Adrian Punaks

Adrian Punaks

Executive Director of Development
Crystal Apple Winner


Adrian leads the philanthropy and alumni activity in the Office of the Vice Provost (Advancement), with oversight of the fundraising, alumni relations, supporter engagement and strategy and operations teams. He works closely with UCL’s leadership, and across the academic community, to ensure advancement underpins and enables UCL’s strategic aims, and enhances the university’s global reputation and profile.

With 18 years' experience in higher education advancement, he joined UCL in 2011 having worked previously at Imperial College London, and Birkbeck, University of London. 

He helped close UCL’s first Campaign in 2011 and was central in developing UCL’s recent £600m Campaign from its inception, its launch in 2016, and through to it successfully reaching its targets a year ahead of schedule in 2020. He has played a leading role in a number of significant gifts and initiatives over the last decade at UCL, particularly in the medical space, such as the innovative Dementia Retail partnership to support UCL becoming the national hub of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI). 

Outside of UCL he’s prominent in the philanthropy sector. He’s been the Chair of the Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising since 2018, and served for three years as fundraising co-chair at the CASE Europe Annual Conference, as well as helping launch their first ever Middle East Conference in the UAE in 2018. In 2010 he received the inaugural Iain More Award that recognises the outstanding achievements of a development professional, and holds a Crystal Apple award for Teaching Excellence. He represents UCL at the Ross Group of Development Directors and is a respected advancement professional and role model in the sector. 

At UCL Adrian is also an active Board Director of UCLFAA, UCL’s New York based charity, and established and is co-chair of the department’s EDI Committee which is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion. 

He has a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading.