades 2-4, Carolina Friends School


  • Achievement of Ambassador Level Status, Local Elected Leaders Academy, School of Government, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, August 2015
  • Advanced Leadership Corp Training, School of Government, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, September 2014
  • Teaching Certification, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Intermediate Education, 1987
  • Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, Duke University, 1983. Included Study in China program at Beijing Teachers College, Nanjing University 1983