Director at American International School in Abu Dhabi  in United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates < Back to Leadership Vacancies

American International School in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

Aug 15, 2023
Sep 30, 2023


School Details

The American International School in Abu Dhabi (AISA), part of the Esol Education group of schools, is seeking to appoint an experienced and motivated educational leader from August 1st 2024 to build on the excellent work of the retiring Director, Mr. Patrick Rich. AISA is one of the top schools in Abu Dhabi with a rich 28 year history.

The school curriculum is based on the US Common Core Standards and New Generation Science curriculum. Currently students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 draw upon the transdisciplinary framework provided by the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) using inquiry-based instructional methods. The Middle School Curriculum is U.S. standards-based and in the High School the American High School Diploma Program runs from Grade 9 to Grade 12 with an alternative option in Grade 11 and 12 to follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).

AISA students are well prepared for admission into universities in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and other regions. The language of instruction in all classes is English except in Arabic, French, Spanish and Islamic Studies. AISA is an international American curriculum school which is holistic in its development of students, international in its accommodation of diversity, and inclusive in its ability to cater to students of different abilities and provide them different educational & career pathways.

AISA is accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA), as well as Council of International Schools (CIS). These two bodies re-accredited AISA during the 2021-22 school year. Abu Dhabi’s Education Regulator, known as Abu Dhabi Education and Knowledge (ADEK) awarded the school the inspection rating of ‘Very Good’ in its previous three inspections. The Director is responsible for leading the school’s team of administrators, teachers, and support staff members in the day-to-day management of its academic, educational and other operations. The Director will also work with the school’s leadership team, its Board, and other administrators of Esol Education on the formulation and implementation of new ideas and strategies to continually enhance the quality of the school’s programs and the life of its community.

The American International School in Abu Dhabi is one of ten schools in the Middle East managed by Esol Education. AISA was established in 1995 to provide the local and expatriate residents of Abu Dhabi with high quality American education, based on American standards and an international curriculum. AISA offers education from KG1 to Grade 12. It was the first school to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma in the UAE and later became the first school in Abu Dhabi to be authorized to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). In keeping with local regulations, the Secondary School is gender segregated.

Abu Dhabi is a dynamic, safe and beautiful city which is making rapid strides to become a cultural center of the Gulf Region. It already offers much in music and the arts. The development of Saadiyat Island Cultural District, which will house an extension of the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museum, new concert halls, and theaters will make Abu Dhabi a destination for art lovers from everywhere. Architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Tado Ando and Jean Nouvel will create an extraordinary environment.
There are equally attractive possibilities for outdoor pursuits, with the Rub Al Khali (the world’s largest sand desert), the Oman mountains and miles of beaches all within easy reach.

Position Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A proven track record in educational leadership, including at least three years of experience as the Head of a high quality American or international school
  • Previous experience with International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
  • The ability to lead and work collaboratively with a large and talented team of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers
  • The flexibility to learn and adapt to new cultures and situations and work with local parents and the community
  • Integrity, dedication, and a strong work ethic.

Salary and Benefits

The position comes with a highly competitive salary and benefits package.


Esol Education (Esol) has a highly successful 45-year track record in the establishment and management of high quality international schools. Today Esol’s team of educators and other professionals operates a total of ten schools with over 11,000 students. Its American schools are all accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and its British schools are accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) in Europe. Six of its schools offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), with many of its American schools also offering the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). Esol’s schools are known for uniformly high educational standards and broad academic and extra-curricular programs that complement core subjects with equally strong in arts, culture, and athletics.

Esol and its schools have long standing affiliations with the leading organizations in international education, such as the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and the Association of International School Heads (AISH), as well as regional organizations like the Near East/South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) and the Mediterranean Association of International Schools (MAIS).

Esol has received international recognition in many forms, including a number of awards and honors bestowed upon its founder and Chairman, Walid Abushakra. In 2005 he became the first American of Arab descent to be inducted into AAIE’s Hall of Fame for international education. In 2006, the International Schools Association (ISA), which is affiliated with the United Nations, recognized Mr. Abushakra’s many accomplishments by making him the sole recipient of its Award for Distinguished Service in International Education.

Esol’s future goals can be summed up by its mission and vision:

Esol Education’s mission is to provide outstanding education to students and excellent professional opportunities for educators in international communities, instilling the knowledge, skills, and character necessary for success in the 21st century.

Esol Education’s vision is to be the most reputable and trusted provider of high quality international education.


Working with all stakeholders the Director will provide vision, leadership and direction for the school and ensure that it is managed and organized to meet its aims and targets.

The appointed person will lead the Senior Leadership Team, building trust and the empowerment of others to achieve school improvement goals. The Director will provide collegiate leadership to the school and the community as well as supporting and inspiring each level of leadership in their own defined area. The Director will be expected to recruit, appoint and retain staff and lead in their development as excellent practitioners in every sphere, ensuring that every individual receives support and professional development and is monitored and evaluated regularly in order to reach his or her potential to secure high quality teaching and learning and constantly raise standard of attainment and progress. The Director will be expected to establish a culture of encouragement, high aspirations, ethical behavior, risk taking, a love of learning and a belief in continuous improvement that is shared by staff and pupils and will promote the ideals of awareness resulting in action.


Qualified candidates are invited to apply by sending a letter of application, resume, and names and contact information of at least 3 references via email to: Bassam Abushakra

Esol Education will be accepting applications for this position until September 30th, 2023 but may conclude the search earlier if it is able to appoint an outstanding candidate before that date.

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