UBC appoints new Vice-President Development and Alumni Engagement

UBC has appointed Heather McCaw as its new Vice-President Development and Alumni Engagement (DAE). Her five-year term will begin in Fall 2018.

This will be McCaw’s third time serving the university. Previously, she occupied the role of associate vice-president development before departing in 2015 to be the University of Alberta’s VP Advancement.

Altogether, McCaw has a combined 23 years of experience at UBC.

“I can’t wait to reconnect with everybody — in three years, a lot changes at a place like UBC,” said McCaw. “I can’t wait to build new connections with the new DAE staff as well as President Santa Ono and all his executive team.”

“I have a lot of catching up to do,” she acknowledged with a laugh.

While at UBC, she was co-director of UBC’s start an evolution fundraising campaign, which raised over $1.6 billion for UBC between 2008 and 2015. It was billed at the time as “Canada’s largest fundraising and alumni engagement campaign.” During her time as VP Advancement at the University of Alberta, the school broke its own fundraising records when it collected $176.6 million in 2017.

“I believe in always finding the ideal match between the university and the donor, and that’s served me well,” said McCaw.

Outside of universities, she also worked for consultancies like Give Canada Fundraising Corporation and Spectrum Marketing Corporation, as well as non-profit organizations like United Way of the Lower Mainland, the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation and the Toronto Rehab Foundation.

“UBC is delighted to welcome a leader with such a strong track record of fundraising, engaging alumni and the business community,” said UBC President Santa Ono in the media release.

“I am confident Heather’s experience will help UBC secure the support and partnerships that are essential to enrich the learning environment, build on research excellence and realize other strategic priorities.”

McCaw’s appointment follows former VP DAE Barbara Miles’s departure in April 2018 to be the Australian National University’s first VP Advancement. Appointed in January 2008, Miles was UBC’s first VP DAE and she served two five-year terms — the term limit for a VP role.

Jeff Todd, associate vice-president alumni and executive director of the UBC Alumni Association, will continue to be the interim VP DAE until McCaw’s term officially begins.