Carol de Fries

Senior Advisor

Background & Experience

Carol de Fries is an expert at building successful strategic partnerships for economic and civic growth, with more than 15 years of experience in business development, finance, government relations, philanthropy, higher education and economic and workforce development.

Most recently, she served as the Community College of Philadelphia’s (CCP) Vice President of Workforce and Economic Innovation, where she positioned the College as a key asset to Philadelphia’s efforts to grow and expand its economy. She created the strategic vision and implementation plan to expand the form and the function of the College’s workforce development, continuing education, career readiness, job training and job creation programs by establishing partnerships with local businesses and the institution.

During her tenure, Ms. de Fries secured and generated over $30M in revenue, grants, and public funding to support the division’s mission; grew program offerings by 176%; achieved over 70% minority and women-owned business participation in Power Up; and pioneered the College and Philadelphia’s state-of-the-art Career and Advanced Technology Center.

Ms. de Fries’ previous roles in Philadelphia include Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for the City’s economic development agency Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC); Executive Director of the Office of Government and Community Affairs for the University of Pennsylvania (Penn); and Special Assistant to the Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia. Before moving to Philadelphia, Ms. de Fries was a federal Procurement Administrator for a DC-based international firm negotiating the purchase and shipment of goods for USAID projects across the world. Ms. de Fries holds a Masters in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University.

As a civic leader, she helped found Campus Philly, a 501(c)3 organization aimed at retaining the region’s college population and created and launched Power Up Your Business Program at CCP. She serves as the Secretary of Philadelphia250, and is on the boards of the Center City Business Association, and Philadelphia Life Sciences Advisory Board. She recently was honored as a 2022 “Women of Distinction” by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Areas of Expertise

  • Higher Education
  • Economic Development
  • Business Development
  • Public-Private Partnerships

Civic and Professional Associations

  • Philadelphia250, Secretary and Executive Committee Member
  • PHL Life Sciences Advisory Board Member
  • Center City Business Association Board
  • East Shore Cottages Condominium Association, Secretary
  • ReBuild Economic Opportunity Plan Oversight Committee
  • Forum of Executive Women