Meet the Planning Committee
Alex Miles is the director of global and political affairs at The University of Nottingham. His remit includes international government relations across the University's campuses in the UK, China, and Malaysia, supporting the impact of the University's research amongst policy-makers, strategic reputation and relationship management, higher education policy and supporting the vice-chancellor and university executive board.
Alex sits on the advisory board for UUKI HE Forum and represents Universities on the Midlands Engine Trade and Investment Board.
Alex is the CASE Europe’s Annual Conference Chair (2018-20).
Prior to this, Alex established the national political affairs and policy function at the University of Warwick, where he was responsible for developing relationships between the university and policy-makers in Westminster, Whitehall, and the wider policy community, as well as public engagement and festivals. Alex held roles in public affairs at Warwick; as the policy and parliamentary adviser for the mission-group, University Alliance; as the business development manager for the University of Sheffield's Public Services Academy and in economic policy for Sheffield City Council. He has a master's degree in global politics and law from the University of Sheffield, where he was also an undergraduate.
Cathy was appointed as director of Strategy and Operations in the Office of the Vice Provost (Development) at University College London(UCL) in March 2017. She joined OVPD from UCL's Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social and Historical Sciences where she was faculty manager for both faculties, responsible for a variety of strategic projects, training, and development. She has also worked as faculty manager of laws at UCL, and has held senior roles at King's College London and VSO.
In her current role, she is a key member of the OVPD leadership team, helping to successfully deliver UCL's new philanthropy and engagement campaign, which will raise £600m for the university's biggest long-term ambitions. She leads work to identify and develop strategic fundraising partnerships with partners including Moorfields Eye Charity and the Foundation for Future London, and also supports all parts of UCL in their fundraising work with guidance and advice, particular on gift acceptance and due diligence.
Graeme Byrne has been a partner at More Partnership since June 2017. He joined from the University of East Anglia (UEA) where he established their first major gift programme. He also led the UEA's first institutional fundraising effort, The Difference Campaign, which successfully raised £50 million. The Campaign was recently extended and is on track to raise £100 million by 2020.
Graeme spent 8.5 years at UEA and has played a central role in creating a high-performing, sustainable development office. Prior to his appointment at UEA, Graeme worked in the charity sector as head of fundraising at The Papworth Trust, fundraising manager at Ormiston Children & Families Trust, and as a programme manager at The Prince's Trust.
Graeme is also the founder of Lagotto Solutions, a company helping universities and schools across the globe to identify and understand their most prominent and successful alumni.
Richard Brabner is the director for the UPP Foundation. Previously, he joined the University of Hertfordshire in 2009, where he was the university's senior policy adviser, a job which combines policy and public affairs support to the university's senior management team. Prior to this, he was a researcher in Parliament for two years after graduating from the University of Essex with a bachelor's degree in modern history and politics in 2007. He completed a master's degree in public policy and management from Birkbeck College, University of London.
Rachel joined the Development and Alumni Relations division at the University of Sussex in 2016, where she works with a team of highly skilled and dedicated development professionals. Her remit includes alumni relations, fundraising, donor stewardship and development operations.
Rachel's advancement career began in earnest in 2006, when she moved from the private sector to Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At Guildhall, she established and managed the alumni programme before her remit expanded to leading the Alumni and Supporter Engagement team, which included responsibility for the annual fund, donor engagement, and database management. She holds a degree in politics, economics, and philosophy from the University of York, having also worked for the York Alumni Office while a student.
Kerrie joined Aston University in 2018, leading alumni and supporter engagement and development services. Aston exists to serve its beneficiaries – students, business, our region and society – and Kerrie works strategically across the University to develop alumni support for these, and to address international and employability priorities. Kerrie worked in recruitment at a senior level before seeing the light and entering the world of alumni relations in 2011. She joined the University of Birmingham as their first Volunteer Relationship Manager, becoming Deputy Head of Alumni Relations in 2014 and then Head of Engagement, leading an award-winning team producing innovative work across communications, events, student engagement and donor relations. Kerrie is passionate about collaboration and development communities. She is a member of the CASE Talent Management network, an Advisory Board member for TEDx Aston University and has been a speaker for IDPE and AUA as well as CASE. Her CEAC highlight: Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ being (accidentally) played as she left the stage in Brussels at CEAC 2016.
