Doug Brook and his wife Mariana moved to Twin Lakes Community from their home in Pacific Grove, California. When asked what drew them to the area, he shared that they owned a cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Mariana is a native North Carolinian and both have family nearby. While those were certainly factors contributing to their decision to move, perhaps the determining factor was “nothing there compared to what we found at Twin Lakes”. Doug offers two observations about Twin Lakes. First, “you can live a normal life here; it’s an easy place to transition into and be comfortable from the beginning.” Second, “the residents here are amazing. You can sit down next to almost anyone, have a good conversation and learn something.” If you sit down beside Doug Brook, you’ll learn much more than you might imagine.
Doug is Emeritus Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in CA where he was Dean of the Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Center for Defense Management Research. When they decided to move to North Carolina he immediately secured a visiting professorship at Duke University teaching in the Sanford School of Public Policy where he is about to enter his 10th year. There, he received the 2021 Richard Stubbing Award for teaching and mentoring graduate students; it recognizes outstanding contributions to the teaching mission of the graduate programs of the Sanford School.
At Twin Lakes, Doug serves alongside other volunteers who contribute to the community’s strength. Like many academics living at Twin Lakes, he has given lectures in the Friday and Saturday resident enrichment forum. He also volunteered as the first facilitator of the Resident Advisory Committee, which was the outcome of a research project conducted by a group of Duke graduate students. Their task was to research CCRC best practices for including resident input into the annual budget. The advisory committee was formed as a result of their recommendations and serves today to provide resident-led advice and input to management during the budget-making process. Since then, Doug has brought two additional teams of Duke students to campus to conduct research and offer suggestions on other topics selected by Twin Lakes senior management. When not teaching or volunteering you can usually find Doug in the fitness center or jogging around the campus. Once a week, you can count on him participating with the Wednesday morning golf group.
Not only is he active within the community but in the greater area as well. Doug and Mariana sing regularly with the Choral Society of Greensboro. A “semi-competitive” runner, Doug’s persistence in staying in shape paid off. In 2019, he won his age group in the 10K race at the North Carolina Senior Games.
Doug has held four Presidentially-appointed positions. He holds a B.A. degree in political science and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Michigan and remains an avid Michigan sports fan! He earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy at George Mason University. He served on active and reserve duty as a Navy supply corps officer retiring at the rank of captain.
If he had a life motto Doug says it would be "keep moving - physically, spiritually, intellectually and professionally." It seems clear he practices his advice. He continues to move in each of these areas with humility while touching the lives of those around him. We could all learn a thing or two from you, Doug. We’re glad you’re home at Twin Lakes.