Left to right Sally Portman, Mackenzie Collett, UC student speaker, Andrew Lewis, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Public & International Affairs, University of Cincinnati, Phil D. Collins, Chair, Board of Trustees, University of Cincinnati, Aftab Pureval, Mayor, City of Cincinnati, Valerie Lemmie, Senior Advisor, State and Local Government, Kettering Foundation, Jane Portman, Rob Portman, Senator, United States of America (OH), Dr. Neville G. Pinto, president of University of Cincinnati, Mike DeWine, Governor, Ohio, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, AZ, Provost Valerio Ferme, PhD, James Mack, PhD, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Richard J Harknett, Director & Professor, School of Public & International Affairs and UC Foundation President Peter Landgren cut the ribbon during Portman Center for Policy Solutions in the tent on Bearcat Commons Monday October 23, 2023. Photos by Joseph Fuqua II

Welcome from Senator Portman

Welcome to the Portman Center for Policy Solutions website. I was honored to be in public service for 30 years, representing Ohio in the US House and Senate, and working in four Administrations. As I left public service in January of 2023, I wanted to find a way to address my biggest concern about government and our political system, which is the growing inability to find common ground to solve some of our nation’s most pressing public policy challenges. Think of immigration, the budget, or divisive social issues. This political system encourages divisiveness and partisanship, rather than civility, bipartisanship, and a commitment to problem-solving that leads to finding common ground.

The Portman Center for Policy Solutions was established to promote finding common ground to move our country forward. We want to encourage young people to engage in public service by demonstrating that it can be about civility and bipartisanship. Too many are understandably turned off by excessive partisanship, gridlock, and harsh language in today’s political dialogue. Through programs, co-ops, and internships, the Center will highlight specific examples of successful bipartisan legislative efforts and introduce students to public officials from both parties who have successfully worked across the aisle to achieve results. I also see the Center as a platform to promote civility and bipartisanship on a national scale.

As you will see browsing through this website, we will also fulfill our mission through special programming and financial assistance for Portman Fellows, and with access to my legislative papers that are in the University of Cincinnati archives and include information about how, working with colleagues, I was able to pass over 200 bipartisan bills.

If we are successful in our efforts, we will see government at every level be more responsive by finding common ground to solve important problems. By finding ways to work together, public officials can make a positive difference in their neighbors’ lives, and strengthen our democracy.