Dr. Jim Porto

Jim Porto, Jr., PhD, MPA

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management


Jim has been a member of the department since 1988. He was appointed director of the Executive Master’s Program in 1989 and managed the program until 2015. He designed and implemented the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Certificate program in 2001 and the Healthcare Management Certificate in 2004. 

Jim has been active in executive degree and certificate education for more than 25 years. In addition to developing the two certificate programs, he has presided over 3 revisions of Executive Master’s programs, development of Executive Workshops, development of the Master of Science in Disaster Management degree program (unfunded),  design of courses in the Executive program, and development of Franklin State Simulation for Healthcare leadership.

Jim has developed and taught graduate level courses in both the Executive and Residential Programs in basic statistics, public health issues through a systems dynamic approach, capstone, ethics, health policy, workplace and personal fitness, program evaluation (co-taught), and decision analysis (co-taught); he developed and taught undergraduate courses in computer applications, financial management, and health policy. Jim has also taught modules in certificate programs that include decision-making, mitigation, cost-benefit analysis, and leadership.

Jim has been actively involved with departmental and University governance. He served on the Chair’s Administrative Advisory Committee for 12 years, Master’s Advisory Committee for 20 years, Program Director’s committee for 25 years, and Admissions Committee for 15 years. Jim has served on the University Faculty Council and is currently (2016) chair of the University’s Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee (FITAC). He is one of UNC-Chapel Hill’s representatives to the system-wide Faculty Assembly and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2015.

Jim is an advisor to executive and residential students, sits on Master’s paper committees and PhD dissertation committees and chairs DrPH dissertation committees.

Research Activities

  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Wellness and Health Fitness
  • Measuring efficiency and effectiveness in public organizations
  • Decision Analytics and Expert Decision Making
  • Public policy development and assessment
  • Socio-economic evaluations (CBA, CEA)
  • Political and Personal Leadership

Key Publications

Preparedness Roles for Health Policy and Management Departments: Ensuring Educational Continuity during Disaster Events. Staley, J, Zelman,W, Porto, JV, Hobbs, S, Paul, J.  (2009). The Journal of Health Administration Education.

Economic evaluations of HIV treatment and health research with people diagnosed with HIV infection and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Conover, C.J., Ettner, K.S. Weaver, S., Flynn, P.M., Porto, J.V. (2004). AIDS Care, 16(Suppl. 1), S121-S136.

Costs and benefits of methadone treatment in DATOS-Part 1: Discharged versus continuing patients. Flynn, P.M., Porto, J.V., Rounds-Bryant, J.L., & Kristiansen, P.L. (2002). Journal of Maintenance in the Addictions, 2(1).

Costs and benefits of methadone treatment in DATOS-Part 2: Gender differences for discharged and continuing patients. Flynn, P.M., Porto, J.V., Rounds-Bryant, J.L., & Kristiansen, P.L. (2002). Journal of Maintenance in the Addictions.

Determining Best Organizational Practices Among Community-Based Treatment Providers: A Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis [Abstract]. Porto, J.V. & Flynn, P.M. (2001). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 60(Suppl. 1), 173.

Costs and Benefits of Treatment for Cocaine Addiction in DATOS. Flynn, P.M., Kristiansen, P.L., Porto, J.V., and Hubbard, R.L. (1999). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 57(2).

Costs and Benefits of Methadone Treatment for Women and Men Who Left Before or Were Still in Treatment at Follow-up” [Summary]. Flynn, P.M., Kristiansen, P.L., and Porto, J.V. (1999). Proceedings of the 61st Annual Scientific Meeting. Rockville, MD, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA Research Monograph.

A culture of expertise, not conflict. Porto, JV. (2003). Healthc Pap, 3(3, discussion 66), 58-64.

Global connectivity: a blessing and a curse. Porto, JV. (2003). Hospital Quarterly, 6(3), 25-26.


  • BA, Psychology, Duke University, 1968
  • MPA, Public Administration, North Carolina State University, 1976
  • PhD, Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000