Conferences & Training
Speakers - Strategic Fundraising for Leaders in Higher Education 2019


Nina Cohen Bohn
Director of Principal Gifts & External Relations, Asia Pacific
London Business School

Nina Cohen Bohn has 17 years' experience in higher education fundraising, following a 15 year career in advertising sales and marketing in television, custom magazine publishing and professional sports teams. She began her career in fundraising in 2001, at MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, MA, which led to a move overseas in 2005 with her young family to lead the major gifts team at the London Business School. In 2013, LBS launched their first ever comprehensive campaign to raise £100m, and Nina became their Deputy Director of Advancement leading the principal gifts fundraising in London and Asia Pacific, managing the twenty person global campaign committee and prioritizing the collaboration of school-wide initiatives which involve and enhance Advancement's priorities. By September 2015 the team had achieved 90% of their goal, and closed the campaign in Spring 2016 with £125 million raised for a new building, research and scholarships. Nina's extraordinary success with principal gifts as well as her institution wide approach to donor engagement were key to this success.
Throughout 2016-2018 Nina has led strategic fundraising programs and organizational structural changes at two major organizations; The Royal College of Art, and the City Literary Institute. She has also consulted on best practises for fundraising teams including training of front line and board members for a variety of cultural and educational organizations, and has lectured on the MA in Philanthropic Studies for the University of Kent.

Dr. Kary Kelly
Director of Development
Courtauld Institute of Art

Dr Kary Kelly is Director of Development at The Courtauld Institute of Art where she leads the fundraising, membership and alumni relations programmes. The Courtauld is in the midst of a £70m capital campaign known as Courtauld Connects, the largest in the institution's history. Prior to joining The Courtauld in 2015, Kary held strategic fundraising positions at the Royal College of Art, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford. Her career in higher education fundraising and alumni relations started at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Kary holds a B.A., M.St., and D.Phil from the University of Oxford.


Bill Abraham

Bill Abraham
Director of Development
University of London

Bill is an experienced fundraising professional with 20 years' experience gained at the London School of Economics, University of Cambridge and now the University of London. As the Director of Development at the University of London, he works closely with the Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Trustees where he established the first ever Development Office in 2015 for the central academic bodies of the federal University of London. The Development Office now has a complement of 20 professional staff.
Prior to this, Bill joined LSE in 2001, as a senior member of the team that successfully closed the £100million ‘Campaign for LSE' in 2008. He then moved to Cambridge in 2010, establishing the development office at Sidney Sussex College, during which time the University of Cambridge closed the UK's first £1billion campaign. At Sidney Sussex, he established the College's Legacy programme, Annual Fund, implemented a new database and saw an increase in donor numbers of 40% and 60% in his first two years. Bill then returned to LSE in 2014 as interim Director of Development, reporting directly to the LSE President, managing an intense period of organisational change, overhauling the ‘development' office to become an institution-wide ‘advancement' operation.
Bill is also an active mentor for many people in the education and charity sectors.

Susie Balch
Associate Dean, Advancement
London Business School

Susie Balch is the Associate Dean for Advancement at London Business School, where she has been for the last 10 years. She has overall responsibility for alumni relations and fundraising at the School. Susie led the School's first ever comprehensive fundraising campaign for £125 million which concluded in 2016 two years ahead of schedule and 25% ahead of goal. The Advancement team manages alumni and corporate relationships across the globe with the School's vast network of over 44,000 alumni, 100 Global Alumni Clubs, a Global Advisory Council and an International Alumni Council.

Susie's career spans over thirty years, running transformational campaigns for a variety of educational institutions. Before relocating to the UK with her family in 2005, she worked in the United States where she played an integral role in several major fundraising campaigns of £125+ million. The Institutions Susie has worked for include Harvard Law School, Hamilton College, Middlesex School, Buckingham Browne and Nichols School and the Chicago Waldorf School.

Susie received her BA in Political Science from Hamilton College and completed a certificate for the Accelerated Development Programme at LBS in 2010.

Outside of the office, Susie sits on the Advisory Council of the British Museum Friends.