Nathalie is a Swiss national and has been involved in major donor fundraising for 15 years of which 10 years in the Higher Education sector in Switzerland and the UK. She has joined EPFL as new Director of Philanthropy in April 2017 to accelerate EPFL’s philanthropic ambitions and lead the team in the central Development office.
Before that held fundraising leadership roles in the Development Office of the University of Oxford, first as ‘Head of Development - Student Support' and later as ‘Head of Development - Principal Gifts', the international fundraising team. Before joining the University of Oxford she was ‘Director of Strategic Partnerships' and part of the leadership team at ETH Zurich Foundation, the fundraising organization of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.
Nathalie has been in leadership roles for almost 20 years. From 1998-2002 she was a Managing Director of an interior design company and from 2002-2007 the Managing Director at the "Haus Konstruktiv' a mid-size art museum, both in Zurich, Switzerland.
Her primary education is in Business, Commerce and Trade. She holds a Master in Arts Management as well as a diploma in Corporate Communications from the University of Applied Sciences in Zurich and a diploma in Fundraising from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Her mandate for CASE Europe is not her only commitment as volunteer. Nathalie is also a trustee of the Swiss-American Society and the chair-woman of its Scholarship committee.
Kurstin Finch Gnehm
Kurstin Finch Gnehm is the Acting Director of Philanthropy at the Royal Academy of Music. Previously, she served as regular giving manager for Imperial College London, where her team recently won a CASE Award and the 2016 London Marathon award for most money raised per charity runner. She has also worked in Regular Giving at the University of Aberdeen and the University of St Andrews. Kurstin started her fundraising career at Linfield College in the United States and holds degrees from Linfield, Oregon State University and the University of Iowa, where she has also taught communication and gender studies classes. She serves on the Learning and Development Committee at the Institute of Fundraising and writes a blog about Americans living in the UK, called From Salem to St Andrews.
Melanie joined De Montfort University (DMU) in 2011, and was appointed Executive Director of Marketing and Communications in 2015 having previously worked as Director of Student Recruitment.
She is responsible for reputation management; brand and creative strategy; student recruitment; communications; web and digital; and market insight. She is passionate about a highly creative and evidence-based approach to marketing and communications.
Prior to joining DMU, Melanie held a variety of marketing roles at the Universities of Leeds and Northampton. She was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and master's degree in Philosophy from the University of Leeds, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers
A seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in higher education and schools, Emily Robin is the leader of an integrated advancement program at the American School of Paris, an international school of 850 students from 61 nations. In this role, Emily aligns staff and resources to build capacity for sustained success in securing philanthropic support, engaging constituents, and recruiting students.
Emily began her career at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School, and most recently oversaw the Major Gifts program at Bryn Mawr College. She has served on the board of the Ecole Française Internationale de Philadelphie. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Penn's Huntsman Program in international studies and business, Emily also holds a master's degree, with distinction, from University College, London. You can follow Emily on Twitter at @emilyarobin.
Lindsey is a TES Award-winning fundraiser with over ten years' experience of working in development and alumni engagement across the higher education and schools sector.
Lindsey is currently building a new Development Office at Bradford Grammar School, which was recently voted 2018 Northern Independent School of the Year by the Sunday Times and counts David Hockney, Alastair Campbell, and Adrian Moorhouse MBE amongst its alumni. She has strategic oversight of fundraising, alumni and corporate relations, and marketing and communications activity and is in the preliminary stages of planning a major fundraising campaign for the school.
Prior to moving up north, Lindsey was Development Director at the Independent Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham (KES and KEHS) for almost three years. During this time, she raised over £4.8 million for Assisted Places and capital projects across two distinct campaigns at very different stages of evolution, developing a dynamic alumni engagement programme at the girls’ school and broadening corporate engagement with KEHS as part of the Delyvere Campaign, At KES, she led the Development Office through the close and celebration phases of the school’s £10million AP100 Campaign.
Lindsey began her fundraising career as a major gifts officer at the University of Oxford, where for seven years she led on fundraising for access projects and bursary provision, securing over £5 million in new donations as part of the ground-breaking Oxford Thinking Campaign. A graduate of the University of Oxford and the first in her family to go to university, she is passionate about using philanthropy to advance educational opportunities – education proving so transformational in her own life.