Leadership Search Team

Our global team of Senior Associates have worldwide connections in the international school community and extensive knowledge of leadership in international schools, since they have themselves served as leaders of—and now consultants to—these schools. Many also have strong ties to U.S. and British independent schools.

George Entwistle

Director of Consulting Services

George joined Search Associates in August 2019 as Director of Consulting Services and member of the Search Associates Executive Team. In this role, George leads the Consulting Services Division and continues to expand the capacity of Search Associates to meet the needs of our partner schools in areas including: Head of School and other School Leadership Searchers, Leadership Development, Mentoring & Coaching, Strategic Planning, School Governance, Human Resources Practices, and Educational Programs and Services.

During his career, George has served in leadership roles in mental health, business, and education (US Public and International schools). In his earlier career he worked as an educator and Psychologist. In the private sector, George provided leadership (V.P. of HR and Organizational Development) in business organizations (from start-up to Fortune 500). During this same time, he served on his local Board of Education for 7 years, 4 consecutive years as Chairman. George served as Superintendent of Schools for 15 years in 3 high performing school districts in the Northeastern US (ME and MA). He joined Search Associates after serving Shanghai American School (China) as Deputy Head of School and Head of the SAS Puxi Campus.

George earned a BA in Psychology and Education (UMass at Amherst), a Master’s in Psychology (Assumption College), and Doctorate in Leadership and Organizational Development (Boston University) where he later served on the faculty. George is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). With his background in psychology, business, and education, George brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in a broad range of organizational and consulting service areas to our Consulting Services Team and to our partner schools.

Xiaohang Sumner

Xiaohang has extensive and wide-ranging international K-12 education experience. With an early career in business and consulting, Xiaohang has spent more than 25 years as an IB student, teacher, examiner, teacher trainer and school leader in N. America, Europe and Asia. For the last 10 years, she has been the founding director of innovative international schools in China.

She was the Principal Examiner for ToK in Chinese for the IBO and has contributed to the growing interest in critical thinking as a crucial element in education in Chinese international schools. In her capacity as a trainer for teachers and school board members since 2005, she has contributed to the development of many of the current leaders in the field of international education in Hong Kong and China today. She has been voted as one of the ten most influential school leaders in international education in China and is a frequent speaker at international educational conferences.

In addition to training teachers and founding schools, Xiaohang has also been instrumental in the founding of other not-for-profit educational institutions such as the Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Baccalaureate Schools (ACMIBS) and the Chinese International Educators Association (CIEA), both of which are based in Hong Kong but serve members all over Asia.

Brent Mutsch

Brent Mutsch joined Search Associates as a Senior Consultant in August 2017. In this role, he assists member schools in a variety of areas of consulting services including, but not limited to; leadership searches, Board governance development and succession planning.

Brent earned his Bachelor of Arts in History/Education at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Master of Arts in Secondary Counseling at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa and a Doctorate in Education at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. His role as a Senior Consultant follows a 44-year career in education. The first 21 years of his career were spent working in public schools in Iowa and Colorado, and the final 23 years were spent providing leadership to an exceptional group of international schools. During this time, Brent served as Superintendent of the International Schools Group during a tenure from 1994-2002, Superintendent of Saudi Aramco Schools from 2002-2007, Singapore American School from 2007-2012 and the American School of Dubai from 2012-2017.

Throughout his career, Brent has been dedicated to being a lifelong learner. His association with Search Associates represents the opportunity for him to make further contributions to the field of international education. When not engaged in work associated with international education, Brent's further passions include; faith, family, friends, travel, running, photography, and reading.

NORMA HUDSON

Norma has an immense amount of international experience in teaching and administration. After first teaching in Missouri, USA, Norma moved to Saudi Arabia and remained at the International Schools Group for 33 years, first teaching music before transitioning into leadership positions. As Superintendent of ISG, Norma oversaw a $40 million budget and 3,700 students. Since 2013, Norma has led the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) in building a brand-new, state-of-the-art campus.

As a Senior Consultant, Norma will work with the Director of Consulting Services and other consulting division members to conduct leadership searches and consulting engagements, including board governance training and strategic planning. Her experience and geographical expertise in the two fastest growing areas of the international schools market--the Middle East and Asia--will be unparalleled assets as we develop and expand our consulting operations.

Günther Brandt

As a Senior Consultant with Search Associates, Günther consults on leadership searches, board training, governance, strategic planning, and conflict resolution. Günther has served as a Head of School for much of his career, including for the Hamburg International School (Germany); Cairo American College (Egypt); Washington International School (USA); The Putney School (USA); The Graded School (Brazil); Country Day School (Costa Rica); Frankfurt International School (Germany); The Baldwin School (Puerto Rico) ; and The Universal American School, an ESOL EDUCATION IB World School (Dubai). Günther currently serves as Education Advisor for ESOL EDUCATION and has also been a Board Member since 2013.

