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The Development and Alumni Engagement Team

Yasmin Ali

Interim Head of Development and Alumni Engagement


Profile: Yasmin has undertaken several roles since joining De Montfort University (DMU) in 2008. She is currently the Interim Head of Development and Alumni Engagement and Deputy Director of the Social Impact and Engagement Directorate. Yasmin is an alumna of DMU and graduated with a Master’s in Education Practice in 2013. Outside of DMU, Yasmin is also Director of Operations for the Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN).



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Russell Towlson

Global Alumni Engagement Manager



Profile: Following 6 years living and working in Central Eastern Europe, helping British businesses to export goods & services, Russ is DAE's international alumni & business engagement specialist.

Collaborating with DMU Global to provide virtual student experiences, DMU Partnership Unit to forward partnership leads, DMU faculties & the International Office to support international student recruitment, DMU Works to identify international 'business insights' and DMU Local with international alumni volunteering.




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Emma Heald

Alumni Officer



Profile: Emma is responsible for the DMU for Life Clubs programme, which aims to establish groups of  alumni around the world based on their geographical location, to allow them to stay connected, work together and socialise after they graduate. 

She works closely with Russel Towlson on elements of our international service and relations. Find out more about Clubs.


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Danielle Wright

Alumni Officer



Profile: Danielle joined DMU in 2019, following a 12 career working with young people to develop their awareness of careers and employability. In her role as Development and Alumni Officer, Danielle works with colleagues across the university to inform and inspire our current students, using our alumni, through events and initiatives which help prepare them for the world of work.


With a background in events, relationship management and careers, Danielle focuses on alumni engagement & professional development, connecting our students with our alumni to learn from their experiences.



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Paul Davis

Development and Fundraising Manager



Profile: Paul is responsible for our fundraising and philanthropic stewardship strategy, with a wealth of experience in sales and corporate environments he is the main liaison for the DAE team and our partnered organisations.









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Andrea Casey

Development and Alumni Officer



Profile:  After working for several years in events planning, Andrea is now responsible for the management and organisation of various DAE initiatives, as well as acting as a liaison for the team on other University wide projects.

Her responsibilities also include the development of partnerships and funding agreements to support the ongoing research, philanthropic and outreach work of the university.


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Nick Ballard

Development and Alumni Services Manager



Profile: Following 10 years working in Higher Education fundraising and alumni relations Nick joined DMU in 2016 bringing with him expertise in Annual Fund fundraising, fundraising analytics, fundraising systems, donor management, and vast industry specific knowledge.

Nick is now responsible for governance and compliance, alumni & fundraising systems, due diligence, infrastructure and data management for the Development and Alumni Engagement Team.



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Will Blackshaw

Development and Alumni Marketing Officer



Profile: Will is a CIM accredited marketer, managing content creation and the promotion of Development and Alumni Engagement projects across social media and digital platforms. He works closely with graduates and partner organisations to highlight the successes of DMU’s global alumni community.

If you have an alumni success story you want to share, please contact Will to discuss it further.



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Tabitha Gavin

Development and Alumni Administrator



Profile: Tabitha Gavin provides full administrative support to the DAE team and handles enquiries to the DMUforlife email inbox.