Jonathan Porter has been named associate vice president for Strategic Alliances and executive director of research development in the Office of Strategic Alliances, effective Sept. 28. 

In his new role, Porter will work closely with university leadership, faculty and staff, in the D.C. region and Blacksburg, to develop strategic collaboration and partnerships with federal agencies and laboratories, other academic institutions, and Washington, D.C., area-based associations and business groups to advance Virginia Tech’s strategic priorities.

“This is a fascinating time to be a part of Virginia Tech in the D.C. metro area,” said Porter. “Building long-term relationships with agencies in the D.C. area will allow us to engage in conversations that help set research agendas, create opportunities to grow our investment in core and emerging research areas, and align our capabilities with those agendas to increase the stature of Virginia Tech research.”

Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Porter served as chief scientist in the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Research, Development and Technology within the U.S. Department of Transportation. As chief scientist, he developed cross-cutting research initiatives and collaboration opportunities, led long-range strategic planning, and provided scientific and technical direction to the exploratory advanced research program.

“I am honored and excited to bring another Hokie on board, directly in service to his alma mater,” said Steve McKnight, vice president of Strategic Alliances. "Jon brings professional networks and research portfolio management expertise that align with the mission of the division. I look forward to working with him to grow and deepen research relationships in the region. Eyes are on Virginia Tech and this position puts an emphasis on our federal research portfolio and is an intentional and strategic effort.”

The Office of Strategic Alliances leverages proximity to federal agencies based in Northern Virginia and in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area to build relationships that can shape conversations around research areas and structure partnerships that can build on the strengths of Virginia Tech.

Porter has represented both the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Transportation on various National Science and Technology Council subcommittees and interagency working groups. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the Department of Defense, including assignment to the Pentagon where he provided oversight and guidance for defense laboratory management and policy initiatives and basic research programs.

Porter received a bachelor of science, master of science, and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.

Written by Kerone Wetter