Jan Abernathy is the Chief Communications Officer at The Browning School, a K-12 boys' school in New York City, and has presented at various independent school industry conferences sponsored by New York Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools, the Association of Independent Schools Admissions Professionals, the Enrollment Management Association, Niche, and VirCon. In addition to chairing the CASE-NAIS Conference in 2022 and co-chairing the NYSAIS Institutional Advancement Conference in 2022 and 2023, she is president of New York City Independent Schools Communications Professionals, and the co-founder of Black Advancement Networking Group, which works to gain further representation and greater professional growth of Black professionals in advancement roles in independent schools. She is also a member of the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing, which advises that organization on those areas of the advancement profession.
She has written for NAIS’ Independent School Magazine on crisis communications, the "Black at" movement, Head/board chair communications, and diversity on boards of trustees, and for Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education's Connections Quarterly on building transformative alumni relationships. A Northwestern University graduate, Jan is currently a trustee at Grace Church School, and Tessa International School in Hoboken, NJ. She was on the board of Stevens Cooperative School, also in Hoboken, for 13 years, spending six years as chair. Her consulting firm, Jan Abernathy Strategic Communications, provides communications and DEI counsel for educational institutions and non-profits. Jan and her husband Jerome are parents of a daughter, Noe, and a son, Sam, both graduates of Stevens Cooperative School and the Dalton School.
Gord Arbeau is a seasoned and respected leader with more than 25 years’ experience leading advancement, communications and marketing teams in the public and private sectors. For the past 16 years, Arbeau has held senior roles in public universities in Canada, leading the communications and marketing efforts and supporting their advocacy efforts and the raising of private and public funds. He lead the advancement and external relations activities for Brock University, a public comprehensive institution with over 19,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff. His team was responsible for Development, Stewardship, Alumni Engagement, Marketing/Communications and Advancement Services. His teams have received multiple CASE Circle of Excellence awards and CASE District citations. He is a past member of the CASE Board of Trustees, the past chair of the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing and the current Vice-Chair of the CASE U.S.-Canada Council.
Marc A. Barnes
Marc A. Barnes serves as Senior Vice President, Principal Gifts and Strategic Impact Investment at UNCF where he works directly with the President & CEO to strengthen financial support for strategic impact initiatives. In this capacity, he is responsible for the president’s strategic fundraising activities and leading a team to identify opportunities to broaden UNCF’s philanthropic revenue.
Barnes is an accomplished fund development officer who has more than two decades of experience in higher education and nonprofit management. Throughout his career, he has been an asset to leadership, having worked closely with university presidents, executives, and governing boards to raise capital for strategic goals and initiatives.
Prior to joining UNCF, Barnes served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Dillard University, one of UNCF’s 37 historically Black college and university (HBCU) member institutions. While at Dillard, Barnes directed strategic planning and operations for fundraising, public relations, community relations, marketing and communications and strategic alumni giving initiatives from. Under his leadership, the university raised over $150 million, increased the alumni giving rate to 23%, secured the largest alumni donation on record in the amount of $1 million, and received more than $10 million from private individuals for strategic initiatives. In previous roles, Barnes served Dillard as Assistant President for Development and Alumni Relations and Director of Major Gifts.
During his term as Director of Development for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation, Barnes helped to create and deploy a growth-focused development program and capital campaign. His leadership garnered over $8 million to complete a capital campaign dedicated to building the George & Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, stimulated fundraising by more than 200%, and increased annual gala net revenue by 400%.
Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Xavier University of Louisiana, a master of arts in philanthropy & development at LaGrange College, and a doctorate in urban higher education administration at Jackson State University. He is also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
He is a past recipient of the Fr. Charles Hall Award (Alumnus of the Year) at St. Augustine High School, and has been recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Greater New Orleans Chapter and HBCU Grow for his fundraising leadership and innovation.
Barnes serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Commission on Philanthropy, the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater New Orleans Chapter Board of Directors, and the St. Augustine High School Board of Directors. He also co-chairs the CASE Advanced Development Strategies Conference and serves on the faculty for the CASE Conference on Leadership Development. He and his wife, Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes, have two children, Caitlin and Marc, Jr.
Amy Bronson is associate vice president of advancement resources and strategic talent management at Boston University, where she is engaged in building and sustaining an outstanding team of advancement professionals who are undertaking an enormous challenge: the first comprehensive campaign in the history of the university.
She oversees the talent management program for a staff of 225 including 17 schools and colleges at the university. Encompassing talent acquisition, organizational and learning development, human resource management, finance and administration, she partners with colleagues across the university to ensure the advancement team is ready to meet the campaign challenge.
