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Recent Movers & Shakers

July Behl

Moved within/to: Study Group
On: February 2023

Study Group, Global. Study Group has announced the appointment of July Behl to the new role of executive director of partner development. July has a track record in strategic partnerships and business development, including a focus on strategic innovation and driving growth for major corporations. His previous roles include working with learning company Pearson and multinational engineering and development companies. Study Group’s Ian Crichton said how he is looking forward to welcoming July as an “outstanding addition to the team”. July said of the new role: “I am thrilled to be joining Study Group, an organisation I’ve always admired for widening access to higher education for students from all over the world. As a former international student, I understand the challenges and opportunities that come with pursuing higher education abroad; I’ve been in those shoes. Like Study Group I am committed to fostering a welcoming environment for international students to succeed.”

Stacy McKay Benander

Moved within/to: CEA CAPA
On: January 2023

CEA CAPA, US. Stacy McKay Benander has been promoted to vice president of institutional relations – East at CEA CAPA. This comes after serving as director of strategic engagement for CAPA: The Global Education Network since 2021. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Stacy served for 15 years as the founder and president of Athena Study Abroad. She also worked as the director of the international office at Ohio Dominican University, and as an international student and scholar advisor at Ohio State University. Stacy received the Enlightened Employer Award at the Women in International Education (WIE) Awards in Berlin, Germany and served as a founding executive team member of the women’s leadership and advocacy group the Global Leadership League. She was also named the recipient of NAFSA Region VI’s esteemed Leo Dowling Award of Excellence. She said of her new role: “I am thrilled to work alongside my newly expanded team at CEA CAPA to build upon the strengths of these two premier brands to offer our students, partners, and community the highest level of academic excellence, integrity, and innovation in learning abroad.”

Islam Lafi

Moved within/to: Grok Global Services
On: February 2023

Grok Global Services, Global. Islam Lafi has joined Grok Global Services as access director – MENA, based in Amman, Jordan. Islam has been working in the higher education industry for over a decade; she started her journey in the industry as an educational counsellor in Jordan, then worked with two prominent pathway providers: INTO and Study Group, as their North America recruitment manager. Islam brings extensive experience in recruiting students from the wider Middle East region. Through Grok’s Global Access service, Islam will work with Grok’s university clients on their internationalisation strategies in key MENA markets. Islam said of her new role: “I am excited to work with our clients to diversify their recruitment efforts in MENA and build their brand in the region. The Middle East is growing in strategic importance for HEIs and provides unique recruitment opportunities for institutions to diversify their enrolment base. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to introduce new study abroad options to students and help them achieve their dreams.”

Kateryna Bokach-Rimmer

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

Kaplan International Languages, Global.  Kaplan International Languages has appointed Kateryna Bokach-Rimmer as principal of their Manchester school. Kateryna brings a wealth of experience from previous roles in the company since starting with Kaplan as a student services assistant in 2015 and progressing to the role of deputy principal. During the pandemic, Kateryna oversaw student services provision for the whole UK operation as Kaplan’s 12 UK schools were transitioned to online learning. She also took control of emergency contact for all schools, providing a broad insight into the full scope of challenges being faced by all parties involved in the effective running of normal business. Of this experience, she says, ‘The pandemic obviously provided huge logistical and personal challenges for everyone, but these challenges also provided me with the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in new areas of our company and the industry as a whole. I am now so excited to have the chance to guide Kaplan International Languages – Manchester and our incredible team into 2023.”

Jenny Perla Leon

Moved within/to:
On: February 2023

GuardMe, Canada. Jenny Perla Leon has joined GuardMe as its new director of strategic partnerships. She brings extensive experience in international development and risk management. Her 12 years combined experience in international analysis, student recruitment, and student services across the education spectrum from K to 12 through post-secondary gives her the depth and understanding at multiple levels. She has negotiated across cultures globally including North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, Africa and Vietnam.  Additionally, through sports, work and education, Jenny has helped hundreds of youth around the world to graduate with global careers. She is excited about this new journey that will help her strategic partners keep their students and staff safe in an ever-increasing changing world. Whether she is helping institutions transition to Canada or internationalise the student and staff experience, she brings a depth of knowledge and experience to the table.

Kenny Nicholl

Moved within/to: PebblePad
On: January 2023

PebblePad, UK. Kenny Nicholl has been promoted to the position of PebblePad’s chief operating officer, after being the company’s chief growth officer since 2021. Kenny is passionate about helping higher education transform learning experiences and outcomes for students. With nearly 20 years’ experience of leading and growing businesses in the education and technology sectors Kenny is responsible for the performance and day to day running of the global PebblePad organisation. Kenny has worked with technology and Saas companies at various stages of their life cycle to grow revenues and profitability, as well as recruiting and developing high contributing commercial and cross functional teams. He joined the PebblePad team in 2021 after successfully helping both Hobsons and Instructure grow into leading education technology organisations in Europe and further afield. Kenny is “into” growth in a big way, playing a crucial role in the growth and development of the PebblePad people and the company’s reputation as a core technology in the higher education space.

