Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Executive Leadership Council
Matthew R. Manfra
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Donna joined GW on March 1, 2018, after more than 30 years at the University of Miami, including serving as interim senior vice president for development and alumni relations. During her tenure at the University of Miami, Donna oversaw the university’s alumni relations, annual giving, and parent programs, as well as fundraising efforts of the school and college development programs.
As interim senior vice president for development and alumni relations, she worked closely with the university’s board of trustees and the institutional leadership to implement the University of Miami strategic plan and development efforts for its three campuses. She helped greatly expand alumni and parent giving, led several award-winning programs to establish a vibrant national and international network of University of Miami alumni and parents, and was the lead visionary and fundraiser for a new alumni center on the university’s Coral Gables campus.
Donna has served as a board member for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), where she chaired the Commission on Alumni Relations, helping to launch the international initiative creating standards of practice and alumni engagement metrics for the profession. She will chair the 2018 CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement. Donna has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a master’s degree from the University of Miami.
Senior Associate Vice President for Principal Gifts and Planned Giving
David oversees principal gift and planned giving fundraising for the university. He joined the George Washington University in August 2014.
Most recently, David served as the associate dean for advancement for the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and as president of The Medical Foundation of North Carolina.
David has 30 years of experience in higher education fundraising. He has also served as associate vice chancellor for university development at North Carolina State University, and executive director of medical center development at Duke University. Earlier in his career, David worked at Rice University, the University of Pittsburgh, and his alma mater, the University of Virginia.
David received a BA from the University of Virginia, an MAT from Trinity Washington University, and an MBA from the College of William & Mary.
Assistant Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Ellen joined GW in August 2018 to oversee fundraising and alumni engagement efforts at GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Previously, Ellen served as the Executive Director of Development for Life Sciences at UCLA during the historic $4.2 Billion Centennial Campaign. She capped off her six years at UCLA with a $15 million gift from an individual that will name (along with an earlier $5 million gift) a historic science building on campus.
At UCLA, Ellen transformed the development team into entrepreneurial and independent fundraisers, worked tirelessly to implement the vision of her dean, and oversaw annual attainment of $27 million for all science initiatives. As part of this success, Ellen engaged a number of high-profile philanthropists, including many who have signed the Giving Pledge. Prior to UCLA, Ellen served in fundraising roles at Syracuse University, her undergraduate alma mater, and the University of Miami.
Associate Dean and Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Carolyn leads the SMHS development and alumni relations teams to advance the education, clinical, and research missions of the school. She serves as a member of the school’s senior leadership team; sets the strategic direction of development initiatives in collaboration with clinical partners; oversees principal gift fundraising for priority areas; and establishes innovative programs to engage prospects, enhance grateful patient programs, and optimize volunteer and development councils.
Carolyn assumed her role in January 2018, after serving as a development consultant for the school. She has more than 20 years of experience raising funds for top research institutions around the world, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stanford Medicine, the University of Cambridge, Yale University, and Harvard Medical School. As a development professional, Carolyn has a proven track record of principal and major gift fundraising, campaign planning and strategy, volunteer recruitment and management, prospect identification, stewardship, and relationship management.
She holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington.
Associate Vice President for Central Initiatives
Maryam oversees development for cross-university initiatives and is responsible for growing investment in, and philanthropic support for, presidential priorities. She leads the strategic operations of a strong team of professionals across multiple functions including marketing communications, donor relations, corporate and foundation relations, family philanthropy, athletics, libraries, academic innovation, student experience, scholarships, and Hillel. Previously, Maryam served as assistant vice president for corporate and foundation relations, managing partnerships with institutional donors in support of the university's mission to build a superior learning environment and to conduct groundbreaking research to advance innovation.
Maryam came to GW after 11 years at Georgetown University where she was Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and served in a leadership role in strategic planning for the Advancement office. Previously, she was Executive Director in the Office of Fellowships, Awards and Research at Georgetown, where she managed applications to prestigious fellowships. Maryam has served on the board of the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers and previously chaired the National Capital Area CFR Directors Networking Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University, a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, and is a member of the bar of the State of Maryland.