Over the years, Günther has provided leadership to numerous international organizations, having served as a member of the IB Heads Standing Committee; a Board Member of AISGW (Washington Area Association of Independent Schools (AISGW), the Chair of the Board of the American Schools in South America, and a member of accreditation teams of SACS and MSA. He was elected as Commissioner for MSA in 2013. Günther was born and raised in Germany, received a B.A. in History from Stanford University and obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.

Caroline jacoby

Caroline has served on the Board of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) for 7 years and was Chair for 3 of those years. She also served on the IB Heads Council for the region, an advisory group to the Director General of the International Baccalaureate. These positions have given Caroline a broad understanding of issues facing schools in Africa and also of IB schools around the world.

Caroline, most recently Head of School at International School Uganda, brings valuable and wide ranging experience to Search Associates. She has spent the last 25 years working as a teacher and administrator in international schools around the world. She has particularly enjoyed the challenge of leading schools in the developing world, including in Bangladesh, Zambia, Mali and Uganda. During her time in Mali she led the school through a very difficult time due to civil unrest in the country. This included a school closure and providing online school for a quarter and ultimately re-opening it.

Caroline has a BA from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Education from the University of Bath. She has been a primary school teacher in Australia and was later a PYP Coordinator, Elementary Principal and a K-12 Head of School at various international schools. Caroline has taught in and led mainly IB schools but has also been the Director of a school offering the AP.

RAJIV BHAT

Rajiv is an experienced business and education professional. Most recently he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Search Associates from 2017 to 2021. Prior to that he was the Director of the International School of Panama (ISP), a position he came to after nearly thirty years in the corporate world with two leading multi-national companies, Unilever plc and S.C. Johnson & Son (SCJ).

Rajiv began his career as a high school teacher in India before turning to the business world. During his 18 years with Unilever, he held various positions including Marketing Manager (India), Marketing Controller (China), Sales Director (Vietnam) and HR Director (USA). At SCJ, Rajiv was Regional Sales Director, Asia and then Managing Director, South Asia, where he founded the SCJ business and served as its head for 7 years. When he left to become Director of ISP, the business had a revenue of approximately USD100 million and 700 employees across the 5 countries of the region.

In his five years as head of the International School of Panama (1250 students, 175 teaching staff), Rajiv brought significant change to the school in terms of aligning its academic programs with 21st century learning needs. In addition, he oversaw a US$30 million expansion of the campus while also professionalizing its business, finance, HR and marketing departments.

With this background at the intersection of business and education, Rajiv brings expertise in several areas that are of increasing importance to international schools including strategic business and financial planning aligned with academic goals, competitive marketing & communications, recruitment, and human resources management.

David Cope

David Cope joined our team in 2002 after a long international career in education and management. From then until 2019, he led our UK office and also successfully completed many international school leadership searches. Since 2018, he has held the position of Director of School Relations on our Executive Team.

A Cambridge graduate with a BA and MA in History, David taught History, English and Spanish for five years before becoming a headmaster. For 20 years, he led three British schools in the UK and France (Dover College, the British School of Paris and Marlborough College), with a special commitment to furthering co-education and international education. David has also had substantial leadership experience in other fields, including British Council representation in Mexico, running the VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) programme in Zambia, and building up the UK branch of Ashoka, a US-based development agency supporting 3000+ social entrepreneurs worldwide through an ambitious fellowship programme. David has also served on many school boards, both in the UK and overseas, and is thoroughly well versed in all aspects of school governance and management.

Barbara Powers

Barbara has partnered with international schools in their leadership searches and also shared her expertise through consultative services in the areas of strategic planning resulting in actionable improvement plans, coaching and mentoring of new school leaders, curriculum improvement efforts, and school governance including policy development.

Barbara’s 40-year career in US public education spanned all levels and ages of children. Her most recent position was as Superintendent of a very high performing school district in the northeastern US, receiving a top national ranking from Forbes Magazine. Barbara was later elected to the School Board in her own community and led policy reviews and budget initiatives as Chair. During her years in educational leadership, Barbara traveled to China as a guest of HANBAN and established a teacher partnership, sponsoring a Chinese language teacher as a resident instructor in her schools. She also led professional development and practicum oversight with UNIBE teachers from the Dominican Republic and Guatemala’s Safe Passage schools, an NGO in Guatemala City.

Barbara graduated with honors in Human Behavioral Sciences from Central Michigan University and received her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Southern Maine. Barbara completed significant additional graduate work (post MA) and holds multiple certifications as Superintendent, Director of Curriculum, Principal, Secondary Teaching of Social Studies, and Elementary School Teaching. She brings diverse and extensive experience and expertises to her work as a member of the Consulting Services Team.

Paul Poore

Paul joined Search Associates after serving for 12 years at the Association of American Schools in South America--11 years as Executive Director and a final year as Deputy Director as part of a leadership succession plan. His key responsibilities were organizing professional development events for the region and overseeing AASSA’s recruiting service which places both administrators and educators in Latin American international schools. Throughout a 40-year career in international education, Paul has been highly involved as a consultant to organizations in the areas of governance and strategic planning as well as a keynoter and workshop leader.

