Our
Governance

Governance

Board of Directors and Academic Advisory Board

Board of Directors

The primary responsibility of our Board of Directors is to ensure that the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD) implements its business plan and decides on major financial decisions as well as collaborates with the board of governors in meeting their academic mission. The Board meets up to four times a year and will evolve to comprise up to 7 members.

The current members of the Board of Directors are:

Omar Danial

Founder, SISD –
Swiss Citizen

 

Motto: “’The best way to predict the future is to build it. Education is where it all begins and investing in education is a testament to a sustainable society.”

Inspiration: The world is not built by words, but by actions, I have an entrepreneurial vision of the world “Just Do It” is exactly who I am: a doer.

A Swiss citizen born in Geneva, Omar can be defined as a social entrepreneur involved in “positive economy”. Co-owner of the Swiss Hotel group Manotel and President and major shareholder of Finial Capital SA, he has always been involved in private equity, real estate and hedge funds. 

However, the financial crisis of 2008 has reshaped Omar’s vision of the world and the increasing need of society to create tangible, socially responsible projects with sustainable values. His investments’ focus covers fields which have a clear impact on society such as real estate, life sciences, sustainable energy and cultural heritage. Education has always been particularly dear to Omar’s heart and an ideal field to implement his values. A staunch supporter of quality instruction, he has been funding graduate and undergraduate education programs for university students at Webster University in Geneva and serves on the Advisory Board of the University of St. Louis in Missouri. Furthermore, he created and funded and taught a junior creative entrepreneurship program for teenagers at the Institut Florimont in Geneva. So this passion coupled with his major skills in creativity, financial expertise and ability to execute, naturally lead him to found Swiss Education Partners, to support education projects in the UAE and its first flagship project, the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai. A firm believer in creative thinking and entrepreneurship, Omar strived to create a financially sustainable business with social implications in Dubai. “I have always wanted to build a school, I took my inspiration from my mentor in education, Francis Clivaz, the founder of the Collège du Léman in Geneva, and my passion for children,” says Omar. Partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) reinforced his vision to build a sustainable school for future generations on an eco-friendly campus. His idea to bring Swissness – Switzerland and its values – to Dubai is not only visionary but today it is grounded in reality. The Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai, will be the first in the GCC to provide a sustainable school environmental architecture, a unique boarding experience for which Switzerland is internationally recognized, and above all a teaching methodology enabling students to achieve their highest potential as human beings and members of society.

A Vision for Education
“Having been educated in Collège du Léman in Geneva and at the French Lycée of Los Angeles, both bilingual international hi-schools was fundamental in my education to develop a spirit of openness, I am a firm believer in cultural diversity and the pedagogical benefits of bilingual education”. In line with an excellent curriculum – “a given” -, the bilingual approach and international cultural aspect is central to my vision. My mission is to introduce Swiss International education to Dubai, hence offering diversity in the education landscape, where a strong spirit of openness and cultural diversity are evidenced everyday by the influx of ever growing number of international people is reminiscent of my home town Geneva, one of the most international cities in the world”.

The Values central to the vision
“The Swiss value excellency and flexibility in their educational system especially in terms of career choices. The Swiss educational system offers less academic students alternatives in vocational programs alongside the Matura. Swiss education is international in essence. The International Baccalaureate, invented in Geneva 1968, is the proof that Switzerland has an international approach to education. My ambition is to help students become global citizens with an open mind on the world, an ability to respect their external environment as well as their own nature. My whole pedagogical strategy is symbolized by SISD’s four rings of values: Bilingual, Excellence, Sustainability, Together.”

