President Bob Iuliano and Provost Chris Zappe announce Tracie Potts as the Eisenhower Institute’s new Executive Director on August 11, 2021.
August 11, 2021
Dear Members of the Gettysburg College Community,
We are delighted to announce that Tracie Potts will join our Gettysburg College community as the new Executive Director of the Eisenhower Institute. Mrs. Potts emerged as the premier candidate following an extensive national search that produced a diverse and competitive pool of highly qualified candidates.
Mrs. Potts is a Washington Correspondent for NBC News Channel and has served as a daily contributor to ‘Early Today,’ CNBC, and more than 200 NBC affiliates. For nearly two decades immersed in our nation’s capital, she has reported on Congress, the Supreme Court, four presidential administrations, and a wide range of public policy issues.
Susan Eisenhower, Chairman Emerita and a founding director of the Eisenhower Institute, served on the Search Advisory Committee. Eisenhower is well-known for her work as a policy analyst, much of which has been focused on national security, and related strategic issues. At the College, she runs a year-long seminar called Strategy and Leadership in Transformational Times, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of leaders to think creatively and sustainably in rapidly changing times. Eisenhower praised Mrs. Potts and her vision for the Institute, saying, “All of us associated with the Institute are delighted that Tracie Potts will be serving as our new Executive Director. She has the energy, the vision, and the skills to take EI to a new level.”
In addition to her role as a national news correspondent, Mrs. Potts has demonstrated a heartfelt passion for engaging and inspiring the next generation of aspiring leaders. She has served as an NBC University Instructor with the National Association of Black Journalists and a News Literacy Project Digital Classroom Instructor—presenting digital and virtual lessons to thousands of students worldwide to finetune their skills of discernment and to educate them on the nuances between news and opinion. Mrs. Potts also serves on the Learning Heroes Advisory Board, the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement Parent Advisory Council, and as a Board Member of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs. She recently ended a two-year term on the National PTA Board of Directors and continues to serve on its governance team.
A fervent advocate of education, Mrs. Potts earned her Bachelor and Master of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her time as a student, she received the Newton B. Minow Prize in Communication and the Harrington Award, the Medill School of Journalism’s highest broadcast honor.
Mrs. Potts believes that the mission of educators is to help students consider opposing perspectives and develop creative solutions to the pressing issues of the day—all with the character and integrity that became a hallmark of President Eisenhower’s enduring legacy. She recognizes the intrinsic value in teaching the younger generation how to lead with clarity, build social capital to garner influence, translate knowledge into purposeful action, and pursue lives of meaning and consequence.
These fundamental goals, coupled with her distinguished career and significant accomplishments, give us full confidence in the profound impact she will have on the future of our students, the Institute, and Gettysburg College.
Fred Fielding ’61, founder of the Institute’s Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership, former White House Counsel to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and chair of the Eisenhower Institute National Advisory Council, noted, “We are very pleased to welcome Tracie to her new role as the Executive Director of the EI. She will bring her wealth of experience to our students, and her infectious spirit and enthusiasm will enhance our revitalized Institute's co-curricular programs.” Fielding also served on the Search Advisory Committee.
As Executive Director, Mrs. Potts will merge her experience, skillset, and passions not only to enhance the Institute’s national visibility, but also to coordinate programs that continue to prepare our students for leadership roles in their communities, in organizations, and in government. Mrs. Potts will build upon the Institute’s already strong foundation by setting the strategic direction of the Institute and helping ensure that it effectively provides Gettysburg College students with the opportunity to engage directly on issues of public policy, through internships, access to renowned experts, symposia, and other programming; advancing nonpartisan discourse and critical analysis; serving as a convener of subject matter experts; and promoting knowledge creation through partnerships among scholars and practitioners, in addition to other opportunities.
We would like to extend a special thanks the remaining members of the Search Advisory Committee for their thorough and thoughtful work: Jim Banks ’80, Trustee Emeritus; Jennifer Bloomquist, Associate Provost for Faculty Development, Dean of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs, and Professor of Africana Studies; Akilah Brown ’22, Bruce Chamberlin ’86, Trustee; Anne Douds, Chairperson and Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Jennifer Lucas, Executive Director of Human Resources; Ben Pontz ’20; Jamie Yates, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing; and Chris Zappe, Provost.
We also want to thank our search consultants at Heyman Associates for helping us to attract the very best candidates for this important position at the College, and the many of you who assisted in the search by nominating potential candidates or participating in conversations about what the College should be seeking in a successful candidate.
Mrs. Potts’ first day with the College will be October 4. Let’s all offer her a warm welcome to the Gettysburg College community!