Since 2007, David has served as Vice-President, Advancement for the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest and most renowned research-intensive university, with 93,000 students on three campuses, 22,000 faculty and staff, and 630,000 alumni in more than 180 countries. Under David’s leadership, the University of Toronto recently completed the Boundless campaign—the largest campaign in Canadian history—with $2.64 billion raised from more than 104,000 unique donors while more than tripling alumni engagement. The University is currently in the quiet phase of its next campaign, which will yet again set a new high-water mark for institutional fundraising in Canada.
David Palmer is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, an executive committee member of the National Council of Foundation Executives, a director of the Earth Rangers Foundation, and (until June 30, 2021) a Trustee of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He earned his Master of Fine Arts in musicology from Princeton University and began his career as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario, his undergraduate alma mater.
From 1999 to 2007, David served as President and Executive Director of the Royal Ontario Museum Board of Governors (originally the ROM Foundation) where he led Renaissance ROM—a transformational campaign that re-defined the Museum’s financial resource base, its public brand, and its position as a major international cultural destination. From 1993 to 1999, David led a ground-breaking campaign for the University of Western Ontario’s business school. These efforts resulted in it being renamed the Richard Ivey School of Business, ushering in a new era in professional-faculty fundraising in Canada.
David was recognized in 2011 with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2016 he was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.
The University of Toronto is a member of AAU, CASE 50, and the Advancement Leadership Forum. The University of Toronto is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world: 18th overall—U.S. News & World Report 2020; 18th overall—Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020; 3rd in research output in sciences and 1st among public universities—N.T.U. 2020; 5th in clinical medicine—U.S. News & World Report 2020; 8th worldwide for Global Employability of Graduates—T.H.E. 2020.