The motivation
“It is meaningful on a personal level to wake up in the morning to a project that is contributing to one’s community and to society in general but also directly to my own children. I have built this school and this bilingual curriculum for them to maintain their mother tongue. This is an example for my two youngest children which attend this school and have followed the creation of the school from the very beginning. They are growing up in a world which is increasingly virtual and this school should remind them every day that it takes hard work and real physical efforts to build something real and not just press “enter” on a key board and order something online. This is self-satisfying and keeps me motivated to cope with the challenges associated with building an educational institution both on the infrastructure leading to the most efficient energy consumption building of the region but also in becoming a cultural venue, creating ties between all its members, teachers, students and our parents in becoming one big family. The school has a higher goal and while we need to have a financially sustainable model to finance the infrastructure I am able to offer scholarships to a large amount of our community members thus having a direct and quantifiable contribution to the community. Dubai is clearly the perfect place to be inspired. When one looks around and sees what has been created from scratch in so little time, you know everything is possible here. Dubai has become and will undoubtedly be cited as an education hub of reference not only in the GCC but in the MENA region in the years to come and the Swiss International Scientific School will contribute to it.”

Omar moved to Dubai in 2010 and is father to six children. An avid sports man, he has won 5 World Championship title in Offshore Racing. You can talk to Omar in English and French. 

sheikh-butti
HH Sheikh Butti
Bin Juma Al Maktoum

Honorary Chairman –
UAE Citizen

His Highness Sheikh Butti Bin Juma Al Maktoum is a respected member of the Maktoum family having served for many years in government positions in the Dubai Armed Forces.

He was the founder of one of the first and most respected English curriculum colleges in the UAE: The English College. He has also been developing his own commercial interests in construction and property.His Highness Sheikh Butti has shown his passion for sports, having been President of both the UAE Olympic Committee and the UAE Football Association. He was also the inaugural Chairman of The Emirates Golf Club. Furthermore, his interest in wild life is well documented in both Europe and the Middle East.

 
Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi

Co-Founder & Chairman
of the Board – UAE Citizen

Abdul Hamied Seddiqi is current Vice Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and a board member on several government, local and international committees.

Abdul Hamied’s first job was in the foreign league, but he soon shifted his attention to watches. He attained a Bachelor of Business Management from Lemania College in Lausanne, Switzerland and took a position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi as the main liaison for various government ministries.He joined Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in 1979 and assisted his brothers in opening the company’s third store. As Deira began its economic boom, Abdul Hamied helped grow the company’s portfolio of Swiss brands, focusing on the growing number of fashion brands entering the market. With an eye for new business opportunities, Abdul Hamied Seddiqi also ventured into the Real Estate sector and invested in Capricorn Tower, which is now the company’s head office.

In January 2008, La Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie appointed Abdul Hamied as Ambassador of Fine Watchmaking Industry for the Middle East region. Abdul Hamied’s professional reputation, vast knowledge of mechanical, technical and precious fine watchmaking, as well as continuous support of the art of watchmaking makes him the ideal choice to represent the foundation.

He is also a member of various boards, including the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Emirates Development Bank (Abu Dhabi) and the Dubai Contracting Co, while also serving as the Chairman of Al Manara International Jewellery.

Eugene Mayne

Group Chief Executive and Founder of Tristar Group of Companies

Group Chief Executive and Founder of Tristar Group of Companies. Full P&L responsibility for all group activities spanning ship owing and operation, surface transport, fuel farms, chemicals, warehousing and turnkey fuel solutions spread across 16 countries in Middle East, Africa, Asia, Pacific and Central America.

Mr. Mayne started his professional career in Dubai in 1976 with Caltex Petroleum Corporation and in pursuit of his dreams took an early retirement and founded Tristar Transport in 1998. Since then he has led the company from humble beginnings in 1998 to its current leadership position in the Middle East logistics business. Some of his notable achievements include Tristar being a two time winner of the Dubai Quality appreciation award, winner of the Prince Michael award for road safety and five time gold winner of the Royal Society for prevention of accidents in the UK.Mr. Mayne has recently been listed by Forbes as no 38 of top Indian leaders in the Arab world. He lives in Dubai with his wife Joan and likes to spend weekend time with his grandchildren.

Bilbo Perrot

Representative of HH Sheikh Butti Bin Juma Al Maktoum – Swiss Citizen

Born in Geneva (Switzerland), Bilbo is an entrepreneur interested in emerging countries and project management. Bilbo has a vast network thanks to his golf career which brought him to many different parts of the world.

