Our first Spotlight of 2021 features Principal Barry Dornfeld. Originally from New York, Barry lives in Philadelphia and been been with CFAR for 20 years. As the leader of our Higher Education and Research Practice, and the driving force behind CFAR’s Culture Methodology, Barry’s impact is felt widely across the firm. Click here to read his full biography.

First and last name
Barry Dornfeld.

What is your role at CFAR?

How long have you been with CFAR?
20 years.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
Working with great colleagues in organizations making an important difference in the world.

What are three words you would use to describe CFAR?
Trusted strategic advisors.

What motivates you to go to work?
Putting ideas to work to help organizations act strategically and with common purpose, and doing so with great colleagues.

What has been your favorite memory at CFAR?
So many… but the one that stands out is a boat ride across the Harbor in Hong Kong with a group of great colleagues in a leadership development program—a combination of good work, connection with colleagues, and adventure!

What is your favorite thing about working at CFAR?
Continuous learning.

In five words or less, what advice would you give for others in your profession?
Always be connecting.


What book are you currently reading right now?
Leading Through a Pandemic by Michael Dowling.

If you could gain a new skill in 10 minutes, what would it be?

What are your top three publications that you read every morning?
The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, and The New Yorker.

What is one thing—industry-related or not—you learned in the last month?
Our institutions of higher education are places of great impact and resilience, even in difficult times!

What is one thing that made you smile recently?
Hope for political change!

If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would it be and why?
CFAR Founder Tom Gilmore has been a wonderful mentor for me and I continually learn from his writings, his work, and his connectedness.

How do you define success?
A well integrated life in all dimensions—work, friends, family, and community.

What inspires you?
The sense of hope we have right now in a new way of thinking about and activating our diverse world.