Our Leadership

Acutely focused on the needs of young learners, the Esol Education leadership team comprises experienced educators who place students at the heart of every decision, shaping educational policies and practices by prioritizing the best interests of their students, leading each institution to become a center of excellence in its own right.

The leadership team oversees and guides the Esol schools as they pursue the highest standards of education, aiming to make a positive impact on the lives of people and communities, now and in the future.

Walid Abushakra


Chairman

  • Established and/or operated over 15 international schools over the course of the past four decades 
  • Internationally recognized and awarded education leader

Gunther Brandt


Education Consultant

  • Head of school at leading international schools in the Washington DC, Sao Paolo, Frankfurt, and Dubai
  • Director of the Washington International School

Wahib Girgis


Asst. Superintendent

  • Established and/or operated several international schools over the past 40 years
  • Honorary doctorate degree in Education from University of Wisconsin

Michelle Kleiss


Director, American International School in Cyprus

  • 14 years with Esol Education
  • Former Director at the Early Childhood Education Center and Middle School Principal at American International School in Egypt (AISE)
  • Serves as a Chair for accreditation visits around the world for Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) and Council of International Schools (CIS)
  • Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate in Education

Ray Taylor


Education Consultant

  • Over eight years with Esol Education
  • High School Principal of the United Nations International School, NY
  • Eight years as Director of the Munich International School

John Jalsevac


Director, American School Hong Kong

  • Almost 30 years of educational experience including: former Head of School at Mission Hills International School in China, Principal of Upper School at Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS)

  • Holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University, Bachelor of Education from University of Toronto, and Masters of Science and Education from Niagara University in New York State

Daryle Russell


Member of Board of Trustees

  • Extensive experience with international accreditation
  • 11-year term as Superintendent of the Saudi Arabia International School in Riyadh
  • Previously President of Association for the Advancement of International Education  (AAIE) and Near East/South Asia Council of Overseas Schools NESA)

Walther Hetzer


Esol Senior Associate

  • Former Director at the American International School in Egypt - West Campus, American International School of Abu Dhabi, St. Gilgen International School, Austria, UN-affiliated Vienna International School, and the International School of Brussels
  • Served as Accreditation Advisor and Officer for the Council of International Schools (CIS)  
  • Board Member of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and of the Alliance for International Education

Peter Daly


Chief Education Consultant

  • Founding Principal of North London Collegiate School (NLCS) Jeju, Korea
  • Head of Dubai English Speaking College, St Christopher's School Bahrain, and Sacred Heart High School London

Martyn Smith


Headmaster, Cairo English School

  • Education career spanning over 35 years, serving as Examinations Officer, Head of Department and Deputy Head of Sixth Form in Nottinghamshire
  • Served 11 years at The Regent’s School, Bangkok, Thailand, leaving as Head of Secondary
  • B.Ed. (Hons.) in Educational Studies, Physical Education and History

Bill Delbrugge


Director, American International School in Egypt - Main Campus

  • M.S. Education Leadership, Trevecca University
  • Principal and Superintendent of the Flagler County Schools-Florida
  • Director at the Georgia Department of Education

Bassam Abushakra


Regional Director

  • MBA University of Chicago
  • Lead establishment of Esol Education schools in Dubai and oversees Esol’s UAE schools

Tammam Abushakra


Advisor to the Chairman

  • JD University of Michigan
  • Established and/or operated several Esol Education schools over the past 15 years
  • Commissioner, School-Wide Accreditation, Middle States Association (MSA)

Gareth Jones


Director, American International School in Abu Dhabi

  • Headed the International School of Paris for 11 years
  • IB Council (Board) and the IB Heads Committee
  • Masters in Biochemistry
  • Masters in International Education Administration

Hazem Girgis


Asst. Chief Operating Officer

  • BSBA University of Richmond
  • Assisted in establishing and/or operating Esol Education schools in Egypt over the past 9 years
  • Established Educational Services Worldwide which offers a range of services to international schools

Andrew Torris



Director, Universal American School, Dubai

  • Former Deputy Superintendent Shanghai American School
  • K-12 Principal at the International School in Yanbu-Al Sinaiyah, Saudi Arabia
  • Master of Arts in Teaching 

Ahmed Mitwalli


Chief Strategy Officer

  • PhD, MIT Engineering & CS
  • Leads strategy, planning and business development activities
  • Former partner with McKinsey & Company, with several clients in education

Abdul Nasser


Chief Financial Officer

  • Over 20 years experience in Finance in American institutions of higher education
  • Regional experience at Al Ain University in UAE
  • BS in accounting and MBA from University of Illinois, Springfield
  • CPA in 1984

Jaya Java


Communications Manager

  • 12 years of hands on experience in marketing communication, brand management, public relations management, advertising and event management
  • Broad experience in multiple fields ranging from education and healthcare to oil & gas, telecommunications and finance
  • BA in Mathematics with a minor in Business Administration from Rutgers University

Les Potter


Director, American International School in Egypt - West Campus

  • Ed. D., Curriculum and Instruction, University of South Carolina
  • 45 years experience in education spanning elementary through post graduate education in the United States as Teacher, Coach, Counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal, School District Director and Area Superintendent, University tenured Professor and Department Chair
  • Most recently, served six years as Chair of the College of Education at Daytona State College, Florida, United States
  • Fellow for Scholastic, Inc.
  • Published author of over 90 education articles, chapters and books

Joseph Nettikaden


Chief Information Officer

  • Extensive experience building shared technology services for multi-geography service industry companies
  • Leading Esol Education schools’ IT operations since 2008
  • Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) (University of Southern California), MBA (Northern Illinois University) and MS Information Technology (Northwestern University

Esol Education FZ LLC

P.O. Box 500720, Block 2A

First Floor, Suite 45

Dubai Knowledge Park, UAE

+971 4 364 4802

+971 4 367 8424

info@esoleducation.com

Each of the Esol Education schools is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and/or the Middle States Association (MSA) and offers one or more International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.

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