Notre Dame VP of mission engagement, church affairs elected to Strada Education Network board

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C.
Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C.

Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame vice president for mission engagement and church affairs, has been elected effective Jan. 1 to the board of trustees for Strada Education Network, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve lives by forging pathways between education and employment. 

Father Olinger joins Aminta Breaux, president of Bowie State University, and Nicole Thorne Jenkins, the John A. Griffin Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, as newly elected board members. Strada Network also announced that Marlene Coulis, marketing strategy consultant and a former executive of Anheuser-Busch, has been elected as the board’s next chair. 

“It is a great honor to be invited to serve this innovative organization,” Father Olinger said. “Strada’s mission aligns well with the University and Congregation of Holy Cross mission to build lives through quality education, and I look forward to learning more and contributing to Strada’s future.” 

William D. Hansen, Strada president and chief executive officer, said: “Adding these dynamic leaders to our board will guide our mission impact for years to come, and I am grateful for the knowledge and passion they each bring.”

Father Olinger stewards and deepens Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission and is the University’s liaison to the Congregation of Holy Cross, the U.S. bishops and the Holy See. He also oversees the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason in Dublin and the Grotto Network.

Previously, Father Olinger served as vice president for university relations, vice president for student affairs and executive assistant to the president at the University of Portland. He also served as concurrent assistant professor of political science at Portland. He holds bachelor’s, juris doctorate and a master’s of divinity degrees from Notre Dame. Before taking on his current role at Notre Dame, he served on its Board of Trustees. He is a current member of the board of directors for King’s College and is licensed as an attorney in Indiana and Pennsylvania.

Strada Education Network combines research, thought leadership, strategic philanthropy, mission-aligned investments and a network of affiliate organizations to serve Americans seeking to complete postsecondary education and training, gain clear value from those experiences and build meaningful careers.