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Dawn Porter ’88, H’21, Steven Sell ’89 Named to Board of Managers

Dawn Porter and Steven Sell

Dawn Porter ’88, H’21 (left) and Steven Sell ’89 assumed their positions on July 1.

The Swarthmore College Board of Managers welcomed two distinguished alumni to its ranks, effective July 1: documentary filmmaker Dawn Porter ’88, H ’21, and health care CEO Steven Sell ’89. The full Board approved the new managers during its most recent meeting in May.
The co-founder of Trilogy Films, Porter quickly made a name for herself as a filmmaker after leaving a successful career in corporate law. In 2013, she released her directorial debut, Gideon’s Army, which follows the lives of three under-resourced public defenders in the Deep South as they struggle to represent their clients. The documentary won the top editing prize at the Sundance Film Festival and an Emmy nomination. 
Porter’s subsequent films have addressed segregation, anti-abortion laws, and U.S. politics. In 2020, she released John Lewis: Good Trouble, which received widespread praise, snagging the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Historical/Biographical Documentary and an NAACP Image Award. Most recently, Porter collaborated with director Nicole Newnham on 37 Words, a four-part ESPN docuseries celebrating the legacy of Title IX on its 50th anniversary.
Porter graduated from Swarthmore with a degree in political science and earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Sell is an experienced, mission-based CEO known for transforming organizations through partnerships; product innovations; and talented, collaborative teams. Since June of 2020, he has served as the CEO and director of agilon health, a company that created a new primary care model serving as the basis for transforming health care in communities across the country. Under Sell’s leadership, agilon has experienced rapid growth and, in 2023, will partner with 2,200 primary care doctors in 25 diverse communities across 12 states serving nearly 500,000 senior patients.  
Prior to agilon, Sell spent 22 years with Health Net and its related companies. St. Louis-based company Centene acquired Health Net in 2016, and Sell remained with the company as CEO and president until 2019. He also serves as the advisor to several early-stage health care companies.
As an alum, Sell has served on the Council on Presidential Initiatives and worked as an Extern Program volunteer and admissions interviewer.
He graduated from Swarthmore with a degree in economics and political science and holds an MBA from Stanford University.
“I am grateful for and excited by Dawn and Steve’s commitment to serve the College as members of the Board,” says Harold “Koof” Kalkstein ’78, who assumed the position of Board chair on July 1. “They each bring unique and valuable experience and perspectives to the Board from which the entire Swarthmore community will benefit.”
Kalkstein also noted the exceptional contributions of former managers Rhonda Resnick Cohen ’76 and Gus Schwed ’84, whose terms concluded June 30. 
“Rhonda and Gus’ contributions during their time on the Board have helped make Swarthmore a better, stronger institution of higher learning,” says Kalkstein. “On behalf of the entire Swarthmore community, I extend my gratitude for all that they’ve done in support of the College, and I look forward to their continued engagement as members of our alumni community.”

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