Ruth Beckinsale
Director, Business Planning
London Business School

Ruth is a professionally qualified project manager (Prince2 and APMP) with 20 years' experience managing major, capital and comprehensive fundraising campaigns within the higher education and arts & cultural sectors. Successfully leading cross organisational teams & working groups to achieve ambitious projects including the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, the Transformation Campaign at the Southbank Centre and most recently, the £100m comprehensive fundraising campaign at London Business School (which is closing two years early in July 2016). Significant projects within the LBS Campaign include delivering the global launch of London Business School's largest ever comprehensive fundraising campaign across five continents in 2013, ending with the same five continents in October 2016, creating the School's programme of 50th Anniversary celebrations which ran in 2014/15 and raised over £1m for 50th Anniversary Scholarships and also implemented a unique segmentation project for our alumni community.

Karen Cairney
Cairney and Company

Known for her passion, perseverance and integrity, Karen is not afraid to ask ‘What if' and do what it takes to make ambitious ideas a reality. She believes that your people are your greatest asset and the key to achieving your goals. Her ability to bring out the best in people is a recurring theme throughout her 25 year career in Canada, the US, Asia and the UK.
Karen's empathetic approach, creative thinking, visionary strategy and engaging leadership style have enabled her to successfully deliver multi-million figure campaigns. She led an inaugural £100m campaign for Edinburgh Napier University, which exceeded its goal and changed the face of income generation for the University, while managing an integrated team of over 40 professionals.
She has personally raised over £200m for not for profit organisations in health, education, arts, environment and social services.
Karen has also coached executives from across the sector, using a healthy mix of challenge and curiosity to help them see their strengths in a new light and push themselves to reach their goals.
In line with her commitment to continued learning and development, Karen achieved her MBA while at Napier and was recently awarded her practitioner diploma in Executive Coaching.
Karen is a regular industry speaker at CASE, Institute of Fundraising and other industry forums.

Joanne Donahoe
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
University of Southampton

Jo Donahoe is the Director of Development & Alumni Relations at the University of Southampton. She is also a Consulting Vice President with GG+A's UK/Europe team. Jo brings 20+ years of global experience in advancement services, fundraising, alumni management, board relations, and comprehensive campaigns. At the University of Southampton, she oversees all aspects of philanthropic income generation, alumni relations and supporter engagement, and data analytics and operations. Her team are now preparing for a £100m campaign.

Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Royal Academy of Music

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood is the 14th Principal of the Royal Academy of Music and was appointed in 2008. Alongside his commitment to education, he is also a recording producer, freelance trumpet player (with 10 solo albums), writer and broadcaster, and was conferred a Professor of the University of London in 2001. Educated at the Universities of Toronto and Oxford, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has for over a quarter of a century held senior posts at the Academy, launching pioneering programmes, and major international relationships.

He was appointed a Trustee of the University of London from 2010 to 2015 and is currently a Trustee of Garsington Opera, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford Music, The Young Classical Artists' Trust (YCAT), The British Library Trust, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Countess of Munster Trust. He is a Fellow of King's College London in 2009 (where he is a Visiting Professor) and was appointed CBE in the New Year's Honours List in 2018.

Lucia Halpern
Friends of the Courtauld

Following an early career as a journalist, US State Department advisor and investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Lucia Halpern is now devoted primarily to not-for-profit work. For the Courtauld Institute of Art, she serves as Chairman of the Friends of the Courtauld and as a member of the Investment Committee. In addition, she is a trustee of the literacy charity Worldreader and, through the charity Kilfinan Group, mentors Chief Executives of other charities. She also teaches once a week at a local primary school. Her professional work includes executive coaching and speechwriting. Lucia has served as co-chair of a $2bn global campaign for the University of North Carolina, on the International Advisory Board of UNC and as co-chair or committee member for various Harvard Business School Campaigns.

