Appointment of Executive Director: Development and Alumni Department

23 March 2022 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

I am pleased to announce that Ms Sarah Archer has been appointed as the new executive director of the Development and Alumni Department (DAD) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She will take up the position on 1 June 2022.

Ms Archer will join the university from Stellenbosch University (SU) where she held the position of director of fundraising in the Development and Alumni Relations Department. In this role, she was involved in growing a team of fundraisers as well as a pool of committed and engaged donors, showcasing the work of the university in international circles and building strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders.

Before her position at SU, Ms Archer was integrally involved in the department she will now be leading at UCT, having started as coordinator of foundation relations in 2008, then moving to become manager of founder relations a year later before being appointed as the senior manager for international fundraising in 2011. Prior to UCT, she held management roles in the non-profit sector.

Passionate about alumni engagement and building a philanthropic culture not only across university and alumni communities but also within student (pre-alumni) and non-alumni (friend) circles, Ms Archer has a firm belief in the saying “growing our own timber”. Her passions include building collaborative fundraising networks, both within Africa and where there are compelling international opportunities, diversifying donor engagement circles and creating new models of philanthropic partnerships – within the university, across the higher education sector and with broad groupings of stakeholders.

Ms Archer holds a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology, an honours degree in English, a postgraduate diploma in human resources management, and a master’s degree in philosophy in development studies – all from UCT.

Her hands-on approach to leadership and 14 years of experience in fundraising in the South African higher education sector make her an ideal person to take DAD forward.

We congratulate her and look forward to welcoming her back to UCT where she will take over from Mr Sidney Van Heerden, who has held the position of acting executive director since July 2021. We thank Mr Van Heerden for holding the fort during this time.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.