UCL News


Spotlight on Adrian Punaks

13 October 2011

This week the spotlight is on Adrian Punaks, Deputy Director and Head of Development, UCL Development and Alumni Relations Office.

Adrian Punaks

What is your role and what does it involve?

The Development and Alumni Relations Office exists to increase philanthropic streams of income to support UCL's strategic priorities, and to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between UCL and our alumni community.

Along with professional fundraising and alumni relations colleagues in DARO, my role is to identify potential donors to UCL, be they alumni, corporations or trusts and foundations, and to engage them in the priority projects that need support - be it new buildings, student financial support or research.

UCL has charitable status, and by virtue of being a world-class research and teaching institution, there is huge opportunity to attract significant levels of philanthropic support.

I've been impressed by the wealth of knowledge and expertise in DARO; the department is an important resource for the UCL community to know about if colleagues are fundraising or engaging with alumni.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

This is only my second week at UCL. Previously I was the Head of Development for four years at Birkbeck, just next door. Prior to that I worked in a similar role at Imperial College London.

Over the ten years that I've worked in the sector, there has been a noticeable shift in the role philanthropy plays. Philanthropy will become all the more important as we enter the new funding regime in 2012 and beyond.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Seeing the transformative effect of donations and alumni support at a non-traditional institution like Birkbeck was a privilege, and I am proud of my part in making that happen.

What is your life like outside UCL?

I live in north London with my fiancée, and couldn't imagine not living in the capital. Outside work I enjoy cycling and swimming (perhaps a quick dip in the Highgate ponds if the sun is shining), and I rode from Newcastle to Edinburgh up the Northumberland coast earlier in the year. My brother, his wife and my nephew live in Kathmandu, and whilst it's not a regular retreat from London, we hope to get out to see them next year.