Christine Jeffery
Director of Development Services
University of Oxford

Christine is an experienced development services professional with over 25 years' experience at the University of Oxford. As Director of Development Services, she is responsible for all the non-system teams, including Prospect Research, Communications, Donor Relations and HR/Finance. Christine joined the Development Office as a Prospect Researcher during the first Campaign for Oxford, which closed in 1994. During her time at Oxford, she has helped the office grow to its current size with over 100 staff across both frontline fundraising and support functions. Christine is a Director of the Board of the University's China Office in Hong Kong, and previously held a similar role for its North American Office. She is a member of the CASE Europe talent management working group, and has presented on this and other topics at CASE Europe events. Outside work, Christine is a Trustee of several local and community organisations.

David Kotler
Chief Executive
ACCESS Corporate Finance

David is the Chief Executive at ACCESS Corporate Finance with 30 years of investment banking experience, predominantly serving the energy and natural resource industries. He was head of the EMEA Energy Investment Banking practice at Morgan Stanley in London from 2011 until 2014. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, David was a Managing Director at Lazard where he spent 22 years predominantly in London, but also in New York.

He has advised numerous clients on mergers, acquisitions, disposals, privatisations, IPO's, demergers, project financings, joint ventures, AMI's and general corporate/strategic advisory assignments. He has also advised selected Governments and national oil companies in Europe and the Middle East on various oil and gas matters. His work relates to most elements of the international energy business: upstream, refining, marketing, LNG, renewables, infrastructure and power.

B. Comm, University of Toronto (1983)
MBA, London Business School and Università Bocconi in Milan (1989)

Voluntary Sector
Trustee of Graham Layton Trust (2008- present)
Campaign Committee Member, London Business School (2011-2014)
Trustee of Institute of Contemporary Art (2007-2010)
Supporter of various education and medical related organisations

Sir Andrew Likierman
Professor of Management Practice in Accounting
London Business School

Andrew Likierman was Dean of the London Business School from 2009 to 2017 and has now returned to the faculty to teach and research. He has been a faculty member for more than 40 years, but spent 2 spells of a total of 15 years working for the Government in the Cabinet Office and the Treasury. His other posts have included Chairmanship of the National Audit Office, the market research firm MORI, The Economist Bookshop Group and AIC, a California battery maker. He has been a Director of the Bank of England, Barclays Bank, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. He is currently a Director of Times Newspapers and the insurance company Beazley and his current research is into the use of judgement in management.

Tess Nixon Spiller

Tess Nixon Spiller
Head of High Performance and People
Cancer Research UK

Tess Nixon-Spiller is a seasoned fundraising professional with more than 15 years' experience in the HE and charity sectors. Following her tenure as Head of Major Giving at the University of Exeter and CRUK, alongside consulting roles with University of Liverpool, The Eden Project, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, among others, Tess is currently Head of People and High Performance at CRUK. CRUK is the largest charity in the sector and the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. The front line fundraising team is growing rapidly, and Tess's new role will develop sector leading thinking about how to create and sustain a high performance environment.
As a consultant Tess has shared her experience with adiverse range of organisations including in the arts and school sectors (private, state-funded and special education) supporting both embryonic and well-established operations to develop their fundraising programmes. Tess has conducted many assessments with complex organisations at all phases of fundraising planning and activity. She has also led team performance reviews and is accomplished at making both strategic board-level recommendations and in developing tactile plans.

Tess's specialisms lie in campaign planning and delivery, driving up performance from fundraising teams, team management, metrics and coaching, major and principal gift solicitation.

Kirsty MacDonald
Deputy Principal (Advancement)
Royal Academy of Music

Kirsty MacDonald has over twenty-five years of fundraising experience in North America and the UK. Kirsty is currently Deputy Principal (Advancement) at the Royal Academy of Music in London. This new role was created to lead a campaign to celebrate the bicentenary of the Academy in 2022. Kirsty has worked in fundraising leadership roles at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and Oxford. Her previous experience across higher education and the arts includes London Business School, English National Opera, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Glyndebourne. Kirsty has an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and in 2009 was awarded an MA Oxon.

