Dan Porterfield, Ph.D. was named the next president and CEO of the Aspen Institute after a nine-month search, succeeding Walter Isaacson, effective June 1, 2018. Isaacson has led the Institute for more than 14 years, overseeing a period of rapid growth and success, marking what the institute calls a “second Golden Age” in the organization’s history. Porterfield has served as president of Franklin & Marshall College since 2011. Under his guidance, the college has set school records for fundraising, fellowships and applications while completing the construction of new visual arts, student wellness, career services and faculty excellence centers. Through the Next Generation Initiative talent strategy, the college tripled its percentage of low-income students and more than doubled the percentage of minority students.
Before his leadership of Franklin & Marshall, Porterfield served as senior vice president for strategic development and as an English professor at Georgetown University. His own education includes a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown, a master’s degree in English from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York. Porterfield’s first job after completing the majority of his education and before working in academia was as a speechwriter and deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he also served as a senior aide to HHS Secretary Donna Shalala. Porterfield will finish the academic year at Franklin & Marshall College while Isaacson leads the Aspen Institute through its move to a new headquarters.