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CWU names new chief of staff, new director of Public Affairs


Central Washington University President James L. Gaudino has named Linda Schactler chief of staff/executive director of Public Affairs for the university. The position of chief of staff was previously held by Sherer Holter, who is retiring in June. Jackie O’Ryan has been named to the position of director of Public Affairs, previously led by Schactler.  

As chief of staff, Schactler develops and manages special projects for the president; provides coordination with campus officials and external constituents; and serves as the secretary to the Board of Trustees. 

“Linda has the common sense and organizational skills that this fast-paced position requires,” Gaudino said, adding that Schactler served in a similar position as deputy director of the Higher Education Coordinating Board, now the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Schactler has a master’s degree in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She previously operated an Olympia-based public affairs business and provided issues management and government relations services for CWU for 10 years. She served as the deputy director for the Higher Education Coordinating board from 1996-2000. Prior to that, Schactler was director of communications for the Washington State Senate.

As director of Public Affairs, O’Ryan manages the university’s external media, marketing, strategic communications, and publications. O'Ryan has more than 20 years of experience in the field of public affairs. After winning numerous regional and national awards as a Seattle producer/reporter for KCTS Public Television and KIRO Broadcasting, she served as senior communications director for a national initiative to change the face of Public Health in America at the University of Washington. O'Ryan served as director of public affairs for the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Seattle City Council and was director for LIFT, an innovative advocacy communications effort of the National Center on Child Poverty at New York University. O'Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington.

April 16, 2014