The Whitney Communication Corporation of New York City has elected John S. Prescott vice prsident amud a director.

Prescott will have general responsibilities regarding Whitney's newspaper and magazine interests as well as the company's interest in the International Herald Tribune, which Whitney owns together with the New York Times and The Washington Post.

Whitney Communications chairman John Hay Whitney said of Prescott's election. "He brings to his new mosition a long and rich experience in newspaper management. As a consultant to our company for the past two years, he has made a valuable (contribution to the growth and development of our newspaper publishing activities.

In his 27 years as a newspaper executive, Prescott served for four years as president of the newspaper division of The Washington Post and from 1962 to 1971 was an executive with Knight-Ridder Newspapers. Prescott is the owner of the Courier Printing Company in Littleton, N.H., and for the past year has been director of the Chesapeake publishing Company, Whitney's Maryland and Delaware newspaper publishing subsidiary.

Eugene R. Day has been elected to the position of treasurer and assistant secretary for Microdyne Corporation. Day joined Microdyne in 1971 and became controller in 1974. Located in Rockville, Microdyne produces radio receivers for satellite communications and aerospace research.

The National Bank of Washington has three new vice presidents. Bernard H. Clineburg and Patricia K. Klinck were promoted to vice president and Jesse L. Sternberger III, was named vice president and trust officer.

Clineburg has been with the bank since 1972 and currently serves as manager of the commercial loan accounting department.

Klinck, a member of the bank's metropolitan division, is a member of the American Institute of Banking and the Robert Morris Associates, the national association of bank loan and credit officers.

Sternberger is a member of the D.C. bar and the Estate Planning Councils of Washington and suburban Maryland.

The board of directors of the American Express Company has elected Harry L. Freeman senior vice president. Freeman came to the Washington office of American Express in 1975 as vice president-government affairs. He is responsible for the firm's relations with the United States and other governments and for consumer affairs.

Prior to joining American Express, Freeman was a partner in a San Franccisco law firm and a financial officer with Bechtel Corp.

Linda S. Cohen has been promoted to marketing officer for the Bank of Virginia-Potomac. An employee of the bank since 1972, Cohen will now be in charge of marketing for the northern region banking affiliates.

The Washington Post has announced the appointment of Mary Ann Tortorello as promotion director for the newspaper. Tortorello joined the promotion department in 1975 as creative services manager and most recently served as promotion manager.

Dr. Henry Watts, of Arlington, has been picked to fill the newly created position of vice president, personnel of the Southern Railway System. Watts has been with Southern Railway since 1950, serving most recently as assistant to the executive vice president-administration.

Don H. Virden has been appointed assistant vice president of the First Capital Mortgage Corporation of Vienna and Camp Springs, Md. He will be responsible for construction and commercial loans for the firm.

Before coming to First Capital, Virden served as president of Industrialized Builders and Development, Inc., president of FNR Development Company, and assistant vice president of the Floyd E. Davis Mortgage Co.

David W. Mesker was elected 1978 chairman of the board of governers of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD). The new vice chairman is John R. Winsor. Both men have served on the association's board since 1976.

Mesker is corporate vice president of A. G. Edwards and Sons, Inc. and currently serves on the finance, national business conduct, corporate financing and options committees of the NASD and is a member of the board of NASDAQ, Inc.

Winsor is the executive vice president of Piper, Jaffray and Hopwood, Inc. and serves on the executive, arbitration and fidelity bonding committees of the association and is also a member of the board of NASDAQ, Inc.

The NASD also announced the election of eight new governors for three year terms on the board. They are: District 2: John D. Berl; District 3, William W. Strawther Jr.; District 5, James F. Keegan; District 7, David W. Wiley Jr.; District 11, William Z. Suplee III; District 12, John C. Printon; District 13, Peter A. Bernard.

Allen R. Haggard Jr. has been named branch manager of First General Mortgage Company, a northern Virginia-based second mortgage lender. Haggard will manage the Marumsco Plaza branch in Woodbridge, Va. Prior to his appointment, Haggard was employed by a national consumer finance company in Chicago.