He is the Managing Director of Emirates Business Consultants, a company specialised in business development solutions in the GCC. The partners of EBC have more than 30 years of experience in the region and its Chairman is HH Sheikh Butti Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum.Bilbo Perrot is also an advisor to mining, real estate and forestry companies.

Bilbo was 11 times the Swiss National Golf Champion, he played for the Swiss National Team as well as for the European Continental Team. He also played 3 years on the Tour as professional.Bilbo is a passionate watch collector, lives in Dubai since 2003 and is married with one child.

Academic Advisory Board

The primary responsibility of our Academic Advisory Board is to ensure that the school operates in the best interest of its learners, teachers, and parents. Its specific responsibilities are Strategic Planning, Personnel and Policy adoption as well as Curriculum and Instruction. The Board meets up to four times a year and will include representation from all sections of the school community.

The current members of the Academic Advisory Board are:

Omar Danial

Founder, SISD – Swiss Citizen

Motto: “’The best way to predict the future is to build it. Education is where it all begins and investing in education is a testament to a sustainable society.”

Inspiration: The world is not built by words, but by actions, I have an entrepreneurial vision of the world “Just Do It” is exactly who I am: a doer.

A Swiss citizen born in Geneva, Omar can be defined as a social entrepreneur involved in “positive economy”. Co-owner of the Swiss Hotel group Manotel and President and major shareholder of Finial Capital SA, he has always been involved in private equity, real estate and hedge funds. 

However, the financial crisis of 2008 has reshaped Omar’s vision of the world and the increasing need of society to create tangible, socially responsible projects with sustainable values. His investments’ focus covers fields which have a clear impact on society such as real estate, life sciences, sustainable energy and cultural heritage. Education has always been particularly dear to Omar’s heart and an ideal field to implement his values. A staunch supporter of quality instruction, he has been funding graduate and undergraduate education programs for university students at Webster University in Geneva and serves on the Advisory Board of the University of St. Louis in Missouri. Furthermore, he created and funded and taught a junior creative entrepreneurship program for teenagers at the Institut Florimont in Geneva. So this passion coupled with his major skills in creativity, financial expertise and ability to execute, naturally lead him to found Swiss Education Partners, to support education projects in the UAE and its first flagship project, the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai. A firm believer in creative thinking and entrepreneurship, Omar strived to create a financially sustainable business with social implications in Dubai. “I have always wanted to build a school, I took my inspiration from my mentor in education, Francis Clivaz, the founder of the Collège du Léman in Geneva, and my passion for children,” says Omar. Partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) reinforced his vision to build a sustainable school for future generations on an eco-friendly campus. His idea to bring Swissness – Switzerland and its values – to Dubai is not only visionary but today it is grounded in reality. The Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai, will be the first in the GCC to provide a sustainable school environmental architecture, a unique boarding experience for which Switzerland is internationally recognized, and above all a teaching methodology enabling students to achieve their highest potential as human beings and members of society.

A Vision for Education
“Having been educated in Collège du Léman in Geneva and at the French Lycée of Los Angeles, both bilingual international hi-schools was fundamental in my education to develop a spirit of openness, I am a firm believer in cultural diversity and the pedagogical benefits of bilingual education”. In line with an excellent curriculum – “a given” -, the bilingual approach and international cultural aspect is central to my vision. My mission is to introduce Swiss International education to Dubai, hence offering diversity in the education landscape, where a strong spirit of openness and cultural diversity are evidenced everyday by the influx of ever growing number of international people is reminiscent of my home town Geneva, one of the most international cities in the world”.

The Values central to the vision
“The Swiss value excellency and flexibility in their educational system especially in terms of career choices. The Swiss educational system offers less academic students alternatives in vocational programs alongside the Matura. Swiss education is international in essence. The International Baccalaureate, invented in Geneva 1968, is the proof that Switzerland has an international approach to education. My ambition is to help students become global citizens with an open mind on the world, an ability to respect their external environment as well as their own nature. My whole pedagogical strategy is symbolized by SISD’s four rings of values: Bilingual, Excellence, Sustainability, Together.”

