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Recent Movers & Shakers

Sophy Searight

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: January 2023

The PIE, Global. Sophy Searight has joined The PIE team in January as its new events director. Sophy has 15 years of experience with the conference and exhibitions sector and created exciting events for delegations, ranging from a handful of senior executives to 60,000 trade show attendees and everything in between. Her key roles include head of event content at Property Week, and head of content at Hyve Group. Leading delivery of industry leading shows across 5 continents, Sophy has enjoyed participating in the global economy and understands the crucial role that young educated international experts will have in the various industries she has created events for. “From renewable energy to retail, politics to heavy industry, to improve our environment and society we have to loom outward!”

Rob Pointen

Moved within/to: Weduc
On: January 2023

Weduc, UK. Rob Pointen has been appointed as chief executive officer of school communications company Weduc, after joining the organisation as its chief financial officer last year. Rob has a proven track record in planning and facilitating strategic change in high growth companies across multiple sectors. Since joining the board, Pointen has been instrumental in forging a strong, dynamic, standalone business after the demerger from the Accrosoft group last year. He will work closely with the new non-executive chairman Paul Hughes to implement a strategy building on Weduc’s next-generation parental engagement software solution. “We’ve got a really exciting future ahead,” Rob said. “Our mission is to bring genuine service back into Edtech, which many schools today sadly find missing, especially from our larger corporate rivals. Many of our staff are ex-education professionals, who truly understand the problems facing schools and genuinely want to make a difference in children’s educational outcomes.”

Paul Hughes

Moved within/to: Weduc
On: January 2023

Weduc, UK.  Seasoned education software entrepreneur and business leader, Paul Hughes has been appointed as non-executive chairman of school communications platform Weduc. Paul brings with him a wealth of education sector experience, previously as founder and CEO of ParentMail. Working closely with newly-appointed CEO Rob Pointen, he will help implement a strategy that builds on the success Weduc is seeing with its next-generation parental engagement software solution, which is proving a valued school upgrade to legacy systems. Paul said about the company upon the news of his appointment : “Weduc is probably the most comprehensive parental engagement solution currently available to schools. It has been carefully developed – utilising more channels than any other product which ultimately means, it reaches more people including that small minority of parents that most schools find hardest to reach.”



Abhinav Upadhyay

Moved within/to: CollegeDekho
On: January 2023

CollegeDekho, India. Indian higher education ecosystem CollegeDekho has appointed Abhinav Upadhyay as its new chief marketing officer. Abhinav will drive all aspects of brand and product marketing besides building the next chapter of growth for the company through innovations and transformative efforts across its entire spectrum of products and services. Abhinav has nearly 2 decades of leadership experience while spearheading product innovation, brand management, and marketing for leading Indian and multinational corporations like the Tata Group, Western Union, Thomas Cook, Zee Group and Talentedge. Abhinav has led businesses and brands across categories for nearly 2 decades. Commenting on his new role, Abhinav said, “The opportunity to build a powerful brand and business in the education sector in India is truly amazing… To enable more and more Indian students to fulfil their dreams truly excites me and I’m extremely thrilled about driving transformative growth.”

Salim Hussein

Moved within/to: Kaplan International Pathways
On: December 2022

Kaplan International Pathways, Global.  Salim Hussein has joined Kaplan International Pathways as a head of US recruitment for the MENA region. He is an international education leader with 14 years experience working for higher education institutions and ESL providers, recruiting international students and connecting US institutions with their counterparts globally through dual and joint degree programs. He has visited 26 countries for student recruitment and international academic partnerships purposes. Before joining Kaplan, he worked for the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University as a regional director of clients relationships for the MENA region. Prior to this, he worked for Cambridge Assessment English as business development manager. Positions he has held at higher education institutions in the US include: director of international partnerships at Ocean County College in New Jersey, director of international marketing at Mentora College, and international student recruiter at the University of Massachusetts. Salim said of the new role: “I am proud to be part of the renowned international education group Kaplan, and I look forward to continuing to impact students’ educational future in the MENA region.”

Peter Hayes

Moved within/to: International House World Organisation
On: January 2023

International House World Organisation, Global. IHWO has announced Peter Hayes has been appointed a new chairperson of its board. Peter is one of the directors at International House Manchester and will be taking over from Monica Green who has been executive director since 2008. Peter started his career as a teacher with a job in Verona, Italy. Having done the Dip TEFLA, he then moved to Prague to teach at The Bell School. He held various academic management posts in Oxford, Stafford and Cheltenham before, in 2006, becoming Director of the school that became IH Manchester. IH Manchester joined the network in 2013 and Pete has been a key figure in the community, embodying the principles of International House through his support of the network and fellow IH schools. “We are delighted that Peter Hayes from IH Manchester will be stepping in as Chairperson from 1st January 2023,” commented Emma Hoyle, managing director of IH World. “He will do an excellent job of guiding our organisation through the next set of challenges.”