Matthew R. Manfra
Senior Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving
Matt leads the university’s efforts to strengthen and promote an invested alumni community that inspires lifelong loyalty and advances GW. He also oversees the Annual Giving and Leadership Annual Giving operations. The university’s Alumni Relations team cultivates a worldwide community encompassing more than 280,000 living alumni throughout the United States and around the world.
Matt joined GW in 2015 from Syracuse University, where he served as assistant vice president for alumni engagement, a position that led the offices of annual giving and alumni relations. Previously, he served as assistant vice president for alumni relations at the University of Northern Colorado and as director of regional clubs and director of outreach programs at Rutgers University.
He began his career in higher education at his alma mater, The College of New Jersey, where he held roles in human resources, admissions, and as the alumni director. Matt has been a part of the creation of four strategic plans for alumni relations and was an alumni volunteer for his alma mater, serving as an officer of the TCNJ alumni executive board on two separate occasions.
Chief of Staff
Stephanie works closely with Vice President Donna Arbide, facilitating alumni and donor engagement strategies, and helping to set the strategic priorities of the division. She also works closely with the DAR staff liaisons to GW President Thomas LeBlanc.
Previously, as assistant vice president of Development for Campus and Community, Stephanie provided direction and vision for a number of key campus fundraising priorities, including Family Philanthropy, the GW Museum, GW Libraries and Academic and Innovation, and the Department of Athletics and Recreation.
Stephanie joined the George Washington University in September 2011 as the senior director of Family Philanthropy. Prior to joining GW, she served as the Washington development director for AIPAC.
Associate Vice President for Development, Advancement Services
Jon joined DAR in January 2014 to oversee Bio and Gift Records, Donor Relations, Technical Services, Training and User Support, and Research and Relationship Management. Prior to GW, Jon led research and advancement services operations for such organizations as The Nature Conservancy, Princeton University, and the American Red Cross. He has given presentations on many facets of the development profession at conferences of AASP, AFP, CASE, and other organizations.
With AASP, Jon chairs the Best Practices in Advancement Services project, serves on the program committee, and provides strategic planning services to the board of directors. He is a charter member of the association and a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award. He is a former president of APRA, and recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award. He is also a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple award for outstanding teaching. Jon earned his BA and MLIS degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and worked as a college librarian and instructor before entering the development profession in 1987.
Assistant Vice President Development, University Programs
Katie develops strategies and oversees the fundraising teams for Athletics, Family Philanthropy, GW Libraries and Academic Innovation, GW Hillel, GW Museums and the Textile Museum, The School of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies, The Graduate School of Professional Management, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and works closely with the Division of Student Affairs. Arriving at GW in 2017, Katie most recently worked as the practice manager for the Advancement Forum serving higher education fundraising at Education Advisory Board (EAB), a DC-based company that "forges and finds" best practices to address education's top challenges. Prior to joining EAB, Katie worked in the health care research arm of The Advisory Board Company where she served as the dedicated expert for academic medical center and children's hospital members.
Katie has a long history working in the nonprofit sector both with and for a variety of organizations, including colleges and universities, health systems, arts, and conservation organizations as an internal major gifts officer, fundraising consultant, and leadership coach. She earned an MS in organizational development from American University and a BS at Purdue University, where she started her career in development as a member of the Purdue Foundation Student Board running the senior class gift.
Maisha oversees all financial activities of the Division of Development & Alumni Relations and is a trusted financial advisor to the division’s senior leadership in areas of financial operations, budgetary management, and other strategic initiatives.
Prior to joining GW In October 2014, Maisha was the assistant controller at Howard University. She started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers specializing in higher education and nonprofit auditing and consulting. Maisha is a Certified Public Accountant with a BS in accounting from Syracuse University. She has more than 14 years of financial and accounting experience.