Chief Executive Officer
Ziad Azzam is a Lebanese national raised in the United Arab Emirates. He earned his IB Diploma in 1987 and has two Bachelors' degrees from MIT, in Physics and Electrical Engineering, as well as a Master's degree in Theoretical Physics. Upon returning to the UAE he worked at the International School of Choueifat from 1994 to 2000, first as a teacher and then as head of the school in Dubai. After a brief stint as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in Dubai, and inspired by his passion for education, he founded Beacon Education (now Taaleem) a school management company that develops and manages high quality international schools in the Middle East.
Dr Samia Al Farra
Chief Education Officer
Samia was the Principal of Amman Baccalaureate School since 1991, which is the first school to offer the IB system in the region. She also served at Al-Bayan School in Kuwait in a variety of positions for 13 years and ultimately as a director. She has served as a chairwoman on many school committees. She was a member of the Jordan Ministry of Education Council for 13 years. Samia served as a member of the International Baccalaureate Academic Committee from 1997 - 2003, served on the Head of Schools Committee for six years and was a member of the IB Council of Foundation. In 1995 she was awarded by the ECIS for her role in highlighting and promoting international education. She is the founding member of the Middle East International Baccalaureate Association (MEIBA), which she was president of for seven years. She received her doctorate in Education through Bath University, UK. Samia has been elected for the IBO's Regional Heads Representatives Committee for Africa/Europe and Middle East. She served as a keynote speaker on many international conferences on international education. Samia has also chaired and co-chaired accreditation visits for The Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Chief Finance Officer
Kapil started his career with Deloitte & Touche member firms in India before heading to Dubai as an Audit Senior for KPMG. Having worked his way up to Manager in just three years, he left KPMG in 2005 to join Taaleem as Chief Financial Officer. Within three months he was given the additional responsibility of Head of Administration. Kapil holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Delhi and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Dr. Sadru Damji
Deputy CEdO Development
Born and raised in Kenya, Sadru obtained his B.Sc. in Kenya, B.Ed. and Ph.D. in Canada and he has attended the Principals' Centre at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is multilingual, has travelled around the world and has taught under different educational systems, namely the IB, British, Kenyan, North American at the junior and senior secondary levels. Sadru has spent seventeen years with the UWCs. For 15 years he was at Pearson College and he was the founding Vice Principal/Director of Studies of Li Po Chun UWC in Hong Kong where he spent two years establishing the UWC. As Assistant Head of the Upper School at the prestigious institution, Upper Canada College, the 'Eton' of Canada, Sadru acquired valuable administrative experience. His experiences with the IB include Examiner, Workshop Leadership, Curriculum Development and Subject Committee member and participation in international conferences including Headmasters Conferences around the world. He has been a past IB North American (IBNA) Board member and Chairman of the IBNA Administrators Conference. Sadru has been extensively involved in the Services and Activities Programme at the UWCs and UCC. As a House Master he provided pastoral care for the numerous international students. Sadru was responsible for Leading the Future IB World Student held at UCC in August 2002, has taken students to live in a shanty town in Bangkok and work with street kids and led a team of Taaleem teachers to train Nepali and Bhutanese refugee teachers in Nepal.
Director of Communications
Clive was the Director of Admissions and Development at the Sultan School in Oman for 14 years. He has also been Director of Human Resources and Head of Learning Support. As Headmaster of a UK school, designated as a National Centre of Excellence, Clive has experience in working with students with difficulties in mainstream education. As part of the Senior Management Team, he has been responsible for pastoral care, curricula innovation and staff development. Clive has attended courses on School Management relating to Finance, Administration and Performance Management and has led courses in Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia, Administering and interpreting Developmental Indicators and Assessment of Learning Test as well as on separating learning, language and second language difficulties.
Tom oversees and conducts all projects that Taaleem embarks upon. Tom's background is delivering major construction and infrastructure support projects, on time, every time, to quality and to price throughout the Middle East for the last 20 years.
Mark graduated with a degree in Mathematics from Nottingham University in the early 1980s and started his teaching career in Kent, England. He has worked in both state and independent schools in UK and in British International schools in Europe, Africa, the Far East and the Middle East. In addition to teaching Mathematics he has performed a variety of leadership and management roles, both pastoral and academic. Before taking up the post of Head of Secondary at DBS, Mark was Head of Senior School and Vice Principal at South Island School, a large British international school in Hong Kong. Mark has taken over the role of Principal at Dubai British School in June 2011.