Jay Colios

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: January 2023

The PIE, Global. Jay Colios has joined The PIE as senior partnership and community manager. Over the last 13 years Jay has worked in sales, marketing and technology roles in education organisations. He started his international education career at ICEF where he worked in business development, he moved on and eventually started his own education marketing organisation. Jay returned to ICEF as their director of technology where he relaunched myICEF and created the ICEF Live Lists platform. Jay then went on to work at LearnCube as sales director and most recently was responsible for launching partnerships in the mainland Europe region for Jay has spent the last 12 years living across Europe and is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal. When he’s not in the office you’ll find him cooking up a feast in the kitchen or at the beach with his dog Louie.

Esther Wilkinson

Moved within/to: Royal Agricultural University
On: January 2023

Royal Agricultural University, UK. It has been announced that Esther Wilkinson is taking up the role of associate director of business development and research support at the RAU, after almost nine years leading international activities, relationships and international strategy development at Jisc. Having worked at the UK Research Councils, Universities UK International and Jisc this post will build on a breadth of sector experience, predominantly in international and research for the past 25 years. At Jisc, Esther led on developing solutions and support for HEIs to maintain quality international and TNE student experiences and access to resources through the pandemic; helping both UK and twinned universities in Ukraine with their developing and long-term needs; and more recent projects on TNE graduate outcomes and international student experience. Esther said she is “very much looking forward to new challenges at the RAU”, but also plans to “maintain relationships with networks of colleagues in the international space” – she also said she would “miss her lovely colleagues” at Jisc.

Frank Merendino

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: January 2023

The PIE, Global. Frank Merendino has joined The PIE as its new VP of business development and partnerships for the US. Frank has spent the past 15 years working in international education across public universities, a non-profit professional association, and organisations that focus on public-private partnerships. Frank got his start in the field as an international student advisor at Miami University before moving to international student recruitment and partnerships at the University of Cincinnati. There he developed 2+2 programs and established a recruitment office in Vietnam. Following that, Frank went on to work in business and partnership development for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Shorelight Education, Quad Learning, and INTO University Partnerships. Frank got his first taste of international travel when he visited Rome with his family while an undergraduate student. Originally interested in becoming a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State, he came to the conclusion that a career in international education was the perfect fit during his summer internship in Canadian Parliament. While not working or traveling, you will often find Frank on a hiking trail with his lovely wife and son.


Siobhan Ali Chikh

Moved within/to: Kaplan International Languages
On: January 2023

Kaplan International Languages, Global. Siobhan Ali Chikh has joined Kaplan’s languages arm as operations manager. Siobhan brings 15 years of experience in the TEFL sector to her new role at the company. She joined Kaplan in 2012 as Student services manager at the Kaplan Oxford language school and then moved to a wider operations role.  Originally from the North West of England, Siobhan was delighted to become the first Principal of Kaplan’s Liverpool school when it opened in 2014 where she has seen it grow from welcoming just six students to the thriving school it is today, complete with a specialist centre for students over 30. During COVID-19, Siobhan stepped into a regional role, also running the Manchester centre, where she has overseen the development of both centres post-pandemic.  She is thrilled now to be taking on her new role as operations manager and bringing her 15 years of TEFL experience to the UK and Ireland region as a whole.

Paula Jamieson

Moved within/to: Royal Roads University
On: January 2023

Royal Roads University, Canada. Paula Jamieson has joined the Global Learning & Language Centre at Royal Roads University, a unique public research university in Victoria, Canada.  As Manager of Global Learning Programs, Paula works with a network of agents and overseas partners to promote and deliver the Global Workforce Skills Certificate and Summer Leadership Academy, as well as custom groups like Global English through Leadership, where students explore the world through team-based projects that promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Paula has worked in the field of international education and training for over 30 years, spanning public and private sectors in Canada, the US and Japan.  About her new role, Jamieson says, “I am passionate about developing Global Learning programs through service excellence, digital innovation, and high-performance team-building. The GLLC at Royal Roads is a great match for this goal, and for students who are keen on entrepreneurship, sustainability, and global leadership.”

Monica Dugo

Moved within/to: StudyMe
On: January 2023

StudyMe, US. Monica Dugo has recently joined as Senior Partnerships Manager at StudyMe, an innovative digital recruitment platform that allows universities to remotely connect with and recruit the best fit international students for their academic programs. She has worked in international education for over a decade, first teaching English in the former Republic of Georgia. With experience working and living in five countries within three continents, she brings expertise in international recruitment/admissions along with targeted global marketing, which has greatly assisted her abilities to cross-collaborate and strategise amongst a worldwide portfolio of partnerships. She has a strong passion for technology and its advances on increasing diversity and global access and looks forward to growing with StudyMe.

Fanta Aw

Moved within/to: NAFSA
On: March 2023

NAFSA, US. NAFSA: Association of International Educators has announced that Fanta Aw, a current vice president at American University and a career-long champion of campus internationalisation, will serve as its next executive director and CEO. Fanta served as the president and chair of NAFSA’s board of directors from 2013 to 2016 – the longest tenure of any individual in that role in NAFSA’s history. In 2018, she also received the NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Service. Fanta’s varied leadership roles at American University—including vice president for undergraduate enrolment, campus life, and inclusive excellence—demonstrate her skills in forging collaboration across multiple internal and external entities. Fanta said of her new role, starting in March: ““This new opportunity at NAFSA represents a true homecoming for me, and I couldn’t be happier. NAFSA is a venerable association that has been at the leading edge of international education throughout its existence. It is my honour to guide its next chapter.”

