Meet OuR Judges
Director of Bastable School Solutions
After graduating from Cambridge in 1975, John left the UK for a two-year teaching post overseas and returned 38 years later having gained extensive international experience, spending 35 years in leadership positions.
John is now semi-retired in Cambridge and is an independent educational consultant offering support in school governance, school security, cultural issues and leadership mentoring. He is a co-opted governor of an area special school in Cambridgeshire.
Former Chief Academic Officer of the International Baccalaureate
Judith taught English and Drama in secondary schools in London for 10 years, followed by 15 years as department head and principal in international schools in Jordan, Tanzania and Germany. She joined the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Cardiff in 2004 as Head of Programme Development, and in 2007 was appointed Chief Academic Officer, leading the development of IB curriculum for students aged 3 to 19 years. Latterly based in The Hague, she left the IB in 2014 to return to her home in the UK to work as an educational consultant and is a non-executive director on the board of Estyn, the inspectorate for schools in Wales. She has presented to and worked with schools and educators all over the world.
Dr Samia Al Farra
International Education Consultant
Dr Samia Al Farra works as a consultant in school improvement and excellence in education K-12. Currently she serves on three boards of international schools in Dubai, Riyadh and Kuwait. She was the Chief Education Officer of Taaleem Management Group in Dubai for 5 years until August 2014. Prior to that, she was the Principal of Amman Baccalaureate School for 18 years, which was the first school to offer the IB system in the region. Samia also served at Al Bayan School in Kuwait in a variety of positions for 13 years and ultimately as a director.
Samia has served as a chairwoman on many school committees. She was a member of the Jordan Ministry of Education Council for 13 years, served as a member of the International Baccalaureate Academic Committee from 1997 - 2003, served on the IB Head of Schools Committee for 6 years, and was a member of the IB Council of Foundation. She is the co-founding member of the Middle East International Baccalaureate Association (MEIBA), of which she was president for 7 years. She received her Doctorate in Education through Bath University, UK.
Samia served as an elected for the IBO's Regional Heads Representatives Committee for Africa/Europe and Middle East for 4 years, and chaired and co-chaired accreditation visits for The Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Samia is also a certified DSIB /KHDA inspector.
In 1995, Samia was recognised by ECIS for her role in highlighting and promoting international education. She was awarded the education Award-first degree from the MOE in Jordan. In addition, she has been awarded the "Life Time Achievement Award" as part of the seventh edition of the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) the Middle East's largest education exhibition and conference 2014.
Mary van der Heijden
Founder and Company Director of Pro Learning International Ltd
Mary is Founder and Company Director of Pro Learning International Ltd. She has been an experienced teacher and senior leader in schools in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Zambia, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia.
Mary has experience with a range of national and international curricular. She was the founding headteacher of a bi-lingual school in Indonesia and the founding Vice Principal of the United World College in Singapore.
Over the last three years, Mary has worked as a consultant and has trained and supported schools worldwide, coaching and training middle and senior leaders. Leading accreditation teams, writing professional development programmes for NGOs and foundations and co-writing a food, energy, water programme for young people all meet her ambition to help develop international schools.
International Advisor for the Council of International Schools
Pippa has extensive educational experience gained both internationally and in the UK, from a career devoted to education as teacher, school Head, IB Regional Director and consultant. She joined the CIS team in June 2017 as an International Advisor supporting and visiting schools applying for CIS membership and participating in the cycle of CIS accreditation
Head of School, ACS Egham International School, UK
Jeremy Lewis has spent 35 years teaching and leading in international schools in Kuwait, Japan, Hungary, Vietnam, Turkey and most recently the UK. Jeremy has considerable experience teaching and administering the International Baccalaureate, and has recently been appointed as a Commissioner for International Education for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), a role which plays to his interest in school accreditation and transformation. Jeremy’s years in international education, coupled with his own childhood in South Africa, have contributed to his commitment to providing students with a global mindset.
