Chief Operations Officer at International School of Luxembourg in Luxembourg
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Chief Operations Officer
International School of Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

Appointed - Joachim Herrmann
Apr 8, 2019
May 10, 2019



Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the community of the International School of Luxembourg ( ISL ) and their Search Committee we are pleased to announce the appointment of Joachim Herrmann to the position of Chief Operating Officer ( COO ), effective in October of 2019.
Joachim Herrmann brings significant administrative and financial management experience to the position, having served for nearly a decade as Director of Finance and Administration  at the German European School in Singapore ( GESS ). in this position Joachim also had responsibility for human resources, legal matters and facilities management. His career in international education also entailed similar responsibilities at the Phorms Group in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany, the German International Schools in Silicon Valley/California, Manila and Madrid. Joachim also served as an administrator at the Central agency for German Schools abroad in Cologne.

Joachim earned a degree in Public Administration (Diplom-Verwaltungswirt ) at the Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences in Cologne which covered areas of law, economics, and business management. His journey across the world in significant administrative roles in international schools now brings him back to Europe to serve ISL, a large and  established international school, in its endeavors to respond to its own growth and new challenges.

ISL Director Nicki Crush, the ISL Search Committee, and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed an interest in the position and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.

Gunther Brandt
Senior Consultant
Search Associates


Role Profile

Chief Operations Officer

Role Summary:

The Chief Operations Officer is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and deputises for the Director on operational issues.  The Chief Operations Officer remains a resource person for students, staff and parents., The Chief Operations Officer shall be responsible for the operations of the School, including business and finance, IT, legal compliance (including data protection/GDPR), risk management, facilities management, and safety/security in order to support a culture of quality of service and operational efficiency.

Supports ISL Strategic Plan by: Ensuring that the school operates under the best financial, IT and facility infrastructure conditions possible to support the educational programme. In addition, the Chief Operations Officer will be responsible for the School’s compliance programmes (risk management, GDPR, business continuity, legal, health, safety, security).

Reports to: Director of the School

Collaborates with: Upper and Lower School Leadership teams, Community Relations, Human Resources

Is Responsible for: Business Office, IT Office (infrastructure), Security and Facilities

Profile: (training, experience, skills and aptitudes necessary to do the job)

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (MBA an advantage);
  • At least five to eight years’ experience in a similar type of position (experience in a school preferred);
  • Proven experience with strategic planning and implementation;
  • Outstanding knowledge and experience with budget processes, financial planning, business management and business transformation;
  • Experience and proven track record in implementing highly efficient IT solutions;
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing business continuity and risk management plans;
  • Demonstrated skills in working with and motivating staff at all organisational levels;
  • Knowledge of Luxembourg accounting and financial practices, tax and corporate law, and business practices (preferred);
  • Knowledge of European data protection laws and digital security;
  • Practical experience in facilities development, environmental impact, safety and security;
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills, both written and oral;
  • Fluent in English (near-native level);
  • Fluent in another language; French, Luxembourgish and/or German preferred;
  • Excellent computer skills (Microsoft office, etc.);
  • Experienced in working in a collaborative working environment;
  • Experience working in a multi-cultural environment.


Characteristics: (personality traits necessary to successfully do the job)

  • Be passionate about excellence in education and innovative in ensuring the smooth operations of the School, in a safe and secure setting, using best business practices;
  • Be responsible for own learning and well-being: value continuous learning, collaborative work, self-reflection, and resiliency;
  • Be confident and motivated in working with students, parents and colleagues: build and maintain partnerships at all organisational levels;
  • Be pro-active, well-organised and discreet;
  • Be adaptable to a wide range of situations, work independently as well as part of a collaborative team;
  • Be able to work collegially with fellow members of the leadership team and operations staff;
  • Be an effective communicator by reading, writing, speaking and listening confidently and reflectively as well as asking questions appropriately;
  • Be committed to the health, safety & security of children, including child protection issues;
  • Demonstrate ethical behaviour in and out of the School;
  • Be a contributor to the World, culturally sensitive, create a caring environment for students and display care, empathy and consideration for others.



The responsibilities of the Chief Operations Officer include:

1. School Leadership:

  • Member of the Senior Leadership Team (“SLT”) along with the Director and the Upper and Lower School Principals;
  • Deputise for the School Director on operational issues during the Director’s absences.
  • Chair the Operations Committee meetings
  • Interface with Board of Governors on areas under his/her responsibility: propose and present cogent solutions for matters requiring Board-level approval.


2. Strategic Planning:

  • Work with the Director in developing the ISL Strategic and Annual plans including:
  • Take the lead in budgetary and financial planning, including proposing school fee levels. Meet regularly with the Treasurer, the Board Finance Committee and attend Board of Governors meetings as required;
  • Ensure strategic plans are in place and followed for all operational areas;

·        Lead Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, including salary scale negotiations.

3. Compliance and Reporting Function:

  • Ensure Business Continuity / Risk Assessment

o   Oversee risk registers, business continuity plans and ensure their implementation

  • Ensure legal compliance for all operational and educational matters, including legal and company secretarial support to the School Association (not-for-profit charity) and its Board of Governors.

4. Operational Leadership

  • 4a. Business and Financial Management:

o   Strategically plan for the School’s financial future.

o   Responsible for overseeing the Head of the Business Office, the ISL Business Office Staff and all areas of business and finance within the School;

o   Transform business operations;

o   Provide expert advice on financial, operational, and compliance matters to the SLT and the Board.

o   Responsibility for approving payroll expenditures, headcount and staff-related costs in accordance with the budget.


  • 4b. Facility Management:

o   Responsible for overseeing the Head of Maintenance and Security, the ISL Maintenance Staff and all areas of the school’s facilities and grounds;

o   Strategically plan for the future of the School’s facilities;


  • 4c. Information Technology:

o   Overall responsibility for GDPR compliance within the School

§  Act as the School’s Data Protection Officer

o   Responsible for overseeing the IT Manager, the IT Support Specialists and all areas of IT infrastructure, digital security and data protection, including compliance and reporting;

o   Actively support the School’s IT vision by ensuring the IT infrastructure supports the needs of the School in collaboration with the Head of Educational Technology;

o   With the Head of Educational Technology, develop comprehensive plans and budgets for the use of IT in the School.

5. Other:

  • Conduct business with the external community that is related to the School’s finances, including various Public Ministries, suppliers, service providers, legal counsel, and any other third party as required;
  •  Comply with School policies and procedures relating to child protection, health, safety, welfare, security, confidentiality and data protection, reporting any concerns to the appropriate person;
  • Such other duties as the Director may assign.


Working conditions

Non-CBA with special working & salary conditions.  Annual salary paid over 12 months. Lunch vouchers. Work 40h/week, Mon-Fri. 48 holiday days to be taken in alignment with the school holiday calendar with any not taken at other times to be taken in the summer school break. Supplementary pension (5%) from start of contract.

The International School of Luxembourg has appointed Search Associates as its partner in its search for the Chief Operations Officer, with Dr. Gunther Brandt serving as the lead consultant. The deadline for applications for the position is May 10, 2019. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials listed below to:


The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received and qualified candidates will be immediately forwarded to the International School of Luxembourg for review.  Finalist candidates will be invited to the campus to visit the school and meet with members of the leadership team and staff. The new Chief Operations Officer will be selected at the end of the site visit, final interviews, and reference checks and will assume his/her professional responsibilities on August 1, 2019 or as close to this date as possible.


Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file  (less than 4MB is possible) attached to an e-mail to

  • A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate.

  • A statement describing your management philosophy not to exceed two pages.

  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages.

  • A list of references with current addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.


Did You Know…?

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