Senior Program Officer, College Futures Foundation
Shawn Whalen joined the College Futures Foundation in September, 2015. As senior program officer, he plays a lead role in strategy development, planning, and oversight of the Foundation’s grants related to higher education attainment.
Whalen has extensive experience in higher education as both a faculty member and university administrator. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as the chief of staff to the president of San Francisco State University, where he served as a member of the senior leadership team, advised the president on academic policy, student achievement and strategic planning, and facilitated institutional partnerships.
Whalen is professor emeritus of communication studies at San Francisco State University and as a faculty member was active in university governance—serving three terms as the chair of the Academic Senate. He also directed nationally ranked speech and debate programs at two institutions and is a past president of intercollegiate debate’s national governing body, the Cross Examination Debate Association.
Whalen received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from San Diego State University and completed doctorate coursework at the University of Utah.