Fiona McWilliams
Director of Development and Communications
Natural History Museum

Fiona McWilliams has been Director of Development and Communications at the Natural History Museum since June 2015. A member of the Executive Board and involved in all aspects of the Museum's strategic planning and management, she has portfolio responsibility to develop the Museum's profile and grow income across philanthropy, membership and corporate partnerships. She is working to develop a 'one Museum' approach across the whole institution and is encouraging a 360 degree approach to income generation.
Prior to joining the NHM Fiona spent eight years at SOAS University of London (the School of Oriental and African Studies) - certainly one of the liveliest HEI's in the UK! As Director of External Relations and Development, she was responsible for development, communications and stakeholder relations, marketing and student recruitment. Being able to tell an inspiring story across multiple audiences she is sure helped achieve SOAS' largest ever single philanthropic gift, £20m, in 2014. Fiona's first professional role in Development was at Kew Foundation, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 2005-2007 where she worked in Special Projects and in every area from Corporate Partnerships to managing an HLF project. Before Kew was an entirely different career in international television - on the business side in marketing and PR, not in front of the camera!

Luke Purser
Development Director
English Heritage

Luke Purser is Development Director at English Heritage. He has nearly 20 years' experience in fundraising and business development for education and cultural organisations and has an in-depth understanding of the needs and motivations of high-net-worth individuals, philanthropists and investors. Luke has developed and implemented international strategies, recruited and trained staff and senior volunteers, managed three 501 (c) 3 boards in the USA, and raised substantial sums from funders in 16 countries. He has held senior roles at the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Art, has been a business consultant for the Sunday Times Fast Track 100, consulting vice-president of GG+A Europe, and is a trustee of the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust. Luke has served on the faculty of the CASE Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising and has advised numerous organisations including the Ditchley Foundation, the Courtauld, and the China Oxford Scholarship Fund. Luke has a degree in History from the University of Oxford.

Ian Rowley

Ian Rowley
Director of Engagement Group
University of Warwick

Ian Rowley is the head of the University of Warwick's Engagement Group, the professional services function charged with providing professional oversight of Warwick's reputation and brand. Its remit is to increase understanding and support from the University's key constituents including philanthropic entities of all types, alumni and friends, and members of the University community. The core disciplines of the Group are Development Marketing and Communications, Stakeholder Engagement and Business Relations.

Ian has held senior advancement positions in higher education since joining The University of Warwick almost two decades ago. Previously, Ian was Director of Public Relations for the Royal Shakespeare Company where he promoted the world famous theatre company's first residency in New York and was part of the team which developed the case for support for the RSC's transformational redevelopment of its base in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Ian is the current chair of the Ross Group, a professional network group of development directors of UK universities. He was the founding chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations' Education Sector Group and a Trustee on the Board of CASE Europe from 2011 to 2016.

Sir Anthony Seldon
Vice Chancellor
University of Buckingham

He was a transformative head for 20 years, first of Brighton College and then Wellington College. He is author or editor of over 35 books on contemporary history, including the inside books on the last four Prime Ministers, was the co-founder and first director of the Institute for Contemporary British History, is co-founder of Action for Happiness, honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street, UK Special Representative for Saudi Education, a member of the Government's First World War Culture Committee, was chair of the Comment Awards, is a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the President of IPEN, (International Positive Education Network), Chair of the National Archives Trust, is patron or on the board of several charities, founder of the Via Sacra Western Front Walk, and was executive producer of the film Journey's End. He appeared on the Desert Island Discs in 2016. For the last fifteen years he has given all his money from writing and lecturing to charity.

Alison Woolley
Director of Development & Alumni
Goldsmiths, University of London

Alison is Director of Development & Alumni at Goldsmiths, University of London, where most recently she led a campaign to raise funds for an on-campus gallery of contemporary art, Goldsmiths CCA, which opened to the public in September 2018. In a fundraising/alumni relations career spanning two decades, she has raised four-, five-, six-, seven- and eight-figure donations for new buildings, endowed posts, programmes, research and scholarships in roles at SOAS, Great Ormond Street Children's Charity, UCL and the University of Bristol.

 Crystal Apple award winner for excellence in teaching