Jonny Jenkins

Moved within/to: Leverage Edu
On: January 2023

Leverage Edu, Global. Jonny Jenkins has just joined the team at Leverage Edu where he will be taking up the role of senior manager – university partnerships. Jonny will be based in London and will manage Leverage’s university partnerships in the south of the UK. Previously, Jonny has worked at institutions such as the University of Nottingham, the University of Bradford and York St John University. He has managed international student recruitment from South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe across his career. After a very successful September intake at Nottingham, Jonny now makes the leap across into one of the most exciting companies in the International Higher Education sphere. When asked about his new role Jonny said: “I’ve always admired Leverage Edu, they were always one of my favourite agents to work with, they’re innovative and forward thinking. When the opportunity rose to join the team, I jumped at the chance. 2023 looks to be a huge year for Leverage and I’m excited to be a part of it”.

Sarah Mackey

Moved within/to: IDP Connect
On: December 2022

IDP Connect, Global. Sarah Mackey has recently joined the IDP Connect team as a client director, with responsibility for supporting partner institution needs while informing market strategies within the US, and where she will play a central role in the development and delivery of IDP Connect’s suite of services. Sarah joins most recently from Northeastern University, where she was the director of international enrolment management. In her previous role, Sarah supported international marketing, recruitment operations, and strategic planning, leading a global team of 25 student recruitment professionals across seven countries responsible for advancing the university’s international enrolment initiatives. She has also held similar roles at the University of Cincinnati, where she had been a member of the IDP Connect Advisory Panel. Drawing upon nearly a decade of experience, she brings broad expertise in the international education sector, notably in US student immigration policy, higher education marketing and brand building, agent engagement, and in-country representative deployment.

Andy Durban

Moved within/to: University for the Creative Arts
On: February 2023

University for the Creative Arts, UK. Andy Durban will shortly be joining the University for the Creative Arts as Head of International Recruitment. Andy will be responsible for shaping and delivering the international recruitment strategy of one of the largest specialist creative arts institutions in Europe with a vibrant and rapidly growing international student population. Andy has worked within Higher Education for 19 years, beginning his career in widening participation and UK recruitment/marketing at the Royal Veterinary College and University of Roehampton, before moving into international roles at Roehampton, City University London and Imperial College London. Andy joins UCA after 3 successful years as Deputy Head of International Student Recruitment at Queen Mary University of London, where he oversaw significant growth across his regions of responsibility whilst navigating his teams through the turbulent period of the pandemic and beyond.

Paige Grinter

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

Kaplan International Languages, Global. Paige Grinter has recently been appointed as director of corporate social responsibility at Kaplan International Languages after spending nearly 10 years working in schools operations and accommodation at Kaplan International.She has worked closely with student residence partners to provide an optimal choice of accommodation for students studying in the UK and Ireland. She has also worked with other language schools to quality-assure the sector’s homestay experiences.  And, she was Kaplan Languages Group’s designated safeguarding lead and applied her expertise in the pastoral care of students to staff wellbeing. With a strong knowledge of the sector gained through working both at school and management level, and a passion for leveraging business to make the world a better place, Paige is excited to build on Kaplan International Language’s CSR strategy.  Kaplan currently supports RefuAid and Plan International, and Paige looks forward to expanding these existing partnerships as well as forging new ones, utilising Kaplan’s experience, expertise and willingness to help drive social change.

Alison Jenkins

Moved within/to: Gradstar Global Education
On: March 2022

Gradstar Global Education, India. On International Women’s Day 2022, Alison launched Gradstar Global Education – a full service international student recruitment operation in India. Drawing on her university knowledge and expertise Gradstar Is supporting students to achieve their dreams. Gradstar is a profit for purpose business and a percentage of the revenue raised is being donated to education projects that support women and girls’ education initiatives in rural India. Alison has held leadership positions in the international education sector for the last 20 years. She has held senior positions in international strategy, recruitment, external relations, marketing and admissions functions at three Go8 universities in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Alison has been responsible for delivering significant revenue and business growth, global market development, product and market diversity as well as channel strategy and management with a strong focus on the India market.

Sara Sandford

Moved within/to: Edified
On: January 2023

Edified, UK. Sara Sandford has joined Edified as a consultant, growing the team in the UK. She is an international education specialist and strategic leader and is highly experienced in the field of international student recruitment and admissions, marketing, alumni strategies, stakeholder engagement, study abroad and global partnerships. Sara has lived and worked extensively in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. During her time working for the University of Southampton she successfully created and led the University’s first overseas office in the Americas, in Mexico City, and under her leadership Southampton grew to have the largest number of Mexican students at a university in the UK. Sara said of her new role: “I am passionate about international education and the opportunities it can bring for students and am really excited to join the Edified team to help other universities enhance their ability to build their profile and reputation, acquire and retain students, and deliver on student experience and graduate outcomes.”

Marina Malgina

Moved within/to: TAICEP
On: January 2023

TAICEP, Global. Maria Malgina has begun her term as the president of The Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals, or TAICEP. Along with her current role as head of the global engagement unit at CIMEA-NARIC in Italy, Maria will commit to keep up the collaboration within TAICEP’s community and beyond. In a post on LinkedIn announcing the news, she lauded the resilience demonstrated in 2022, with the TAICEP group providing and adapting the evaluation services and tools to the emerging societal needs and by leveraging the materials and resources to support meaningful inclusion of the newly arrived migrants.  Maria said of her new role: “Another fresh new year is here and I am extremely proud to begin my term as TAICEP president, the president of the organisation that has such great achievements over the past years. All these as a result of the hard work and dedication of the founders of the organisation, its sponsors, board of directors, standing committees and, not least, all the positive energy and enthusiasm of our TAICEP community.”

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.”



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.”

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!”

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.


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