The motivation
“It is meaningful on a personal level to wake up in the morning to a project that is contributing to one’s community and to society in general but also directly to my own children. I have built this school and this bilingual curriculum for them to maintain their mother tongue. This is an example for my two youngest children which attend this school and have followed the creation of the school from the very beginning. They are growing up in a world which is increasingly virtual and this school should remind them every day that it takes hard work and real physical efforts to build something real and not just press “enter” on a key board and order something online. This is self-satisfying and keeps me motivated to cope with the challenges associated with building an educational institution both on the infrastructure leading to the most efficient energy consumption building of the region but also in becoming a cultural venue, creating ties between all its members, teachers, students and our parents in becoming one big family. The school has a higher goal and while we need to have a financially sustainable model to finance the infrastructure I am able to offer scholarships to a large amount of our community members thus having a direct and quantifiable contribution to the community. Dubai is clearly the perfect place to be inspired. When one looks around and sees what has been created from scratch in so little time, you know everything is possible here. Dubai has become and will undoubtedly be cited as an education hub of reference not only in the GCC but in the MENA region in the years to come and the Swiss International Scientific School will contribute to it.”

Omar moved to Dubai in 2010 and is father to six children. An avid sports man, he has won 5 World Championship title in Offshore Racing. You can talk to Omar in English and French. 

Ruth Burke

Principal

Ruth Burke, who joined the school in August 2021, is a passionate and inspiring educator, with a career spanning more than three decades – teaching in Ireland, the UK and the UAE. During her career, Ruth has driven her schools to receive Outstanding ratings from the KHDA, and has a deep understanding of the International Baccalaureate education programme, which aims to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal and social skills ready for a globalised world.

Having served as a principal at three Dubai schools – Jumeirah English Speaking School, GEMS Wellington International School and Deira International School, Dubai, during the last 13 years, Ruth has almost unrivalled experience of what it means to teach and manage schools in a truly multicultural environment.

Her achievements include improving academic outcomes, increasing attainment for UAE nationals, developing better parent/teacher communications, transparency and engagement, and achieving improvements across the board at all her schools.

Ruth holds a Bachelor of Education degree with Honours from Trinity College, Dublin and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from the UK’s University of Bath.

Rania Hussein

Deputy Head of School

Rania Hussein is an IB educator through and through. She has worked within the IB Programme for the entirety of her teaching career fulfilling a variety of key roles. Her teaching journey has been largely characterised by her own international upbringing and experiences. After having attended several international schools in the Middle East, where she studied as an IB student herself, Rania graduated with Honours in MIT from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She then completed her PGCE at the University of Sunderland and moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to start her teaching career. Rania was a Head of Year and Head of House in the British International School of Jeddah, and taught the Diploma Programme and IGCSE simultaneously.

In 2015, Rania and her husband David moved to Dubai and worked at GEMS World Academy – Dubai. She has since occupied the roles of; CAS and Service Learning Coordinator, Research Project and Extended Essay Coordinator and IB DP and CP Coordinator. In the past three years she has overseen over 300 students in her capacity as Head of Senior School and was responsible for the academic and pastoral wellbeing of the Diploma, Courses and Career-related Programme students. Under her leadership, the IB Diploma Programme outcomes grew from 29 to 37 points and the pass rate from 67% to 100%.

Rania was also the IB DP network leader for GEMS and oversaw the progress, growth and development of other IB schools within the network. She is a qualified IB Examiner, teaching and learning coach and trainer who is passionate about empowering leaders within schools and creating visible impact that improves the learning provision for students.

Above all else, Rania is a committed mother to two wonderful children and a wife to David, who was also an international student and is currently a Head of School in Dubai. They both share a passion for working with children and strive to recreate their own wonderful school experiences and memories.

