Maryfrances Porter, Ph.D., is the President and Founder of Partnerships for Strategic Impact™. She completed her B.A at Emory University in 1996, and received her Master’s in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) in 2001. In 2005, Dr. Porter completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at U.Va. with an emphasis on community psychology. She is a licensed, clinical psychologist.

Maryfrances brings over 20 years of experience in research and using data in leading local change initiatives across a wide range of service providers. She has expertise in evaluating public service systems across sectors (including working with courts, school districts and local governments), as well as in assessing system and individual opportunities for growth and change, developing strategic vision and action, and facilitating collaborative, strengths-based problem solving across diverse groups.

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Dr. Porter has strong relationships with professional subcontractors expert in data collection, data analysis and specialized software, as well as in a broad variety of content areas. She has collaborative relationships across many academic disciplines and public service sectors (including social services, public schools, public mental health, court services unit, juvenile courts, and non-profits). She regularly calls on her colleagues to provide support ranging from one-time consultation to staff roles on projects.


Dr. Porter has worked with research assistants at the University of Virginia since 1998. She has a strong, consistent track record of attracting a culturally diverse group of the most competent and experienced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as in providing support, training, and mentorship to students working under her supervision.

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In the past, Dr. Porter has worked with University of Virginia students from the following departments and schools:

  • Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Global Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of International Affairs, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of African American Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Gender Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Engineering School
  • Curry School of Education
  • Frank Batton School of Public Policy