The Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) is of Africa and for Africa.
The strategic objectives of AISA specify that AISA services, resources, and networks will:
Over the past five decades, our international schools across Africa have experienced environments of immense, sometimes unprecedented change. Faced with these challenges, AISA’s support has been unwavering. Our presentation of world-class professional learning opportunities and advisory services to our members is ongoing, offerings that are based on continuous research into the specific needs of international schools on the continent.
Our member schools vary greatly. While all teach in English – a prerequisite – some are large with over 2000 students, while others have less than 100 students in the entire school. They may be non-profit or proprietary, religiously affiliated, or not. Curricula also vary, with the American, British, International Baccalaureate or some combination of the three being offered. Whatever the size or affiliation, we provide a forum for educators to connect with and learn from each other.
In addition, we provide our members with access to world-leading experts, advisors, and facilitators specialising in essential matters such as school governance and leadership, professional learning, blended learning, child protection and wellbeing, inclusive education, innovation and technology, and more.
AISA’s membership also includes some 80 Associate Members comprising businesses, organisations and universities throughout the world whose primary mission is to serve the various needs of our schools. Their contribution to improving student learning is invaluable.
AISA exists to ensure that our members are always learning and growing, thereby creating a fertile environment within which fresh, new ideas and practices can inspire students to focus, flourish and fully prepare themselves to become global citizens.
We believe that:
AISA is proud to introduce the AISA Board of Directors. Following the AISA Board elections in March 2022, Heidi Cavanagh was elected as a new board member.
Click the Board Member profiles below to learn more about them.
Ed.D in International Education
Cape Town, South Africa
American International School of Cape Town
Dan Jubert is the Head of School at the American International School of Cape Town. He has served as an administrator and school counselor overseas for the past 12 years, previously in Shanghai, China and San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Dan holds an Ed.D in International Education from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, with state licenses in school counseling and school administration.
Dan values the unique combination between school counseling and school leadership viewpoints as it encourages constant reflection, mutual understanding, and a strong solution-focused approach. Dan’s doctoral dissertation examined the intercultural competence of international school administrators and he looks to build off of the rich research in this area. Dan sits on the AISA Board Governance Committee.
M Public Health, M Programme IEP (ongoing) Bsc Biology, Dip in Educational Leadership
Al-Rayan International School
Dr Odaymat was born in Ghana and completed her primary education in West Africa. Before joining the world of International Education, she was involved in developing and managing education and protection programmes for children of all ages in Africa and the Middle East. As a United Nations Officer and a consultant, she designed and managed programmes for Early Childhood Development, building and rehabilitating schools, working on mental health, and peer to peer youth projects, in addition to providing learning opportunities for teachers, and working with governments on the ratification of education and protection policies. Dr Odaymat brings that global experience to Al-Rayan International School where she works with 150 staff to ensure that the students enjoy the highest standards in international education, with a focus on international-mindedness and service learning. Fatma sits on the AISA Board Governance Committee.
Dr Fatma Odaymat has a Bachelor Degree in Biology and is a Medical Doctor by training. She also holds a Masters in Public Health and a Diploma in Educational Leadership. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s Programme in International Education Policy-IEP at Harvard University- Graduate School of Education.
D.Ed., M.A.Ed., B.E.
International School of Uganda
Simon Gillespie is currently the Head of School at the International School of Uganda. Simon began teaching Elementary School in Canada and then moved to Dresden International School becoming the Primary School Principal developing his understanding and support for an inquiry based integrated learning model with a diverse community of learners. Simon then moved on to International School Manila as Elementary and then Middle School Principal where he worked as a member of a team involved in creating a school wide curriculum framework aligning subject areas with trans-disciplinary skills in a conceptual based unit approach.
Simon completed his doctoral dissertation on the role of leadership in creating environments supporting inclusion of all students in International Schools and is a Design Team member of the Next Frontier Inclusion organization focusing on the development of Inclusive International Schools. Simon is a trainer with the Principal’s Training Center focusing on creating effecting schools and was the recipient of the 2014 National Distinguished Principal award representing the US State Department Office of Overseas Schools. Simon chairs the AISA Board Finance Committee.
UWC East Africa (UWCEA)
Anna Marsden has been Director of UWC East Africa (UWCEA) in northern Tanzania since August 2017. Prior to this she was Head of School at International School Suva in the Fiji Islands and Director of Students at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland. Whilst in Fiji, Anna served on the Board of EARCOS for several years. Before moving into school administration she was a chemistry teacher and still gets into the classroom as much as she can.
