Dan Porterfield Named Next Aspen Institute President and CEO

November 30, 2017

Franklin & Marshall President to succeed Walter Isaacson

Contact: Jim Spiegelman
VP/Chief External Affairs Officer; Deputy to the President
Tel. 202.736.3849

Washington, DC, November 30, 2017 — The Aspen Institute announced today that Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., President of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), will be become the next President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. Porterfield will succeed Walter Isaacson, effective June 1, 2018. In order to facilitate continuity of operations and an effective transition, Isaacson will remain CEO until Porterfield assumes his new role.

“An innovative, strategic thinker, Dan brings to the Institute an intellectual depth, a commitment to inclusivity and diversity, and an ability to lead a complex, mission-driven organization. Dan is a living example of values-based leadership, as he has sought to create impact and make a difference in the world throughout his career. This makes him the perfect leader for this moment in the Institute’s history,” said Aspen Institute Chairman of the Board James S. Crown.

“I could not be more thrilled to be joining the team at the Aspen Institute,” said Porterfield. “I have seen first-hand how this organization can take a great idea and turn it into something that can have a real impact on society. At every stage of my career I have strived to bring those values to my work, so the opportunity to serve the Institute’s inspiring mission speaks to me in a very deep way, as a calling.”

“Dan Porterfield is one of our nation’s most dynamic leaders. He has a proven track record of not only being successful, but also of making a positive impact on the organizations he leads and the communities they serve,” said Aspen Institute Trustee and former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. “As a college president, Dan has been held in the highest regard by students, faculty and board members because he is public-spirited and dedicated to making a difference. The world needs strong, thoughtful, and engaging leaders such as Dan.”

Dan Porterfield has served since 2011 as President of Franklin & Marshall College, a leading national liberal arts college in Lancaster, PA. There, he led the development of a visionary strategic plan, including an expansion of the College’s financial aid program, the launch of a new approach to students’ personal and professional success, and the development of partnerships with K-12 educators and college access networks. Under his leadership, F&M has set school records for applications, fundraising, and fellowships, leading to an increase in the academic profile, diversity, and selectivity of its students. In 2016, Porterfield was named one of 11 “Champions of Change for College Opportunity” by the White House.

Prior to his tenure at F&M, Porterfield was Senior Vice President for Strategic Development at Georgetown University. In this role, he oversaw Georgetown’s institutional positioning, communications, government and community relations, as well as intercollegiate athletics. He also spearheaded the University’s connection with the DC public schools and founded a number of Georgetown programs for immigrant children, DC students, and at-risk youth.

Before joining Georgetown in 1997, Porterfield served as a senior aide to then-US Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala. He earned BA degrees from Georgetown and Oxford and his Ph.D. at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and was also awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. He is a native of Baltimore, MD, and is married to Karen A. Herrling. They have three children.

For more information, including photos of Dan, a lengthier biography, and the letter sent by Jim Crown following the announcement of this decision, please click here: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/newpresident

News about this announcement will be shared on social media using the hashtag #AspenWelcomesDan. Follow and tag the @AspenInstitute in your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

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