John Kearsey is a seasoned philanthropic executive with diverse leadership experience across the university, healthcare, and private sectors. He joined ROM Governors as President & CEO in January 2022, inspired by the Museum’s mission to help people understand the past, make sense of the present and come together to shape a shared future.
A dedicated fundraising professional for over 25 years, John most recently served as Vice-President of External Relations at the University of Manitoba where he led the University’s ambitious Front and Centre Campaign to raise an incredible $626 million, exceeding its goal by more than $100 million. He has also led high-performing advancement teams in Australia and Canada and has worked with donors and stakeholders at the international level.
John has a strong history of community leadership as a volunteer and donor. He passionately champions culture, arts and artists. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre from 2012-2019 and has been involved on many boards including the I.H. Asper School of Business Associates, the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, and the James W. Burns Leadership Institute Advisory Board.
John credits Terry Fox as his inspiration and was one of 40 Canadians to write about Fox’s impact in the book, Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters. In 1985, Kearsey received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and today is board chair of the program which celebrates the humanitarian service, determination, and courage of young Canadians and supports their academic pursuits. He also serves as a board member of the Terry Fox Foundation.
John’s commitment to best practices and evidence-based decision-making, in addition to his bold embrace of change, mark him as an admired leader in his field. In 2020, he was recognized with the AFP Manitoba Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award.
John is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and holds a BA in Religious Studies and English as well as a Certificate in Business Administration.