Senior Executive Assistant
Phone: +61 7 3346 3923

Areas of responsibility

As Vice-President, Advancement and Community Engagement, Ms Karlson is responsible for an ambitious fundraising agenda that incorporates extensive community engagement and public relations. As a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s senior leadership group, she is the principal advisor to the Vice-Chancellor on Advancement Strategy, lead solicitations and change management to embed best practice in Advancement throughout the institution. The Vice-President, Advancement and Community Engagement is responsible for providing leadership in the Advancement Office, developing broad strategic direction and overall management for the fundraising functions and related support services, with the objective of attracting substantial philanthropic investment in the University. The Vice-President, Advancement and Community Engagement reports to the Vice-Chancellor on Advancement management and operations.


Jennifer Karlson joined UQ in 2017 to lead the University’s first comprehensive philanthropic campaign: Not if When—the Campaign to Create Change. Jen is the advisor to UQ’s Vice-Chancellor and President on institutional advancement and community engagement. Her career history spans the US, West Africa and Asia Pacific, including roles with the American Red Cross and the YMCA. Prior to UQ, she served as the Assistant Dean, Advancement for the College of Letters & Science and Senior Director of Development & Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Committed to growing a culture of philanthropy, social impact and collaborative engagement in Australia, in April 2019 Jen chaired the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference in Australia – the first in country for the world’s leading conference for professionals in advancement. In 2021, Jen was elected to The CASE Council for Asia-Pacific.

Jen holds Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master’s degree from Nebraska Methodist, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University and a Certificate in African Studies from the University of Ghana-Legon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).  Jen is married with two children and enjoys cooking, travelling and hiking.

Researcher biography

MSc (Nebraska), BSc (Wisconsin-Madison), CFRE