UCL News


New Director of Development & Corporate Communications

1 June 2007

Arthur Wasserman spoke to UCL Communications as he prepared to take up the post of Director of Development & Corporate Communications on 1 June 2007.

Art Wasserman

Art's previous development roles include posts at the Club of Madrid, the [President Jimmy] Carter Center and the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, as well as higher-education development in the USA at Rollins College, the University of Miami and Gettysburg College. He has played key roles in the design and implementation of five major fundraising campaigns at four institutions and has significant experience across the range of development activity.

Art says: "Broadly defined, my assignment at UCL is to lead efforts to sustain and promote progress at the university, to attract the resources required to achieve a range of institutional goals and to underpin the quest for excellence in teaching and research. There is a major fundraising effort underway, the £300 million Campaign for UCL - Advancing London's Global University, but it's also important to emphasise that we have more than a serious monetary goal. The purpose is to raise UCL to new heights of excellence, and to do so in a sustainable way which will continue to benefit the university for decades to come.


"Individuals should rightly consider philanthropy as an investment. From investments one expects dividends. An investment in UCL yields dividends in the form of a stronger and more responsive university, better able to address the needs of our students and our world."

Art has almost 30 years' experience in development: "The best development or advancement scenario is when individual interests can be aligned with institutional priorities through mutually beneficial relationships. I'm an advocate of comprehensive institutional advancement: how teams such as those that we have in the UCL D&CCO collaborate with academics and administrators to move the profile of an institution to its next threshold. I've seen that exponential strengthening happen at other institutions, and the outcomes of profile enhancement include attracting the best students and staff, and engaging more alumni, parents and other friends with the institution."


Art's three most recent posts have been outside of higher education, but he finds synergies between those institutions and the vision for London's global university.

His most recent post was at the Club of Madrid, a five-year-old non-governmental organisation based in Madrid, with membership comprising more than 60 former freely elected heads of state who work to promote democratic principles and practices. Art says: "The objective is for them to lend their expertise to current leaders of nations that are grappling with change or transition to democracy - for example, new nations such as East Timor and Montenegro. My role was to build a major-gifts programme to sustain the club's work."

The Carter Center - founded in 1982 by former US President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter - has two major ambitions: peace promotion (including democratisation), and health promotion and disease prevention: "Both posts put me in frequent, day-to-day contact with high-profile individuals who had served their nations at the highest levels, for example as prime minister or president. Working with the Carters took me literally around the world: North and South America, throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Africa. And there's a Carter Center UK Board of Trustees, so I've had experience within London as well."

While at the Carter Center, Art arranged for a founder of one of the world's most recognised technology companies to travel to Ethiopia for an election-monitoring trip: "That's a good development model: he already had a broad interest in the Carter Center's work, but what the trip did was provide very direct, in-your-face exposure to very specific work in the field. It was cultivation, translated into a stronger relationship and a generous gift.

"My earlier work with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation ties in well to the biomedical side of UCL. The CDC is, of course, a federal agency, funded by the US government. However, much like UCL and other not-for-profits, its needs are infinite and its funding limited. The foundation was created to help the CDC do more, faster, than it could do on its own. My role was to implement a major-gifts programme from scratch: to connect prosperous and influential people with the CDC's scientists. Again, it was a matter of aligning the interests of potential supporters with institutional priorities."


Art says that, prior to applying for the post of UCL Director of Development & Corporate Communications, he had a general awareness of UCL, but not a detailed knowledge: "As part of the recruitment process, I did my research and I found myself really attracted to and impressed by the history of UCL, and the depth and scope of the university. I was attracted to its radical credentials: admitting through its doors students from all races and beliefs, almost two centuries ago. I think that is a defining characteristic of UCL, a quality that lives through its students, staff, alumni and others associated with the university. As my candidacy for this post advanced, I had interviews with academic and administrative leaders, and I quickly became convinced that UCL was a special place - certainly with an interesting and distinguished past but, more importantly, with an especially promising future. To me, it's a serious place, but it's a welcoming place at the same time.

"Professionally, another thing that attracted me to UCL was that it has sound programmes and seasoned staff in development, alumni relations, communications and media relations. For me, it's a wonderful opportunity to build upon those foundations."

Announcing the appointment, Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, said: "Art is exceptionally well-fitted to this role. He has extensive experience, particularly in securing major gifts and in devising and running fundraising campaigns, but his range has also been across the whole spectrum of development and alumni activity. I have had glowing reports from all sources. I am looking forward enormously to welcoming him to UCL and to working closely with him across the whole of the UCL Development & Corporate Communications activity.

"I also wish to thank Margaret Simon, who, as Acting Director of Development & Corporate Communications, ensured the continuity, enhancement and expansion of the functions of the UCL D&CCO, in support of our institutional objectives."

To find out more about the UCL D&CCO, use the link at the top of this article.

Art Wasserman CV

The Club of Madrid
Madrid, Spain
Director of Development/Chief Development Officer, 2006-2007

The Carter Center
Atlanta, Georgia
Chief Development Officer, Major Gifts & Endowment, 2001-2006

National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia
Director of Individual Giving, 1999-2001

Rollins College
Winter Park, Florida
Associate Vice-President for Development, 1994-1999
Director of Development, 1986-1991

University of Miami
Miami, Florida
Senior Capital-Gifts Officer, 1991-1994

Art also previously worked in development posts at Gettysburg College and Blackburn College.

His other experience includes posts as Executive Search Counsel for Educational & Not-for-Profit Institutions at Jon McRae & Associates Inc, and as Assistant to Communications Director at the McCarter Theatre, Princeton University. He has volunteered for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council for the Advancement & Support of Higher Education and the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges.

Art was awarded a BA (Anthropology and Spanish) with honours in Latin American Area Studies at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania. While there, he held a Senior Internship in the Communications & Development Department. He has also studied Spanish at the University of Miami, Emory University and the International House for Foreign Languages in Spain.