Whitman College Appoints New Vice President for Communications
By Bradley Nelson
Whitman College President Sarah R. Bolton announced the appointment of Gina Zandy Ohnstad as the college’s new Vice President for Communications. Ohnstad has been serving as Interim Vice President since August 2021, and will assume the role in a permanent capacity effective immediately.
“Gina has led significant progress in communications at Whitman during her eight years at the college,” says Bolton. “She brought forward effective new approaches to telling Whitman's story to prospective students and families, and also managed very complex communications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and presidential transition, all without missing a beat as she stepped into the interim role.”
Ohnstad was hired at Whitman College in 2014 and in three years advanced from the role of Media Relations Strategist to Senior Director of Communications where she acted as Whitman’s primary media spokesperson, supervised the Office of Communications staff, managed the college’s web and digital communications, and oversaw the college’s emergency communications plan. As Interim Vice President for Communications, Ohnstad served on the President’s Cabinet, developed and executed a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan for Whitman College communications across all platforms, advised senior leadership communications and collaborated with the offices of admission, development and alumni relations to deliver consistent messaging about the college’s mission and values.
“I am thrilled to be able to continue the work of building a communications structure that allows us to authentically tell the stories that will draw exceptional students to this special place,” says Ohnstad. “This is an exciting time in Whitman’s history—welcoming the energy and vision of President Bolton, collectively building upon the college’s strategic priorities and thinking about new ways to connect with and inspire alumni and students. It’s an honor to work with the talented team in the Office of Communications and my colleagues across campus to celebrate all of the work and learning happening at Whitman.”
Prior to joining the Whitman community, Ohnstad worked as a television news producer for 15 years, where she earned multiple accolades, including four Emmy Awards—two individually, and two as part of a news team. She spent much of her career producing the highest-rated newscast in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that she produced the flagship newscast for the ABC affiliate in Las Vegas. Ohnstad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University.