John Edward Porter is a partner in the international law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP. He served 21 years as U.S. Congressman from the 10th district in Illinois, where he served on the Appropriations Committee, and as chair of the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Under his subcommittee's jurisdiction were all the health programs and agencies (including NIH and CDC, but excepting FDA) and all of the education programs and agencies of the federal government. During his chairmanship he led efforts resulting in doubling funding for the National Institutes of Health.
He was founder and Co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a voluntary association of more than 250 members of Congress working to identify, monitor, and end human rights violations worldwide. He co-authored the legislation creating Radio Free Asia and served as Chair of the Global Legislators Organized for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE USA).
He chairs Research!America and is vice-chair of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the Boards of the PBS Foundation, and the First Focus Campaign for Children. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the Bretton Woods Committee, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he was Chairman of PBS, a trustee of the Brookings Institution and served on boards of the RAND Corporation, the American Heart Association, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Among over 275 awards for his service in Congress is the Mary Wood Lasker Award for Public Service.
Before his election to Congress, Porter served in the Illinois House of Representatives and prior to that as an Honor Law Graduate Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Kennedy Administration. He attended M.I.T., and is a graduate of Northwestern University, and, with distinction, of the University of Michigan Law School. Porter has ten honorary degrees.
The John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center on the campus of the National Institutes of Health is named in his honor. Porter is the 2014 recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the Academy's highest honor.