Franklin & Marshall College President Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., prioritizes enhancing academic excellence, supporting students, building campus community and increasing civic outreach. A scholar of English, he teaches literature courses dealing with human rights, education and social justice.
Since becoming president on March 1, 2011, Porterfield has strengthened support for faculty and student research, launched new initiatives to enhance students’ personal and professional development and overseen a strategic planning process designed to solidify F&M’s position as a leading national liberal arts college during a time of rapid change in American higher education.
Under Porterfield’s leadership, F&M has recruited some of the most selective and diverse classes in its history, an accomplishment realized, in part, through significant increases in F&M’s financial-aid expenditures and broader outreach to promising students in underserved communities. For example, F&M has expanded partnerships with K-12 education and college access networks including the Posse Program, KIPP, Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, the National College Advising Corps and the Cristo Rey Network, on whose Board Porterfield serves. Porterfield also sits on presidents councils for Teach For America and the National College Advising Corps. In 2012, KIPP honored him with its “Beyond Z” award, which “celebrates members of the school community who go above and beyond for the benefit of children.”
Porterfield is a frequent contributor to the national dialogue on issues like the value of the liberal arts, college access and the impact of technology on higher education. His pieces have been featured in publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Houston Chronicle and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he writes a regular blog for The Huffington Post.
Prior to his appointment at Franklin & Marshall, Porterfield served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development for his alma mater, Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. In this role, he led Georgetown's institutional positioning, communications, government relations, community relations and intercollegiate athletics, and spearheaded the University’s relationship with the D.C. public schools. He founded a number of longstanding Georgetown programs for immigrant children, D.C. students and at-risk youth.
Before coming to Georgetown in 1997, Porterfield served for four years as a senior aide to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala.
Porterfield was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. He earned his Ph.D. at The City University of New York Graduate Center.
A native of Baltimore, Porterfield is married to Karen A. Herrling, an advocacy attorney in state and local enforcement of immigrant rights. They have three children.