Chris Witherspoon Appointed by Governor Inslee to Serve as WWU Trustee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has confirmed the appointment of Chris Witherspoon to the WWU Board of Trustees, effective immediately, filling the spot vacated by Bruce Harrell following his election as Mayor of Seattle.  The Board has eight volunteer members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the legislature, including a student trustee who serves for a one-year term.

Witherspoon is president & CEO of DNA, an independent creative agency founded in 1998 and named Ad Age Magazine’s 2021 Small Agency of the Year for the Northwest.  Witherspoon is a founding member of the advocacy group 600 & Rising, dedicated to dismantling systemic racism in advertising and public relations, and board chair of Building Leaders and Creators (BLAC), a coalition of agencies that encourages inclusion through student internships.

"We are honored to have Chris serve Western as a trustee,” said WWU President Sabah Randhawa.  “Chris brings strategic, thoughtful, compassionate, and service-oriented leadership to his work and interactions.  We look forward to his engagement in advancing Western’s priorities, as well leveraging his brand-builder expertise on the board.”

Witherspoon is an alumnus of Western Washington University and has served as the president of the WWU Alumni Association and currently serves on the WWU Foundation board.  Sydney Hunsdale, chair of the WWU Foundation Board noted, “Chris has been a tireless advocate and key volunteer for Western.  Most recently, he served in an instrumental role on the team leading the university’s annual Give Day efforts that resulted in over $1 million raised in 24 hours last year.”  Witherspoon has also served as an active member of the WWU Foundation Diversity Equity and Inclusion and Board Development committees. 

"When I first walked onto campus over 30 years ago, I couldn't have imagined one day being on the Board of Trustees. Western Washington University has provided me with so much: meeting my wife, life-long friendships, and an excellent education that prepared me for my career. I look forward to serving the Governor in this role and feel honored and privileged to help the University — its staff, faculty, administration, and most importantly, the students. As a former WWU student-athlete, Alumni Association President, and Foundation Board member, I bring a unique perspective. Western and higher education is at such a critical juncture, and I believe we are well-positioned to deliver on the state's many needs, including student success, workforce development, and expanding access to traditionally underrepresented communities."

Board of Trustees Chair John Meyer, who has been involved in the trustee nomination process, said, “I have been amazed at Chris’ work as both Western’s Alumni Association President and as a member of the Western Foundation Board.  He is collaborative, wise, thoughtful, and excellent at bringing people together on issues.  As a graduate, Chris holds special affection for Western, and I know he will work to ensure that all of his actions are in the best interests of the University.  I am delighted to have him join the Board of Trustees. He will surely hit the ground running to help us tackle the tasks we have before us.”