Director at International School Of Kenya, Nairobi in Kenya
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International School Of Kenya, Nairobi (Kenya)

Appointed - Mr. Michael Callan
Nov 19, 2019
Jan 10, 2020

International School of Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

seeks a


Effective July 2021

The Opportunity

The International School of Kenya (ISK), located in Nairobi, Kenya, has initiated the search for a new Director, effective July 2021. This leadership vacancy represents an exciting opportunity to lead one of the premier international schools on the African continent. The search for a dynamic, experienced and visionary educational leader to join a community dedicated to academic excellence will conclude by April/May 2020, allowing for a thoughtfully orchestrated period of transition in advance of the Director-elect joining the community in July 2021.


The Mission

ISK inspires and nurtures passion, creativity and ambition in pursuit of a better world.

The Vision

Empowering students to create solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.

Educational Aims

We strive to develop globally minded students who actively learn, create, solve and engage in the world.

 The School

The International School of Kenya is a private, non-profit Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 12 school established in 1976 through a joint partnership between the governments of the United States and Canada.  Occupying a 40-acre campus, ISK serves the educational needs of both expatriate and Kenyan students by providing purpose-built learning spaces in a lush green environment for a student population slightly in excess of 1,000, and the potential for the school to grow to 1,200 students upon completion of a new middle school construction project. 

ISK is deeply committed to holistic education by combining rigorous academic programs with a rich program of extra-curricular activities driven by ISK’s Educational Aims.  The academic program is based on learning standards and benchmarks taken from leading educational practices and research across the world. 

In October 2019 the Board of Directors approved the new Strategic Focus Areas which commence in August 2020:

  •  We will continually focus on improving teaching and learning.
  • We will integrate a comprehensive approach to student well-being throughout the school.
  • We will define and fully implement our approach to inclusion.

ISK was re-accredited by the Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges in July 2019 and is further authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the IB Diploma program.

The Students

ISK students, representing more than 65 different nationalities, reflect a truly diverse and international student body.  Students are curious, respectful and reflect their appreciation and enthusiasm for being part of the ISK “Lion” family.  ISK graduates earn a North American accredited diploma and have the option to earn an IB Diploma.  Over the years approximately two-thirds of ISK graduates earn the full IB diploma with a pass rate in the mid-90% range.  ISK graduates matriculate to some of the most respected and competitive universities in the world.

ISK is committed to cultivating student leaders as engaged citizens who will impact the future in  transformative ways.  ISK provides merit scholarships for Kenyan students and the school’s broad and dedicated Service-Learning program further supports both the ISK Mission and Vision.

ISK provides the training and resources necessary to meet the needs of a managed number of students with a variety of mild to moderate learning needs. The school is committed to deepening its inclusion practices across the learning spectrum as evidenced by the new Strategic Focus area.  

ISK students form a supportive, spirited and diverse community, which enables new students to easily adapt to campus life.  Interacting in such a cross-cultural milieu, ISK students celebrate the unique and wonderful differences and similarities of people from around the world. ISK provides a variety of opportunities across the elementary, middle and high schools for learning, growth and development. Examples include being a Round Square school, hosting a rich arts program and divisional STEM / Makerspace facilities, and offering robust co-curricular, service, and athletic programs.

The Faculty, Staff and Administration

Attracting, retaining and further developing a top-quality faculty staff and administration is the key to ISK’s continued growth and sustained reputation for excellence.  There are 128 faculty members, including 20 host country nationals with the remainder representing 19 different nationalities.  There are 55 teaching assistants across the school divisions and an additional 214 non-teaching staff who make significant and valued contributions to the overall quality of the learning program.

The ISK Administrative Team includes: Elementary, Middle and High School Principals and Assistant Principals, Director of Teaching and Learning, Director of Technology, Director of Community Relations and Advancement, Head of Student Support Services, Security Manager, Human Resources Manager, Business Manager and Director of Innovation and Service Learning (commencing 2020).

The ISK Parents

ISK actively engages parents as partners in their children’s learning journey.  ISK values a home-school partnership and promotes a supportive Parent Teacher Organization that invites parents into a variety of partnership activities that further promote the strong sense of community that is an integral aspect of the ISK experience.  The school’s diverse parent community represents a wide variety of professions and organizations in East Africa.  They may be leaders in Kenya’s vibrant private sector or NGO community, or diplomats with embassies and the United Nations.  Whatever professional background they represent, their commitment and partnership are an important quality that contributes to making ISK a dynamic learning community.


The ISK Facilities

The current facility consists of purpose-built learning spaces located on an attractive 40-acre campus, representing one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.  Thoughtful planning has contributed to the development of a comprehensive master plan that has seen new high school and elementary school buildings, libraries and cafeterias, along with beautiful and serene faculty housing in a planned community that is adjacent to the school campus on a 12-acre plot.  The current construction of the middle school, slated for occupancy in 2021-2022 academic year, will bring all major construction projects on campus to a successful conclusion.

The Governance

ISK believes that an excellent school requires a governance structure that is focused on operating across the fiduciary, strategic and generative modes in providing governance as leadership.  ISK strives to model exemplary governance through a two-tiered governance structure that consists of a Board of Governors and Board of Directors. 