Anna believes schools need to provide a relatively safe environment where young people can test themselves and try out new ideas as they grow and try to make sense of the world around them. Anna sits on the AISA Board Membership Committee.
Member at Large
Ed.D., M.E.D.L, B.A.E.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
International School of Tanganyika
Mark Hardeman is the Director of the International School of Tanganyika. Mark has worked as a teacher and administrator in Canada, Kuwait, the UAE, and China prior to assuming his current role in Tanzania.
Much of his work in educational leadership has been concentrated on developing the capacity of faculty, administration, Boards and schools. Mark is particularly passionate about the development of high quality professional development programs and focused his doctoral research on effective PD practices in schools. Although this is his first experience in Africa, Mark is extremely excited to work with the AISA Board and other international schools in the region. Mark chairs the AISA Board Governance Committee.
Member at Large
Ed.D Educational Leadership, MS. Educational Leadership, MS. Teachers in English, B.Ed. Elementary Education
American International School of Nouakchott
Heidi Cavanagh currently serves as the Director of the American International School of Nouakchott (AISN) in Mauritania. Her love of teaching began as far back as elementary school when she called out the spelling words to help her 4th-grade teacher. Her love of Africa began when she and her husband Marc travelled overland by local transport from Prague to Cape Town in 2004-2006.
Heidi has served in leadership positions from Preschool to High School to Whole School. In addition to being the Preschool Principal in Istanbul, Turkey, Elementary Teacher to Deputy Head in a bilingual school in California, and Primary Principal in Havana, Cuba; on the continent of Africa, Heidi has served as the Director of AIS Niamey, Niger, Secondary Principal at WIS, Botswana, and Director of AIS Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Member at Large
MEd Educational Technology, BSc. Applied Mathematics and Technology, M. Administration and Leadership, GradDipTchg
American International School of Lesotho
Mark is the Director of the American International School of Lesotho based in Maseru, Lesotho where he has been in the AISA region for 3 years. He started his international journey back in August 2001 when he left Australia to start working in Tallinn Estonia. 5 years later moving to Tashkent Uzbekistan for 6 years, followed by 2 years in HoChiMinh City Vietnam, and 2 years in Bandung Indonesia.
Mark has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mathematics and Technology, a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching, a Masters in Educational Technology and a Masters in Administration and Leadership.
He is looking forward to being a member of the AISA board. AISA will be the 3rd regional support association he has worked with. CEESA in Europe and EARCOS in Asia. He finds that the AISA region is the most active, collaborative and supportive toward making the lives of schools, educators and students in the African region more successful. Over the years, Mark has preferred to work in smaller schools of less than 600 students. This will be something he aims to pursue and support in the AISA region. Mark sits on the AISA Board Membership Committee.
Member at Large
MA - Educational Leadership, BA - Elementary Education
The American School of Douala
Michael Breece was introduced to international education and AISA as a 19-year-old student at the College of New Jersey where he earned a BA in Elementary Education. He was offered the opportunity to do his student teaching abroad and found himself headed to The Gambia. After spending two months at the Banjul American Embassy School, he fell in love with being a part of a small international school in Africa and upon graduation, returned and taught for three years.
Michael later moved to Asmara International Community School in Eritrea, where he spent four years, beginning as a teacher and then moving into administration after earning an MA in Educational Leadership. Following this, he joined schools in Abu Dhabi and Jakarta, however yearned to return to Africa, which led him to his current position as the Director of the American School of Douala (ASD) in Cameroon. Michael is in his 5th year at ASD and is joined by his wife and two daughters.
Michael thrives on the unique challenges of small schools in developing countries, as well as the benefits, such as a close-knit community and the capacity to be agile, as we navigate a world of increasing uncertainty and rapid change. Michael sits on the AISA Board Finance Committee.
Member at Large
Ed.D. Leadership, M.Ed.in Leadership, M.Ed. K-12 Education, B.S. Physical Sciences
The American School of Kinshasa
Dan Mullen currently serves as the Director of The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He began his African experience as a middle school student and son of teachers at AIS Lagos, and since then has worked in Harare, Zimbabwe, Hangzhou, China, and Casablanca, Morocco. He started his career as a Math & Science teacher, with extensive experience teaching and leading schools at various implementation levels of the International Baccalaureate (IB) while benefitting from AISA’s professional growth opportunities over the years. Dan recently completed his Doctorate, researching how effective leaders develop Cultural Competency in new staff as they transition to a new school, specifically looking at effective recruiting practices, staff orientation, and ongoing immersion into the host country culture.
