About Leanora Minai


I was born in Africa to Italian-American parents and grew up in Singapore, Indonesia, Nigeria and Cameroon. My dad was a petroleum geologist whose explorations took my family all over the world. I attended The Masters School just outside New York City, where I discovered my love for writing.

After an adventurous childhood, my first real job was at McDonald’s in Plano, Texas, where I managed to win McDonald’s “Outstanding Service Person” during a Founder’s Day celebration. 

I graduated from Texas Christian University’s journalism program, now the Schieffer School of Journalism. I covered crime and city and county government as a staff writer for the Pulitzer Prize winning St. Petersburg Times, now The Tampa Bay Times.

I am now Executive Director of Communications for the Office of Communication Services at Duke University, where I serve as the editor for the award-winning Working@Duke magazine and co-editor for Duke Today. I'm pursuing a master's degree in liberal studies at Duke University and conducting research into grief following the death of a loved person in a car crash in North Carolina.

I'm always looking to make a difference and affect positive change. I received a certificate in documentary arts from Duke's Center for Documentary Studies after producing "The Mothers," a short documentary film about mothers in Durham, North Carolina, who support each other through grief after losing a child to murder.

I count among my passions looking at old buildings, exploring cities near and far on foot and enjoying life in the great city of Durham, North Carolina, with my family, which includes a mischievous silver labrador, Vinny.

Get in touch with me at LeanoraMinai@gmail.com.