Founder and Chair of TAISI
Anu Monga has a distinguished career within education in India and the international schools market. She has more than thirty years of senior leadership experience and has worked in different leadership capacities with leading schools in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kodaikanal including Bangalore International School. She continues to be an active player in building partnerships to promote quality education.
In 2005, Anu founded The Association of International Schools in India (TAISI), the first platform in India to bring together international schools for collaboration purposes and has, as a result, managed to build a vibrant professional development community with schools across India.
Anu has served and continues to serve on many national and international boards and accreditation teams including CIS, NFI, AISH and ECIS, and works with governments around the world promoting educational collaborations. Anu believes that one of the assured criteria for an effective pedagogy is a happy school which is why she has worked extensively to shape supportive organisational cultures that are inclusive in nature.
Anu was received many notable education awards including Education Icon of the Year by Education Today in 2018 and the Hall of Fame Award for promoting international education by the Association of Advancement in International Education (AAIE) in 2016.
Former Principal of Oaktree International School, Kolkata, India
Paul has worked in the field of education as teacher, head teacher and principal for over thirty years, fifteen of them in international education. He has run schools in Kenya, the Ukraine, Bosnia and India and, as founding head, he has started up 2 new IB residential schools, one of them being UWC Mostar, the twelfth United World College.
Paul has a degree in Russian which he also taught for many years. In addition, he has taught French, Latin, History and the International Baccalaureate’s Theory of Knowledge.
Paul has authored several published chapters mainly on the subject of education as a route to peace and conflict resolution.
Chairman of COBIS
Trevor has extensive international experience with 20 years overseas. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, after headships in England he was then Head of an international school and CEO of a leading schools group. He has been Chairman of COBIS, the premier professional association for British international schools since 2011, dealing with schools and governments around the globe and helping to extend its services.
Trevor has also been a governor of 12 schools around the world, and an experienced consultant on school leadership and governance. Elected FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts) in 1994, he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Former Executive Director at ECIS
Kevin is the former Executive Director of ECIS. In addition to two decades in education as a teacher, advisor, department head, and deputy head, he has given 19 years of service as a director on non-profit boards, with four years as a school trustee. Kevin is a Fellow in the UK-based Royal Society of Arts; advisory council member for Harvard Business Review; advisory council member for AAIE (Association for the Advancement of International Education); member of the Online Executive Panel (Education) for McKinsey & Company; member of the Feedback Forum (Marketing) for the Financial Times; and past lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He holds bachelor’s degrees in French and German and a Master’s in Comparative Literature, all from the Pennsylvania State University; a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University; and two executive certificates from Stanford University in Advanced Project Management and Strategic Decision & Risk Management.
Dr Helen Wright
International Education Advisor
Helen has an energetic career spanning 25 years to date in the UK and international education sector, including 13 years leading schools as Head, as well as a number of national and international roles, including as Vice-Chair of the Independent Schools’ Council, President of the UK Girls’ Schools Association, and Chair of the Research Group of the World Leading Schools’ Association.
She is a regular speaker at international education conferences on topics including internationalising schools and engaging with digital technologies to extend global educational and career opportunities for young people. She currently coaches several senior international school leaders in post (and transitioning between roles) in various parts of the world. As an Associate of LSC Education (international executive search), she has helped to recruit numerous candidates for roles in international schools across the world.
Helen is active in several non-executive and advisory board roles in the UK and overseas.
Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
Ango Mwakisu has been working in international higher education for more than 10 years. Originally from the land of Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, Tanzania, Ango is an alumnus of Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communications, Systems and Electronics. He is a former member of the Global Forum planning committee of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and currently sits on the International Advisory Committee of the Collegeboard and the Governance and Nominating Committee of the International Association for College Admissions Counselling. Ango is a regular presenter at international higher education conferences on various topics including student mobility trends and innovative ways of engaging with university-bound students. He has recently moved to NYU Abu Dhabi where he serves as a Senior Assistant Director of Admission.