Having graduated with a degree in Modern History from Oxford in
the late 70s, Andy has worked in British schools overseas since 1980. A Housemaster at Island School in Hong Kong, he was appointed Head of Humanities at Guildford Grammar School in Perth, Western Australia, before becoming Deputy Principal of the British International School in Jakarta, and subsequently Director of Schools at the Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur. He took his Masters in Education at the University of Western Australia in 1994 and joins DBS from Bangkok Patana in Thailand, where he was Head of School. He has also worked in Istanbul, where he was the Director of Enka Schools.
Delice hails from New York, USA. She received a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from New York University in 1986. An educator for over 30 years, Mrs. Scotto has experience as both a teacher and an administrator in public, private and charter schools in the US and in Kuwait. Mrs. Scotto has also taught Educational Leadership classes at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Phoenix-Metro Detroit. While in Kuwait she was directly responsible for the development of the middle/high school program for the American Academy for Girls in Kuwait where she served as Principal and was subsequently appointed Superintendent.
Wayne has been in international education for the last 25 years, predominately as an administrator. He holds a M. Ed. in Education Administration, a B. Ed. and a B.A. Most recently he was Principal of Island Academy in the West Indies where he spent six years taking a fledgling, year-old school with very few students to a highly successful one that has just had its authorisation visit for the IB Diploma programme. Prior to that, Wayne was Principal of an international school in the Gulf, and was founding Principal of the Canadian International School in Singapore. At the end of his nine years in Singapore, his school had over 1000 students and a global reputation of high achievement. Wayne also brings experience in community work through his involvement internationally in Africa and South East Asia.
Tim has held positions of responsibility on a number of National and State Education Boards in Australia. He was the President on the Association of Independent Schools of Tasmania for many years and sat on the National Board of the Association of Independent Schools of Australia for a similar period. He was also the Chairman of various school sporting associations both in Queensland and Tasmania.Tim Waley has been a School Principal for over 22 years in Australia and more recently, in Dubai, as Principal of Raffles International School, West Campus. His first leadership appointment was as Head of Junior School at All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast and was followed by his Headship of Toowoomba Preparatory School, also in Queensland. He accepted the role as Principal of Fahan School in Hobart in 1995 where he served until taking up the role at Raffles in 2009. In addition to his Bachelor of Education, Tim also holds an MBA and Graduate Diploma of Educational Administration.
He has been a Member of the Australian College of Educators and the Australian College of Educational Administrators for over 20 years. He is listed in the Australian publication of Who's Who as a result of his contributions to the school education communities he has served.
Birgit has lived and worked in several countries, where her interest and fascination for internationalism and the importance of language has blossomed. The education of young children aged between three and five years, as well as the people who deliver this education, has been her primary interest for almost 20 years. She has taught and coordinated this age group in international schools in Hong Kong, Thailand and Germany. Birgit understands that encouraging language and creativity from this early age is crucial to all learning. At the Bavarian International School in Munich, Birgit successfully implemented a bilingual teaching programme for Early Childhood students on German and English. She was a founding member of the United Nations International School of Bangkok and led the Early Childhood Department. At the German Swiss International School of Hong Kong, Birgit was the driving force in creating a strong relationship between the English and German/Swiss streams. She played an instrumental role in setting up and leading The Children's Garden in the Green Community and in Jumeira. Birgit holds a PGC in International School Education from Oxford Brookes University as well as a Kindergartenpaedagogic diploma from Austria.
An experienced Principal, Angela has lived and worked overseas for many years and is a truly international educator. With a teaching career of twenty eight years, Angela has held leadership positions from primary aged to secondary school students. She has been head of schools in Switzerland, Tanzania and Belgium with teaching experiences in Austria and the UK. Angela has been responsible for the establishment, marketing and continual development of a start-up school and led ECIS accreditation and IB authorization processes. She is an IB PYP advanced trainer, has carried out ECIS accreditation team training and has published several professional articles. Angela earned her M.Ed. from the Texas A&M University and B.Ed. from Nottingham University.