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of seven appointees from the two sponsoring missions.  The Board of Governors has fiduciary oversight at the highest level, including approval of annual budgets and any major capital expenditures such as a major construction project.  The Board of Governors also focuses on fostering high-level government relations in support of the strategic operation of the school.

Board of Directors: The Board of Directors consists of nine members. Three are appointed from the sponsoring missions (indefinite terms), four elected members (two-year terms) and two members appointed by the Board of Directors (three-year terms) with the School Director serving as an ex-officio member.  The Board of Directors provides strategic oversight of the school and is not involved in operations as those matters are delegated exclusively to the Director. 

Nairobi and Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya continues to be a venue that attracts an increasing number of expatriate families in response to both increased business investment as well as the continued development of East Africa.  Nairobi is considered a quality career post and ISK plays a significant role in ensuring that expatriates relocating to Nairobi have access to an excellent education and a community.  The campus is a hub for weekend activities including sporting events, a monthly farmers market, and theater and musical productions. Families enjoy the many amenities Nairobi has to offer including a wide variety of restaurants, shops, cinemas, bowling alley and trampoline park, as well as Karura Forest minutes from school where one can hike, bike, or run among towering eucalyptus trees and somewhat mischievous monkeys.

Kenya is renowned for its national parks, including one within the Nairobi city limits and others located throughout the country, many within a few hours drive of Nairobi.  The richness of Kenya is not limited to its wildlife, but one can enjoy the Kenyan coast and beautiful beaches. The warmth and generosity of the Kenyan people is experienced in many different facets when one ventures outside of the Nairobi city limits to explore what this amazing country has to offer.

The Responsibilities of the Director

The Director reports to the Board of Directors and is guided by the mission and vision.  The Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the following:

  • Provide instructional leadership in order to achieve maximum student learning growth and potential.
  • Lead and manage a complex organization within Kenya in an increasingly interconnected global community.
  • Guide the recruitment, retention and development of all personnel in order to achieve both the ISK mission and vision.
  • Maintain a positive school environment, furthering the physical security and emotional well-being of all those who comprise the ISK community.
  • Guide ISK’s financial sustainability by overseeing budget development and the stewardship of the financial resources to ensure appropriate allocation.
  • Serve as the representative of the ISK community within the local and international community.
  • Work closely with the Board of Governors, sit on Board committees and serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

The Essential Qualifications of the Director

  • Proven record of visionary school leadership in senior positions.
  • Ability to empower and inspire, lead by example, and work collaboratively with all stakeholder groups.
  • Develops positive relationships with all members of the school community as a result of being approachable, an empathetic listener and an effective communicator.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully managing change and improving the quality of education.
  • Commitment to comprehensive strategic planning.
  • Collaborates with the school board in order to provide effective fiduciary, strategic and generative Board governance.
  • Has a high-level of integrity, aligned with the school values.
  • Graduate degree in education and/or educational leadership and a commitment to lifelong learning.

The Preferred Qualities and Characteristics of the Director

  • Experience in providing students with an innovative education for a rapidly changing world.
  • Has successfully led the implementation of a multi-year strategic roadmap.
  • Leads through consensus building across the school community.
  • Demonstrates a high level of cultural competency, including sensitivity, respect and value for the rich diversity in international school communities.
  • Able to recruit and retain outstanding staff.
  • Decisive, resilient, reflective and energetic professional practitioner.
  • Creative and solution-oriented problem solver.
  • Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability through experience working in a developing country.
  • Strong financial skills.

The Salary and Benefits

ISK provides a competitive salary and benefits package. The salary for the Director position will be commensurate with the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience. The remuneration package includes base salary, retirement, relocation allowance, medical insurance, annual home leave, furnished housing with utilities, security at residence, use of a school vehicle, tuition remission for dependent school-age children and appropriate leave provisions including sick leave, bereavement leave, and recruitment leave.

Procedure for Filing Application

The International School of Kenya has appointed Search Associates to act as a consultant in the search for the new Director with Dr. Brent Mutsch serving as the lead consultant. The deadline for application for the position is January 10, 2020. Candidates should submit a letter of interest and the requested materials as early as possible, as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if an outstanding candidate is identified early in the process.

The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee by mid-February. These candidates, along with their spouses, will be invited to the ISK campus for a multi-day campus visit most likely in March 2020.  Finalist candidates will visit the campus and meet with students, parents, faculty, non-teaching staff, administrators and members of the Board. The new Director will be selected after the conclusion of the school visits and most likely appointed in April of 2020.

Candidates should send the information listed below as a single PDF file attached to an email:

  • A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Director position at ISK.
  • A statement describing your management and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A one-page list of references who have served as an immediate supervisor with a current addresses, phone number and email address.
  • A maximum of three letters of reference that may already be in your possession

Total document size should be kept to less than 5MB. Applications should be sent to:

Additional information about the International School of Kenya can be found on the school’s website at: . 

Dr. Brent Mutsch

Email :                

Telephone:  970-368-6879  USA (Mountain Time Zone)

Skype: brentmutsch                                           


Did You Know…?

CEO of Search Associates, Jessica Magagna, was born in Morocco and attended the American Community School in Iran while her father was headmaster.