Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Advancement Leadership Awards

The Advancement Leadership Awards were created to acknowledge and profile extraordinary talent and the exemplary leadership of individuals whose contributions have been vital to the success of advancement at U of T.

For more details about this award, email Tania John Pihl and Mark Seymour

Advancement Leadership Award Winners pose for a photo

Left to Right: Matt Willis, VP Advancement David Palmer, Darina Landa, and Glenn Best at the 2019 Advancement Leadership Awards Ceremony

Advancement Rising Leader Award

The Advancement Rising Leader Award is presented to an individual who is generally at an earlier stage of their career and who has shown great leadership potential. Through their work they demonstrate the following characteristics: consistently performing at a high level; collaborating with, influencing, and supporting others; embracing change; and continually developing themselves to meet upcoming challenges. Regardless of their job responsibilities, this individual has demonstrated a significant level of achievement within their role, and goes above and beyond to support and inspire the people around them.

2021 Recipients:


Gary Bhanot, Senior Web Developer, Division of University Advancement

Danny Velev, Business Intelligence Solutions Architect, Division of University Advancement

2020 Recipients:

Deirdre R. Gomes, M.Ed., Associate Director, Donor Relations, Office of Advancement, Rotman School of Management
Giselle Arsenault, Director, Global Alumni Engagement and Inter-portfolio Initiatives, Alumni Relations, Divisions of University Advancement

2019 Recipient:

Glenn Best, Associate Director, Major Gifts, Division of University Advancement
Matt Willis, Senior Development Officer, Faculty of Law

Advancement Motivational Leader Award

Presented to an individual who is generally at a middle stage of their career and who has continuously made outstanding contributions to their division/ department and inspired positive change. They may or may not be in a formal leadership position; however, they demonstrate inspirational leadership through communicating a clear sense of direction and motivating and empowering others to achieve results. They are motivated by long-term objectives, and they mentor colleagues and encourage professional development, establish inclusive practices within their faculty/division through sustained streamlining, and significantly improve business processes to better serve the University’s mission. A proven role model, this individual’s expertise and leadership is highly respected, and inspires and influences teams to achieve outstanding results.

2021 Recipient:


Gabrielle Dang, Director of Development, Temerty Faculty of Medicine

Advancement Distinguished Leader Award

Presented to an advancement leader at a more established stage in their career who has continuously demonstrated exemplary leadership in their role. Through their work, they lead by motivating, mobilizing and empowering others to achieve high performance results. They embody the values that define excellence in advancement. Their extraordinary and sustained contributions to advancement have led to the success of their division’s or the University’s highest strategic priorities. A proven role model, this individual’s expertise and leadership is valued and embraced by others, and motivates teams to achieve outstanding results.

2021 Recipient:


Beth McCarthy, Executive Director, Divisional Relations, Division of University Advancement

2020 Recipient:

Humberto C. Ferreira, Director, Information Management, Advancement Services, Division of University Advancement

2019 Recipient:

Darina Landa, Executive Director, Advancement, Faculty of Medicine

U of T Outstanding Advancement Awards

The first iteration of these awards were called the Outstanding Advancement Award. The inaugural recipients were awarded the Outstanding Advancement Achievement Award in 2018. The awards were presented to two Advancement staff members for significant achievement in their role, as demonstrated by their creation of new and impactful initiatives, or innovative program enhancements, or by defining or advancing best practices in their field, that lead to the achievement of significant divisional or institutional goals.

2018 Recipients:

Devika Ramcharan, Director, Prospect Management, Division of University of Advancement
Jennifer Lancaster, Assistant Dean, Advancement, Faculty of Law