Dr. Kristina Whalen is the 8th president of Foothill College.
She started in the role in March 2023 after serving five years as a senior executive, including four years as a vice president of instruction at Las Positas College and one year as the associate vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Instructional Success at City College of San Francisco. While in these positions, she played an active role in strategic planning, accreditation, and preparing the college for the sea change attending the new student-centered funding formula and a swath of legislative mandates.
She was twice awarded the Chancellor’s Unity Award and the Academic Senate’s 10+1 award. In 2021 she was awarded the college's highest award for academic integrity, The Milanese Award, for her leadership during the pandemic. Dr. Whalen is a passionate leader of equity-advancing initiatives, most notably furthering the advancement of Guided Pathways and serving on several advisories and task forces for equity and anti-racism.
Dr. Whalen has developed a special commitment to using data-informed practices to improve the student experience. She has worked locally, regionally, and throughout California to foster leadership development that can manage and guide student success initiatives. Kristina’s years of argumentation and debate training around social justice and equity issues have led to an affinity for data literacy and storytelling. She strives to bring those affinities to collaborative problem-solving and institutional effectiveness in the service of students.
Her earlier administrative service included working as an instructional dean for Fine, Applied, and Communication Arts at the Fort Mason Campus in San Francisco and serving as a department chair for five years. Dr. Whalen has a Ph.D. in speech communication and a Master’s in rhetoric from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in socio-political communication from Missouri State University. Dr. Whalen was a member of the 5th cohort of Aspen Institute Presidential Fellows for Community College Excellence, a group of 40 community college leaders selected for leadership training and transformational change at U.S. community colleges. She is the author of several articles and chapters on feminist rhetorical theory and performative techniques used to further argument.
Kristina was born in the District of Columbia, where her daughter now attends college. The daughter of a Navy veteran and Secret Service agent, she spent her formative years in Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri. In 1998 she moved to California.
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Dr. Kristina Whalen, President
Administration Building 1900