Dr. Kristine Dillon Named 16th President of Whittier College

May 10, 2024

Kristine E. Dillon ’73, Ph.D.Whittier College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to appoint Kristine E. Dillon ’73, Ph.D., as the college’s 16th President, effective immediately.

Dr. Dillon, a distinguished alumna and seasoned educator, has served as interim president since last July. The board’s decision was based, in part, on input from various constituencies, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

"Dr. Dillon’s deep understanding of the academic landscape, combined with her profound commitment to Whittier College, makes her uniquely qualified to lead our institution," said Ron Gastelum '68, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "Today’s vote reflects the board's confidence in her vision and her proven ability to enhance the college’s standing."

During her tenure as interim president, Dr. Dillon made significant strides in positioning the college for a sustainable future. Consistent with the short-range strategic plan that she developed with the board, she has invested in staffing and resources to boost enrollment and oversaw the launch of the Whittier Now! initiative to enhance alumni involvement and support.

"Whittier College has always been close to my heart, and I am honored to lead this institution which shaped my own educational and professional journey," said Dillon. "My focus will continue to be on enhancing our enrollment strategies, increasing our financial resilience, and ensuring that Whittier stands out as a leader in providing a personalized, liberal arts education."

Prior to her current role, she served as a senior advisor for Huron Consulting’s higher education practice, president of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, and held senior positions at Tufts University and the University of Southern California, beginning her career by working at Whittier College. Dr. Dillon earned a Ph.D. in the economics of higher education from Claremont Graduate University.

"As we look to the future, we are confident that Dr. Dillon’s strategic vision and dedicated leadership will guide Whittier College into its next chapter of growth and innovation,” said Gastelum. “The board is excited to support her as she continues to advance the mission of the College."

An installation celebration is being planned, and details will be announced as they become available.