Francis Clivaz

Founder of College Du Leman, Switzerland —
Swiss Citizen

In 1960, Francis A. Clivaz founded Collège du Léman International School in Versoix, Geneva, which currently welcomes more than 2000 students representing 125 nationalities.

In 1965, Francis A. Clivaz co-founded ECIS (European Council of International Schools) where he has made significant contributions in the domain of school accreditation and has been Member of the Board of Directors.In 1983, Francis A. Clivaz founded Les Roches School of Hotel Management in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, which currently welcomes 1800 students and which offers Hotel Management Diploma and University Degrees in Tourism and Hotel Management.

Since 1985, Francis A. Clivaz has been an active member of NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges), he has been a member of the “Committee on American and International Schools Abroad” and the “Commission on Technical and Career Institutions”. In 2005, he was elected on the NEASC Board of Trustees.

Between 1970 and 1995, Francis A. Clivaz was Vice-President and then President of the Geneva Tourism Office. During this time, he was also invited to assume the role of President of the Geneva Association of Private Schools and was elected President of the Fédération Romande of Private Schools in Switzerland.

In 1994, Francis A. Clivaz was honored with the title of Dr Hc of Humane Letters from the University College of Endicott in Boston. In 2006, Francis A. Clivaz co-founded Genavensis Holding SA, a Swiss investment company active in the field of Private Equity with emphasis in Education.

Francis A. Clivaz currently serves as Member of the Governing Board of Les Roches Crans-Montana, Les Roches Gruyère University of Applied Sciences and Glion Institute of Higher Education. He also serves as Chairman of Collège du Léman International School. He is a Member of the NEASC Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Genavensis Holding SA.

Francis A. Clivaz is a member of various Boards of Directors including: Banque Pasche (Swiss Private Bank) and Serficom Family Office Geneva. He is an honorary member of CIS (Council of International Schools) and an honorary member of Hôtellerie Suisse (Swiss Hotel Association).

Sean Power

Director General of Institut Florimont, Geneva – Swiss Citizen

Sean Power originates from England. Following his university studies in London and Lyon he arrived in Geneva in 1986 and has lived there ever since.

Sean Power’s career spans 27 years in the field of education. He has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, inspector, school manager and leader in a number of educational institutions and contexts. He joined Institut Florimont, Geneva’s top private school, as Director General in 2004. Prior to this, he spent 11 years with the Bell Educational Trust as Head of Teacher Training, School Principal and Director of Operations for Switzerland.

He has worked as a course assessor and examiner for the University of Cambridge English language teacher training schemes and as an inspector for EAQUALS (The European Association of Quality Language Services). He is actively involved as a committee member and treasurer of the Geneva Association of Private Schools. Mr Power serves as well as President of the Geneva Association of Private Schools.

He is married and the father of two boys.

Naima Gauthier

Academic Counsellor

Born in France, Naïma Gauthier studied Hypokhâgne, Khâgne and later specialised in English Language, Civilisation and Culture in Amiens before completing her PGCE at the University of Leicester. She has learnt first-hand the value and power of equal opportunities and education as a strong pillar for self growth. She has 21 years of experience as a professional educator, having taught and lived in the UK for 11 years, in Kenya for 5 years and in the UAE for the past five years. Naïma has taught in a wide variety of contexts, namely public, private, segregated, mixed, religious, international, boarding and day schools which has exposed her to a range of educational systems, schools and cultures.

More recently in her career, Naïma has focused on academic counselling and has developed a real passion for guiding students in their university and future choices. As a member of the Academic Advisory Board, Naïma uses her expertise and experience, as well as perspective as a mother, teacher and middle management member of staff to continuously improve the school’s academic provision and enhance the opportunities students at SISD benefit from.
Miriam Burger

Chairperson of SISD Parent Forum Committee – Parent Representative

Born in Switzerland, Miriam Burger studied Ecole des HEC, University of Lausanne and has a Management Degree in Marketing Major.  Her family lives in Dubai since 2016 (second expatriation in UAE) and she is the mother of 2 kids, which are in Secondary and Primary.

