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Chief of Staff to the President
The George Washington University
Phone: (202) 994-6500
Areas of Interest
1) crisis and risk communications
2) emergency response
3) public health
A former broadcast news anchor and national correspondent, Barbara Porter serves as Chief of Staff to President Steven Knapp of The George Washington University. Prior to her appointment, Porter served since March 2006 as Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, where she oversaw all media interactions for the University and was the crisis communications trainer and adviser for senior leadership. She previously served as Assistant Vice President at The George Washington University Medical Center, where she directed all communications, marketing, advertising and special projects for a group including the GW Hospital, MFA, Health Plan, and Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences and Public Health and Health Services. Porter also served GW as an Adjunct Assistant Instructor of Health Care Sciences, Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication. In this capacity, Porter taught crisis and risk communications and developed a crisis communications curriculum for emergency managers, law enforcement and health care professionals.
She honed her crisis communications skills for such events as the World Bank/IMF meetings, Nato Summit, hospital visits by Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General John Ashcroft , the events of 9-11 and the subse quent anthrax attacks. After September 11, Porter led a GW faculty effort to create the Response to Emergencies and Disasters Institute (READI) to train regional first responders and the Center for Emergency Preparedness (CEP) addressing hospital preparedness. In addition, she served on the University’s SARS Task Force to develop messages during that unfolding public health crisis. Her grant work on crisis communications includes projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the DC Department of Health (DOH) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Before coming to GW, Prorter was an anchor and correspondent for NBC Radio, USA Today, UPI Radio, and AP Radio in Washington, D.C. Her broadcasting career included assignments at the White House, Capitol Hill, and Wall Street.