UCL News


Lori Houlihan to stand down as Vice-Provost (Advancement)

27 February 2020

Lori Houlihan, Vice-Provost (Advancement) has taken the decision to step down from her role following a period of serious ill health.

Lori Houlihan

She will leave the university at the end of March and recruitment to the role of Vice-Provost (Advancement) will begin shortly. In the interim, Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost (International), will continue to oversee and support the work of OVPA.

Lori joined UCL in January 2011 to lead what was then known as the Development and Alumni Relations Office, and has steered UCL’s philanthropy and engagement activities to make it one of the highest performing fundraising universities in Europe. In September 2016 UCL launched It’s All Academic, an ambitious campaign to raise £600m and 250,000 volunteering hours to support delivery of UCL’s most impactful long-term priorities. The Campaign is set to hit those targets this year, one year ahead of schedule.

In reflection of Lori’s contribution to UCL and of the strategic importance of philanthropy and engagement, DARO became the Office of the Vice-Provost (Development) in 2016, with Lori promoted from Executive Director to Vice-Provost. In 2018 her portfolio expanded to include Communications and Marketing and UCL’s London strategy, and she became Vice-Provost (Advancement). She is also UCL’s Interfaith Champion, leading work to improve understanding of and support for faith communities at the university, a member of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Group, and an ally of Out@UCL.

UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur says:

“UCL has benefited enormously from Lori’s commitment and contributions, and we are going to miss her deeply. She is passionate about UCL and driven about leveraging philanthropy to support our students and staff, keep us open to the world’s best talent, and accelerate the impact of what we do. The fact that UCL is now one of the top fundraising universities in the UK and Europe and attracting global philanthropists to partner with us is a testament to her insight, energy and brilliant relationship building.

“She has been a wonderful, supportive colleague to many people across the university, who have been able to call on her as a mentor, a collaborator and a wise sounding-board. Above all, she has worked hard and achieved great things while at the same time making it all a lot of fun. We are lucky to have had her at UCL for nine years and she leaves a tremendous legacy that will benefit the university for years to come.”

Lori says:

“It’s been such a privilege to be part of UCL and to work with and support talented students and staff who really want to make a difference to the world. I’ve seen significant progress in UCL’s profile and reputation over the last decade, and I’m proud that my team through its alumni community engagement, media, communications and marketing expertise, and fundraising success has played a part in that. I’m hugely grateful to colleagues across the university who make time to engage with our varied communities, supporters and stakeholders, and in particular to Michael Arthur, who has been a passionate proponent of philanthropy and of the whole advancement function throughout his time as President & Provost. I am absolutely confident that UCL will go from strength to strength and that its future academic success will be supported by its excellent advancement teams.”

Victor Chu, Chair of UCL’s Council and a leading figure in the UCL Hong Kong alumni community, adds:

“As an alumnus of UCL, I have long been an advocate of the power of global alumni communities and the many ways in which they can give to their university and each other. I have known Lori for over 20 years and was delighted when Lori joined UCL back in 2011 – I knew that the Hong Kong alumni community and I had a partner who shares that passion. Since then, she has led a step-change in how UCL recognises and engages with its alumni around the world, to huge mutual benefit.

I have greatly appreciated the huge contribution she makes to UCL, across all of our communities, and her genuine care and commitment. She will be deeply missed by her colleagues here at UCL and also by countless alumni around the world. She has built a great operation and leaves a strong team who will continue to engage with all our stakeholders and share the brilliance of UCL with the world.”

In 2019 she received the prestigious CASE Europe Distinguished Service Award, which recognises leaders who have made a significant and lasting impact in the advancement field. See her full biography here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/advancement/development-office/leadership-team/lori-houlihan-fcim

If you would like to be kept informed about plans to say farewell to Lori, please email abigail.smith@ucl.ac.uk