Heather Gelles-EbnerBack to People

Department: Development Office
College appointment: Development Director
Phone: 01865 276082


Heather Gelles-Ebner joined Magdalen College in 2017. She was appointed Development Director and Fellow in October 2019, having served in an interim capacity for a year at the College.  She began a career in finance before turning to fundraising for Higher Education and taking up the reins as Director of Planned Giving for her alma mater Vassar College in New York. In 2008, after a decade of fundraising in the U.S., Heather was invited to set up a new Development Office for the recently merged Green-Templeton College and she later led an ambitious campaign as Development Director and Fellow for University College (Univ), Oxford. She has provided consultancy advice and mentoring to more than 10 Colleges and Departments within the University of Oxford.

Role in the College

As Development Director, Heather works closely with the alumni of the College, in particular with Magdalen’s benefactors and loyal supporters. She oversees Magdalen’s fundraising strategy including campaign planning, and is responsible for maintaining revenue through philanthropic sources in order to support vital activities of the College and ultimately to grow the endowment.