David Palmer - Vice President, Advancement

David N. Palmer

Vice President, Advancement, University of Toronto
416-978-2125 or email

Since 2007, David has served as Vice-President Advancement for the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest research-intensive university, with 90,000 students on three campuses and more than 575,000 alumni in over 190 countries. The University of Toronto is consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the world for innovation, teaching and research impact.

Under David’s leadership, the University of Toronto concluded the Boundless Campaign in December 2018, surpassing its original $2 billion goal to reach $2.641 billion raised—an historic new high watermark for philanthropy in Canada—and with more than 104,000 unique donors contributing. With twin goals of preparing global citizens and addressing major global challenges, Boundless secured funding for a wide range of initiatives across the University’s three campuses: it opened doors of opportunity for thousands of students through scholarships and bursaries; built major facilities to enhance education for future generations; fuelled innovative and award-winning research, faculty and programs; and increased engagement with our alumni around the world.

David Palmer is a senior fellow of Massey College, an executive committee member of the National Council of Foundation Executives, and a director of the Earth Rangers Foundation. 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.