Charlie Carter

Moved within/to: SI-UK
On: December 2022

SI-UK, UK. SI-UK announced the appointment of Charlie Carter as the new UK country director, based in London. SI-UK is one of the largest global education agencies sending international students to the UK. The London office works closely with UK university partners and engages with students from more than 100 different countries. Prior to joining SI-UK, Charlie spent 10 years as director, international office at Loughborough University where he developed global engagement strategy and internationalisation activity including student recruitment, institutional partnerships, student and staff mobility and international alumni engagement. He has twice been a member of the BUILA Executive Committee and formerly Chaired the British Universities Brunei Association. Prior to Loughborough, Charlie worked for FT-SE 100 consultancies in the UK and Europe.

Mona Chaisong

Moved within/to: Casita
On: January 2023

Casita, Global. Mona Chaisong will be joining Casita as a Partnerships Manager for the South East Asia market, based out of the regional HQ in Thailand. Mona graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly the University of Wales, Cardiff) with an MBA in 2007 and completed her bachelors degree in Economic Environment from Khon Kaen University in 2006. Mona has almost 15 years of experience in international recruitment for higher education institutions, most recently with INTO, during which time she has gained in-depth knowledge and expertise in business development and marketing at national and regional levels. In addition, Mona has experience recruiting and managing large numbers of students and has a passion for overseas education and helping students accomplish their goals.

Adam Mathews

Moved within/to: UKLC
On: January 2023

UKLC, UK. UKLC has appointed Adam Mathews as program manager of its new summer school at Clifton College in Bristol. Adam’s first experience of EFL summer programs was as Social Programme Coordinator in 2005. Since then, he has taught in cities across Europe and performed all the major roles at summer centres, including a decade of centre managing some of UKLC’s newest and biggest centres. After a sojourn with another school, during which he developed a problem-based approach to teaching at junior summer centres, he has recently returned to UKLC to promote and run its new summer centre orientated around giving individuals an exceptional language experience. “I’m so pleased to be back with UKLC, and I’m really excited about the possibilities for this new type of UKLC summer school,” he said.

Ksenia Drobysheva

Moved within/to: Medic Mentor
On: November 2022

Medic Mentor, UK. Ksenia Drobysheva has recently joined the UK’s largest medical school application company, Medic Mentor, as the COO International, responsible for setting up its international arm. Over the past 15 years, Ksenia has held senior marketing and international student recruitment positions across secondary and higher education sectors at organisations such as Mander Portman Woodward (MPW), Study Group and Royal Holloway, UoL. Ksenia is also a founding partner and head of strategy at Bluechip English, featuring the Progress to IELTS platform designed to support IELTS students and teachers. Of her new role, Ksenia said: “We see growing demand for medical education, and I’m delighted international students can now benefit from our range of programmes.”

John Baugh

Moved within/to: Artemis Education
On: November 2022

Artemis Education, Global. Artemis Education has appointed John Baugh as chief education officer. A headmaster in UK prep schools for over 30 years, John brings a wealth of education leadership experience, detailed curriculum construction and implementation, and senior leadership team management to his role of chief education officer. John’s advisory expertise has benefitted a number of organisations. He has served as a member of the Independent Preparatory Schools Association Governing Council and chairman of their education committee, and as chairman of the UK Boarding Schools’ Association. John’s articles and papers have featured in educational journals and publications and he is a regular speaker at educational conferences. He has undertaken inspections for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). John is currently an advisor to Jinseki International School, Japan, and the Akademeia Educational Group, Poland. In recent years, he served as executive director of St Andrew’s School, Kenya.

Daniel Trepanier

Moved within/to: Virtual Internships
On: December 2022

Virtual Internships, Global. Dan Trepanier has joined Virtual Internships as the Vice President of Partnerships. Dan’s career has been focused on early-stage startups, initially in the Boston area, to Co-Founding Permabit Technology Corporation. Dan then moved into the edtech market, rapidly growing companies like Raptor and Remind101. Dan is excited to join Virtual Internships to provide universities around the globe the opportunity to offer students an inclusive, diverse, and sustainable remote work experience.

Elaine Meyer-Lee

Moved within/to: Forum on Education Abroad
On: December 2022

Forum on Education Abroad, US. The Forum on Education Abroad has announced the appointment of Elaine Meyer-Lee as the next editor of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. Amy is provost and senior VP for Academic Affairs at Goucher College. Since earning her doctorate in human development and psychology from Harvard in 1999, she has researched college student development within the context of intercultural higher education at multiple institutions and taught courses in Global Studies, Intercultural Studies, and Leadership, as well as Psychology. Elaine brings experience in research, practice, and strategic leadership in education abroad and higher education to her new role as editor. She assumes the role as successor to Audrey J. Murrell, professor of business administration, psychology, and public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

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