Executive Assistant
Ms Susan Edwards
Phone: +61 (7) 3346 6277
Fax: +61 (7) 3346 7029
Email: sue.edwards@uq.edu.au

Areas of responsibility

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement), 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 executive 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 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement) 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 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement) reports to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) on Advancement management and operations.

Biography

Prior to joining UQ in 2017 Ms Karlson was Assistant Dean for Advancement for the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States. This was the largest academic unit with over 19,000 students, 800 faculty, 50+ departments and institutes and over 200,000 alumni. In this role, Jen led a team responsible for the development of comprehensive advancement strategies for the College while working towards a $508m campaign goal (part of the $2.1 billion University campaign). Prior to this, Jen served as the Senior Director of Development and Strategy Manager as well as the Senior Director of Development at the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

Her strong beliefs in the importance of philanthropy in both a local and global context have evolved through a number of professional experiences, beginning with work on grass roots initiatives in West Africa.  This was followed by experiences with the American Red Cross and the YMCA.

Jen has served in leadership positions on multiple institutional committees as well as community nonprofits boards, including the Foundation for Madison Public Schools and the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Madison. 

Jen holds a Master’s degree from Nebraska Methodist and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jen has also completed a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University, as well as a Certificate in African Studies from the University of Ghana-Legon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jen is married with two children and enjoys travel and, whenever possible, an early morning swim.

Researcher biography

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