Prior to joining BU in September 2010, Bronson led the strategic staffing initiative for the "Light the World Campaign" at Boston College. Before joining BC in 2005, she was at Harvard Law School where her many roles included managing special events, curriculum planning and program administration for executive legal education, and as a fundraiser and administrator at Baker House Alumni Center. Her prior experience includes working for Tiffany & Co. in Chicago and Houston and teaching in Athens, Greece. With more than 20 years of advancement experience, she has served in leadership roles and presented at numerous conferences.
Chris joined the University of Edinburgh in February 2016, following ten years in his previous role as Director of Development at The University of Manchester, and earlier roles in alumni Relations abs fundraising at UCL and Newcastle University.
He has been active with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), as a previous European representative on their US-based Commission on Alumni Relations, and as a Faculty member at Institutes for Educational fund-raising in Europe and Africa. He chaired the CASE Europe Conference for Educational Advancement in Brussels in 2016 and Birmingham in 2017. He was Chair of the Ross Group of UK Higher Education Development Directors in 2011 and 2012 and was a member of the Education Task Force for the UK Government’s Giving Summit in 2012. He is currently co-chairing the CASE Atlas Advisory Board - an international initiative to develop the first global survey with consistent metrics for educational fundraising, alumni relations, and communications and marketing.
He holds a BA in History from UCL and an MA in International Political Economy from Newcastle University. He has been a Board member at the Royal Northern College of Music since 2013.
Since 2015, Sue Cunningham has provided executive leadership for one of the largest education-related associations in the world serving over 3,200 members in 80 countries. Prior to CASE, she served as Vice-Principal for Advancement at The University of Melbourne and Director of Development at University of Oxford. She held advancement roles at Christ Church, Oxford and University of St Andrews. As a CASE volunteer, she received the CASE Europe Distinguished Service Award and a CASE Crystal Apple for Teaching Excellence.
Cunningham is a Trustee at University of San Diego, a member of Signature Theatre (Arlington, Virginia, United States of America) Board of Directors, a member of Washington Higher Education Secretariat Steering Committee, and is a member of the International Women’s Foundation.
She is an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Lee is currently the Head of School at Nueva School in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has more than 30 years of school leadership and teaching experience in a wide variety of educational settings including five international schools (in Ethiopia, Brazil, Spain, and Belgium), an independent school in New York City, and a voluntary integration public magnet school in Minneapolis. Lee is a trainer for the Principals’ Training Center (PTC), has taught in the College of Education at the University of Minnesota, and is a guest speaker on contemporary educational issues at a wide variety of community events. He provides consulting services for schools and educational organizations around the world in the areas of governance, development and fundraising, learning innovation, and school-based continuous improvement.
Lee currently serves on the global board of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and he is a former trustee of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), the Global Issues Network (GIN), and the Sao Paulo Education Foundation (SPEF).
Nathalie Fontana has held executive management positions in nonprofit organizations for two decades, of which over 15 years as a specialist in higher education fundraising at prestigious institutions in Europe.
On October 1, Nathalie Fontana has re-joined the University of Oxford's Development Office as 'Associate Director Principal Gifts (Europe)'. In this role, she will establish the first Europe-based office by developing and expanding Oxford’s European major donor programmes.
Nathalie already worked for Oxford’s Development Office from 2013-2017, first as Head Development Student Support and then as Head Development Principal Gifts. Other stops in her career include leadership positions at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich).
Nathalie has been a volunteer with CASE (Council of Advancement and Support in Education, case.org) for many years, is a board member of the Swiss-American Society (swiss-am.net), the Swiss Friends of Oxford University (oxfordfriends.ch) and a regular speaker at higher education advancement conferences worldwide.
Nathalie holds degrees in business, arts and nonprofit management, and fundraising.
After an early professional career as a classical musician, Alex Furman pursued a career in arts management, working in public relations and marketing, before moving into development and fundraising. With over 20 years of fundraising experience, he has worked in the arts, medical research, and higher education sectors. He has the privilege of being involved in leadership positions in two major philanthropic campaigns: one for Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to raise over $30 million, and over the past eight years, as deputy director, then director of development for The University of Melbourne’s Believe Campaign – the largest philanthropic undertaking in Australia with a goal to raise over $1 billion by the end of 2021.
Currently as the Vice-President (Advancement) for Australian National University, Alex leads the strategic direction for advancement activities across the university.
Barbara Miles has worked as an Advancement leader and teacher in five countries, and she is a dedicated supporter of CASE as an agent for advancing education worldwide.
Barbara was the inaugural Vice-President (Advancement) at the Australian National University, building teams, structures and processes to significantly elevate the university’s Advancement capabilities and establish a strong foundation for future achievement.
As Vice-President, Development and Alumni Engagement at the University of British Columbia, Barbara led what was, at the time, the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history (2008-2015). The campaign raised $1.624 billion and engaged 130,000 alumni over the life of the campaign, exceeding both its targets on time and on budget.