Through her career, 9 years in the luxury industry and nearly 5 years in cosmetics industry she proved that she is committed and highly qualified in marketing and public relations. Her broad and international experience, her professionalism and her enthusiasm are an added value for being the SISD Parent Forum Committee chairperson.

As a member of the Academic Advisory Board, Miriam Burger holds the unique position of having a parental viewpoint of the school.  Her experience with parents’ concerns bring a different perspective to the management of the school, she gives advices and full support to SISD to get an outstanding education for the students.

Hind Seddiqi

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer – Seddiqi Holding

Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi is the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Seddiqi Holding and Director General of Dubai Watch Week. She is responsible for leading the integrated marketing strategies across Seddiqi Holding, as well as internal and external communication tactics and plans. Hind also oversees the Customer Experience (CX) communications for all business units, including Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and Seddiqi Properties.

Since joining the family business over a decade ago, Hind’s leadership skills saw her quickly rise through the family business and she has played an instrumental role in re- structuring the company’s marketing department. A third-generation member of the Seddiqi family, Hind is also an active member of the Seddiqi Holding Executive Committee where she contributes to the professional development and interests of department heads, as well as the progress of the various business units.

In addition to her role as CMCO, Hind also leads the Omni-Channel team within Seddiqi Holding and is a member of the Omni-Channel and ERP Advisory Working Group. The objective of this new division is to strategically plan & lead all digital initiatives within the organization and drive end to end digital projects (e-commerce and non-e- commerce). A key business priority outlined is to ensure digital marketing efforts are data-driven and tracked via accurate data analytics solutions.

The mission of this committee is to ignite the Omni-Channel transformation by introducing the technology ecosystem upgrade across the business. This also entails developing an internal communications strategy that is responsible for driving the culture change within the organization, embracing the new business model and objectives outlined, setting the foundations to become a data driven business. Under her guidance and leadership, the business has seen successful integration of SAP, Cegid, Salesforce amongst other platforms across the organization.

Her passion and expertise resulted in the establishment of Dubai Watch Week in 2015, a global non-commercial platform dedicated to the preservation of watchmaking culture and heritage. With uniting the watch community and providing an educational platform at the forefront of her vision, Dubai Watch Week has evolved into a key calendar biennial event and has entrenched Dubai as a global hub in the horology industry.

Hind is also a member the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy board. Under the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the new chamber was recently formed, under an overarching Dubai

Chambers, to lead a comprehensive economic development in Dubai and boost its position as a global business hub.

Mark Ford

English College Principal

Mark Ford brings with him over three decades of experience in education. He graduated in Mathematics from Nottingham, before completing his PGCE at York University. His career has seen him teaching in the UK, Kenya, France, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, at Abu Dhabi’s ADEK ‘Outstanding School’, The British School Al Khubairat, followed by a Principal position at Dubai’s ‘Outstanding’ Dubai British School until 2016. He then moved to Kuala Lumpur to head the prestigious, British Garden International School before joining The English College in August 2019.

 
Stephane Sinimale

Director of Corporate Relations, for Middle East and Africa at Harvard Business School

Stephane joined Harvard Business School in 2015 and is based in Dubai. With over 20 years experience in executive education, his expertise ranges from selling complex management development programs with global roll-out to serving as trusted advisor to Fortune 500 Talent Directors in Europe, Middle East and Africa.   

Prior to joining Harvard Business School, Stephane started his career in Quality Management in France, the UK and Canada. He entered the world of executive education at INSEAD in 2001, then joined Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2004. In July 2015, he relocated to Dubai for Harvard Business School as Director Client Development for Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Stephane focuses his business development activities to co design with his Clients impactful learning solutions to accelerate organizational effectiveness. 

From 2011 to 2015, Stephane served as an Executive Education Steering Committee Member for the Brussels based European Foundation for Management Development.

Stephane holds an MBA from Thunderbird, is originally from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, has two very active boys and an equally education passionate spouse.