Prior to serving as a regional director, Paul was the Director of Harare International School in Zimbabwe for 9 years after 8 years at Lincoln School in Kathmandu, Nepal, in a variety of administrative roles: Elementary Principal, Secondary Principal and 5 years as Director. Previously, Paul taught high school English at Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan, and transitioned to become the head of counseling. In his first 9 years overseas, Paul taught secondary English at the American International School of Dusseldorf, was a lecturer at Yoyogi Seminar Prep School in Tokyo, and served as the English Department Chair at the American Community Schools of Athens, Greece.

Paul holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature from the University at Albany, New York, and an M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire. He holds certifications in school administration, counseling and as a teacher of English. In 2005, Paul was selected as the AAIE International Superintendent of the Year and was awarded the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. He served for 9 years on the Board of Directors of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA), 7 years on the founding board of the Academy of International School Heads (AISH), 3 years on the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) Advisory Board, and 5 years on the AAIE Board of Directors. In 2011, Paul received AASSA’s most prestigious award: the AASSA International Education Leadership Award. In February 2019, Paul was inducted into AAIE’s Hall of Fame. As a Senior Consultant with Search Associates, Paul conducts leadership searches in Latin America given his extensive experience in the region.

Georgeann Taylor

Georgeann joined Search Associates in 2010 as a Consultant. She brings a unique perspective to Search Associates - that of an accomplished consultant as well as an experienced board member in international and US independent schools. As a Search consultant, Georgeann has worked with partner schools to provide consulting services in the following areas: Board Governance Training, Governance Structure and Policy Consultation, Survey Design & Analysis (compensation benchmarking, stakeholder feedback, organizational effectiveness), and Strategy Development.

Georgeann's educational and professional background includes management and organizational consulting, training, and facilitation as well as extensive experience with school boards and administrative recruiting. Georgeann earned a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas and worked as a management consultant and recruiter with Arthur Andersen & Co in the early part of her career. Later, interested in the human aspect of her work, she earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from Tulane University. Following this, she provided counseling services as well as managed Employee Assistance programs, working with organizations on crisis intervention, organizational dynamics, and team facilitation.

During her 12 years living overseas, Georgeann applied her professional energies to international schools in Indonesia, Scotland, and Nigeria. She consulted with and/or held positions on the Boards at the International School of Aberdeen, the American International School of Lagos and Jakarta Intercultural School. While residing in California, she was a Trustee at the Athenian School in Danville, CA. Georgeann is able to draw on this extensive Board experience along with professional training when working with partner schools.

Eric Sands

Dr. Eric Sands joined the Consulting Services Team as Senior Consultant in September 2020. Dr. Sands brings several competencies to the CSD team that mirror developments in the international schools’ world. His tenure (2016 – 2020) at Stamford American International School, Singapore (SAIS) was tailored towards leading a large school (+3000 students) while operating within a proprietary model as part of a schools group. These three features are of increasing significance in the world of international education. In addition to these management attributes, he has led well-known non-profit schools including Qatar Academy, Doha (Director), International School of Belgrade (Director) and Taipei American School (Upper School Principal).

As Director for The International School of Belgrade, Serbia (ISB), Eric reversed a half million U.S. dollar deficit and turned it into an operational reserve of six months. As Director of Qatar Academy, Doha, while overseeing an operational budget of 140 million QAR, he worked to expand the student population from 1,455 to 1,800 within three years. At SAIS he made improvements to the school’s Bilingual and Mother Tongue K-12 Programs and oversaw a budget of 90 million SGD, expanding student population over three years from 2,859 to 3,264. At each of these schools, he worked closely with the school community to develop student-centered, far reaching strategic plans.

Dr. Sands’ own education has served him well. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa before earning a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education Leadership & Policy from the University of South Carolina. Eric is married to Patricia, and their two adult children are educators in the United States.

Julie Ryan

Julie joined Search Associates in August 2014 as a Senior Associate. She spent the next 7 years mentoring teacher and leadership candidates and collaborating with Search colleagues on leadership searches.

Julie’s career includes primary classroom teaching, serving as a reading specialist at the American School of Paris and in San Jose, CA and then becoming an elementary school principal at two schools on the San Francisco peninsula, one of which was located on the Stanford University campus, serving a very diverse population of international students, many of whom were English language learners. This was followed by the opportunity to return abroad as the Lower School Principal at the American School in London. As is the case for many international educators, her intended “several years away from Palo Alto” turned into two decades.

Since 1998, Julie has been a trainer for the Principals Training Center (the PTC) and has also served as a member of the Executive Committee and as a Commissioner for the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA). She has presented frequently at educational conferences such as the Educational Collaborative of International Schools, ASCD, and at various state and regional reading and curriculum conventions. She was honored to be one of two international school leaders to receive the "National Distinguished Principal Award" from the US State Department and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Julie earned a BA degree in French and Education (Florida Southern College) and an MA in Education with a specialization in Reading at Northern Illinois University, as well as completing additional graduate work in Educational Leadership resulting in the CA Administrative Services Credential. She looks forward to using her own leadership experiences to support schools and candidates.


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Nick Kendell has worked in Asia, Australia, and Africa as an educator and administrator.