University Advancement welcomes new members of leadership team

McMaster is strengthening its fundraising leadership team within University Advancement to help support its academic and research priorities and inspire a culture of philanthropy at the university.

“It’s critical to have the right leaders in place to bring the university forward to alumni, donors and partners, who are instrumental in funding new research projects, teaching and learning advancements and student success,” said Lili Litwin, vice-president University Advancement.

Following an extensive recruitment process and selection committee comprised of partners across the university, University Advancement welcomes:

Ashley Downey, Associate Vice-President, Pan-University Advancement (Faculties and Units)

Downey will play a pivotal role in providing strategic direction and maximizing philanthropic income across the university’s faculties and units, creating a culture of philanthropy.

As an experienced fundraising leader with 15+ years delivering impact within the philanthropic sector, Downey joins McMaster after 10 years of leading various philanthropy portfolios at St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation. Downey holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science and Women’s Studies from the University of Ottawa and a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from Humber College.

Heather Colwell, Associate Vice-President, Pan-University Advancement (Health Sciences)

As the newly appointed AVP, Colwell will lead fundraising and donor relations strategies within the comprehensive Health Sciences unit, building collaborative relationships to support this crucial and important portfolio.

Colwell has been with the university for eight years in various senior roles, partnering with internal and external groups working on multi-pronged revenue relationships supporting pan-university priorities. She holds a BA in Biomedical Sciences from SUNY at Buffalo and a Masters of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University.

Angela Crowly, Chief Development Officer – Programs

Crowly will oversee the financial goals to increase the university’s fundraising performance, playing a critical role in the strategy and planning of fundraising programs including corporate, foundation relations, estate, annual and principal giving.

Crowly brings over two decades of broad experience in the philanthropic sector, much of that time in higher education, most recently at McGill University. She’s also gained international experience at the Smithsonian Institution and University of Texas, Arlington. Crowly holds three degrees from the University of California, Irvine and was a Fulbright scholar at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.