As a member of the AISA Community, Dan realizes the importance that AISA plays in supporting our regional teachers and leaders with a strategic focus on student learning. Dan sits on the AISA Board Finance Committee.
PhD in Education (UK), a Masters Degree in Micro Technology in Education (UK); Bachelor of Education Degree (Australia); Post Graduate Diploma in Online Instruction (USA).
Born in Australia, Dr. Peter Bateman has worked in the education sector in Africa for the past 25 years during which time he has developed a particular interest in differentiated approaches to supporting Professional Learning for international educators.
Having been an educator and administrator in International schools, Peter also has an interest in developing and facilitating online Communities of Practice that enable collaboration.
Peter holds a PhD in Education (UK), a Masters Degree in Micro Technology in Education (UK), a Bachelor of Education Degree (Australia), and a Post Graduate Diploma in Online Instruction (USA).
He was recently selected to participate in the Leadership for the 21st Century program at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Deputy Executive Director (Professional Learning & Strategic Partnerships)
M. Ed, PGCE, B.A. (Hons), COGE
Graham is an educational writer, advisor and consultant with experience in leading professional learning in over 25 countries. He has published educational books in the UK and the USA as well as published articles and peer-reviewed papers in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Before joining AISA, Graham was Global Director of Education and Training for an international children’s wellbeing charity; forming strategic partnerships with major funders, research partners, government agencies and universities.
Graham recently completed his doctoral study at the University College London Institute of Education. His thesis explored host nation teachers’ experience of professional development in international schools in Africa.
Child Protection & Wellbeing Programme Manager
Masters in International & Community Development
Currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Chanel has spent the best part of the previous 10 years living and working overseas including Cambodia, New Zealand and Kenya.
Thrive. In a word, this has been her passion, driving initiatives that enable communities, organisations and individuals to flourish. As such, her career has been spent in the non-profit sector working in both small and large organisations, primarily in the areas of programme management, communications and organisational leadership.
Chanel has a Masters in International & Community Development and is currently undertaking a Masters in Counselling.
When not working, Chanel loves to explore local markets, read, travel and practice yoga.
Finance & Administration Manager
M.S.Fin., B.B.M., Certificate of Proficiency, Certified Public Accountant
William is an Accountant by profession having achieved a Masters of Science in Finance from Kenyatta University and a Bachelors Degree in Business Management (Finance and Banking); attaining a First class Honours from Moi University. He also has a Certificate of Proficiency from College of Insurance and is a Certified Public Accountant, Kenya.
William has vast experience in Financial and Management accounting having worked for Multinational companies such as Aga Khan Education Services and Finlay’s horticulture for several years.
William enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Events, Marketing & Communications Manager
MStrategic Management; BCom
Steve is the Events, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA). He holds a Masters degree in Strategic Management and a Bachelors degree in Finance.
Steve has had experience in Banking, Management Consulting and Real Estate and is passionate about managing projects with efficiency, detail and timeliness.
In his spare time, Steve enjoys travelling, spending time with family, listening to and dancing to music.
Membership and Administration Manager
MStrategic Management, BS International Business Administration, Certified Public Accountant
Barnabas was appointed the AISA Administrative Officer in 2013 after serving as a Teaching Assistant in the International School of Kenya (ISK) for five years.
Barnabas holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration and Masters in Strategic management from the United States International University – Africa (USIU). He is Certified Public Accountant of Kenya and member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Kenya (ICPAK). He also has a teaching Assistant Diploma from Penn Foster University, USA.
Barnabas is passionate about international education and is thus very proud to be serving the AISA Community.
Adult and student safety and wellbeing are critical foundations for learning. AISA believes that all students and staff, regardless of age, special needs, gender, race, culture, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or family circumstance, have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse. We are committed to helping member schools embrace diversity and inclusion and create communities where all are safe, nurtured, respected, accepted and protected.Our Commitment to You
As an association committed to nurturing the growth and development of international schools across the African continent, AISA is thankful to the partnerships it has established.
The wide array of partners reflects the diverse and myriad needs of our member school community.
The Association of International Schools in Africa is dedicated to serving its members throughout Africa during this challenging time. Please let us know if you require additional or specific information, resources and or support, and we will endeavour to assist you as soon as possible.