Prior to joining UBC, Barbara was Associate Vice-President for Development and Campaign Co-Director at the University of Florida where she shared responsibility for planning and implementing UF's $1.5 billion campaign (2005-2012).
Before joining the University of Florida, Barbara was lead fundraiser for the Florida Philharmonic and worked for the New World Symphony (Miami) and the Florida Grand Opera. Prior to that, she was a high school teacher of Music and French in the UK and in the Bahamas.
Barbara was the District VIII Trustee on the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Board of Trustees (2015-2018). She also served on the CASE Global Governance Steering Committee and, in 2020, was awarded the John Lippincott Award for Global Advancement and Support of Education by CASE.
Barbara earned degrees in Music and Education at the University of Southampton, UK, and the University of London, Goldsmith's.
Karen E. Osborne
Karen is passionate about the power of education to change our world for the better. She is a volunteer, philanthropist, and trustee, living her beliefs. She has volunteered for CASE for over 30 years. CASE awarded Karen the Crystal Apple for Outstanding Teaching and Public Speaking and honored her in 2014 with The Ashmore Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession.
For seven years, Karen has served as an adjunct faculty member for Johns Hopkins University’s graduate certificate program in nonprofit management.
Nationally and internationally recognized as an excellent consultant, executive coach, and presenter, Karen receives invitations from all over the United States and the world. She frequently presents at local, national and international conferences.
For 18 of Karen’s 43 years in philanthropy and institutional advancement, Karen served as a frontline fundraiser and leader including NY State Department of Education; Director of Development, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY; and Vice President for Advancement at Trinity College in Hartford, CT responsible for development, alumni relations, information systems and marketing and communications. For the past 25 years, Karen served as President and now Senior Strategist for The Osborne Group, Inc. www.theosbornegroup.com
Karen is also a debut novelist. “Getting It Right,” came out June 6, 2017. Her second novel Tangled Lies came out in July 2021. www.kareneosborne.com
Jessica Elmore, Ed. D (She/Her) is senior director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB/DEIB) training at CASE. Dr. Elmore is responsible for the development and tailoring of EDIB training for the global organization, as well as providing EDIB consulting services for member institutions and organizations. As a visionary educational advancement leader, who owns her own cross-cultural consulting company; Dr. Elmore is dedicated to the development of authentic and cross-cultural opportunities and unites her scholarly research and practitioner advancement experience in building identity-centered solutions.
Formerly, Dr. Elmore was an active CASE District VI cabinet member and co-chair of the Opportunities and Inclusion CASE committee. For over 10 years Dr. Elmore led the relationship building and retention programming for Kansas State University Alumni Association’s identity-centered domestic and international alumni. Originally from Sacramento, California, Jessica is proud to develop her foundation and expertise in advancement in the United States Midwest.
Dr. Elmore has a doctoral degree in educational leadership and a master’s degree in business administration; her undergraduate degree was accomplished at historically black university, Grambling State University. Dr. Elmore is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
As an executive coach, organizational development consultant and educator, Rachel works with global executives across multiple industries and has coached more than a thousand leaders to successfully respond to strategic business challenges through expanding their behavioral repertoire, developing and communicating a clear and compelling vision, and more effectively motivating their team or division. She is a core faculty member of the Columbia University Coaching Certification Program and the Gestalt Organization and Systems Development Center.
She takes a systems approach to leadership development and understands that a leader's behavior is both a function of individual personality and the larger organizational context. She has extensive experience using multi-rater feedback with clients and helps leaders step back from their habitual mindsets and behaviors to build awareness and reflect on their style and impact on others. She coaches individual leaders as well as dyads and teams.
Ciporen received her doctorate in adult learning and leadership and her master's degree in organizational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Coach through the Center for Credentialing and Education.
Jenny Cooke Smith
Jenny Cooke Smith is the Senior Director of CASE Insights Solutions at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, CASE and specialises in analysing advancement trends, interpreting comparison benchmarks, and helping people understand the "stories behind the data". Prior to joining CASE, Smith spent 15 years in a variety of positions within Blackbaud’s Target Analytics, most recently leading donorCentrics™ benchmarking cohorts, providing opportunities for institutions and organisations globally to review and discuss direct marketing and annual giving trends. She joined CASE in 2019 to help members find value through using data and is most proud that through projects like CASE’s Alumni Engagement Metrics, institutions can begin to answer questions such as ‘we know engagement leads to giving, but how do we show it?’. Smith is currently co-teaching a course on CASE’s Global Reporting Standards and researching the latest trends on alumni engagement globally, enjoying opportunities to present again in-person, and working individually with CASE member institutions to develop strategies using CASE data and benchmarks.