Meet Your Chairs
Christine Fairchild was appointed Oxford University's Director of Alumni Relations in March 2011. At Oxford, the Office of Alumni Relations supports links between alumni of the collegiate University and Oxford through a dynamic offering of events, resources and engagement vehicles. The University has more than 250,000 known alumni, including over 44,000 in 188 countries outside the UK.
Prior to coming to Oxford, Ms Fairchild worked in various capacities at the Harvard Business School; namely, Director of Alumni Relations and, most recently, Executive Director of External Relations where she oversaw development, alumni relations, and alumni communications. Before arriving at HBS, she worked at the Harvard Art Museums for ten years in the areas of membership, development, special events and public education. She was educated at Connecticut College in the US where she graduated with a BA in Asian Studies. She has volunteered for Hospice of Cambridge, Mount Auburn Hospital, Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic, Learning by Design, Concord Academy and Connecticut College and currently serves on the boards of Oxford Limited and Malvern College. She is a Hugh Price Fellow at Jesus College and a Senior Associate of Somerville College.
David Williams heads up alumni relations and annual giving for University College Cork. A former broadsheet journalist with expertise in stakeholder engagement, communications, fundraising campaigns, graduate employability, the global postgraduate and business education markets, and articulating and disseminating research.
Mehrnoosh Rayner is Head of Alumni Relations at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) - an intergovernmental institute located across six sites in Europe, and supported by more than 25 countries including the UK. She has developed and grown EMBL Alumni Relations from a project to a programme that plays a central, strategic role in the delivery of EMBL’s mission to support life sciences in Europe and beyond. She has also helped newer life science institutes establish their own Alumni Relations programmes - an area she is eager to grow through collaborations.
Mehrnoosh has worked in higher education for over 25 years, managing stakeholder relations, conferences, events, publications and data.
Prior to joining EMBL, Mehrnoosh worked at the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated with an MA Honours degree and was later awarded a PhD.
Aba Quartey joined the Chevening Secretariat in June 2014. She leads a small team in London which covers the global aspects of the Chevening alumni programme, and which simultaneously supports local activities carried out in over 150 countries
Chevening is the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)’s flagship international awards programme. The Association of Commonwealth Universities, through the Chevening Secretariat, has administered the programme on behalf of the FCO since 2012. Chevening awardees are selected for their capacity to be future leaders and influencers.
Aba’s role has been to create a centralised alumni offering for Chevening, while supporting the local alumni engagement activities of colleagues overseas through new processes and systems.
Prior to Chevening, Aba worked at international development charity VSO in the Alumni and Resettlement team as the main contact for VSO's alumni, developing a career in the voluntary sector after a first career in private practice law.
Molly Southwood has over ten years' experience in the sector. Since 2009 she has headed the engagement team at the University of Bath, with a remit which currently includes communications, events, volunteering, regular giving and development services. In 2015 she oversaw the successful re-launch of the ‘Bath Connection' e-networking platform and also leads on the University's Gold Scholarship Alumni Mentor Programme. Her team delivers around 90 events each year and manages a network of around 2,000 volunteers, in the UK and around the world.
Molly received a BA from Skidmore College in the USA and an MA from the University of Warwick. She is a member of the British Council's Alumni Advisory Group.
Anita’s 19 year career in advancement began at the University of Aberdeen as a student caller. Upon graduating, Anita joined the Development team at Aberdeen during their £150 million Capital Campaign, with responsibility for the regular giving programme. In 2010 Anita left her role as Head of Annual Giving and joined the University of Salford as Alumni Relations and Regular Giving Manager, where she was responsible for implementing the alumni relations strategy and also moving the telephone campaign in-house. In January 2014 Anita joined the University of Liverpool as Head of Alumni and Supporter Relations, before being promoted in 2019 to her current role of Associate Director of Alumni Engagement & Regular Giving leading the alumni engagement and regular giving strategy for the University's 222,000 global alumni community.