Head of School at International Community School of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia
Ethiopia < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Head of School
International Community School of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Appointed - Earl Chamberlin
Mar 4, 2022
Apr 1, 2022


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Search Committee and the Board of Governors of the International Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we are pleased to announce that Earl Chamberlin has been appointed to assume the role of Head of School for 2022-2023 beginning in August 2022.

Earl Chamberlin is currently concluding a gap year following his tenure as Principal (2015-2019), Interim Superintendent (2019-2020) and Deputy Superintendent (2020-2021) at the American International School of Jeddah in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  

Mr. Chamberlin earned a B.A. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  He earned his California Education Credential (Superintendent) at Chapman University in Orange, California, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Fisher Graduate School of International Business in Monterrey, California.  

The Search Committee, Board of Governors of the International Community School in Addis Ababa, in addition to Search Associates, would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Head of School position, and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.


Caroline Jacoby and Brent Mutsch 

Senior Consultants 
Search Associates 



The International Community School (ICS) of Addis Ababa Ethiopia

seeks a new

Head of School

-- effective July 2023 --

Welcome to ICS!


The International Community School (ICS) of Addis Ababa is a premier-early-years through grade 12 school offering a holistic, rigorous and inclusive program, ensuring students learn how to learn.

ICS is committed to ensuring that all students learn and engage at the highest levels. By providing a Highly Effective and Learning Progressive education, ICS not only ensures that students succeed in meeting high academic standards but also experience opportunities to apply their learning in authentic and meaningful ways.


Quick Facts


ICS Addis serves the educational needs of the international community in Addis Ababa.


Our student body of 900 students represents over 65 different countries.

Scholars Program

Since its beginning, at the core of ICS, there has been a commitment to social responsibility and giving back to our Ethiopian community. Since 1964, ICS has had an ambitious and robust local merit scholarship program, inviting high academic aptitude and high achieving Ethiopian students to attend ICS.


ICS is governed by a nine-member Board of Governors. Two are Association elected parents, one is nominated by the US Ambassador to Ethiopia and six are nominated by the Board. Board-nominated members do not have to live in Addis or be part of the ICS Association.

Responsibly Inclusive

All students are welcomed and embraced and included. Students with learning diversity are supported to make this belonging and participation happen.


Top-notch leadership across all divisions and schoolwide, from all over the world

75% with a Master’s Degree

4% with a PhD

Parent Commitment

ICS has an amazing and highly engaged parent community. Led by the Parent Teacher Organization, ICS parents are true partners in their children’s education.


Our Vision

Our best with Africa and our world.

What this means is: we bring our best selves to school and life every day. We strive for our best learning results, committing ourselves to our best professional and personal growth, wellness, and providing the best learning experiences for our students every day. At the same time, we create a ‘with’ standard for the ICS parent and faculty communities. We co-construct projects with mutual benefit. We live in-place instead of above-place. We develop a partnership with our community and we believe that ICS’ success is Africa’s success, and that Africa’s success is ours.

Our Mission

We nurture the talents, character, and intellect of all learners, challenging them to be a positive influence and empowering them to excel in their world.

HERE is a video on our Mission and Vision.

Our History

In 1964 when Emperor Haile Selassie I donated our 15 acres of land to a small school, he did it intentionally with the express purpose of supporting the international and diplomatic community as well as to stimulate growth here in Addis Ababa and throughout Ethiopia. He had a vision to establish Addis Ababa as the diplomatic capital of Africa. 

Move forward some 50+ years and ICS is still thriving on the original 15 acres of land, and Addis Ababa has become the 3rd largest diplomatic center in the world, behind New York City and Geneva, with many embassies and missions.  Addis Ababa is also home to the African Union, UNDP's Regional Service Center for Africa, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Africa- European Union Partnership. ICS continues to support the international and diplomatic communities and is a part of Addis Ababa history. 

Schoolwide Goals / ICS Way

One of ICS’s prioritized schoolwide goals is focused on Wellness and Connections, to ensure the safety, physical and mental health of our students and employees and to build stronger connections and relationships with all community members.  Even before providing an educational program, the safety and wellbeing of our students and employees comes first. 

The ICS Way is embedded into the fabric of ICS and is a beacon of connection and support at ICS.  With a community of students, parents, and employees from 60+ nations and many educational systems, it is important for us to find common ground and to work together to build a common ICS school culture. The ICS Way is a simple guideline that helps us all work (and play) together more productively and fairly. The ICS Way is based on respect and responsibility, and it says:  I can make a difference by: Taking care of myself | Taking care of others | Taking care of this place.

Highly Effective Learning Progressive Education

Highly Effective. At ICS we believe that all students can learn at the highest levels, with the right systems and processes in place. At ICS we are dedicated to ensuring that all students have the academic skills necessary to access and manage their learning and have the ability to apply their learning in meaningful and authentic ways.  Video Link HERE.

ICS Definition Of Learning

Learning is an ongoing process in which learners acquire, develop, and apply knowledge, skills and dispositions essential to thrive in and contribute to an ever-changing world.

Learning is optimized when it is meaningful, authentic, reflective, collaborative, conceptual, transdisciplinary, active and personalized.


PLCs center around ensuring student learning by allowing teachers to collaborate regularly to achieve this common purpose as they focus on results.

PLCs come together and have focused conversations and clarity on student learning targets and concepts.

4 Critical Questions

PLCs focus learning by asking four critical questions.

1. What do we want our students to learn, know, understand and be able to do?

2. How will we know our students know it?

3. How will we respond when students aren’t learning?

4. How will we respond when students already know it?

IB Diploma Program | PYP | MYP Candidate | Professional Learning Community | CIS, MSA, IBO accredited

Learning Progressive:  At ICS we ensure that all students have the agency to engage with their learning at high levels through personalized learning and an inquiry-based platform so that students can “learn how to learn”.

At ICS we believe that learning to learn is the most important objective for our students. If our students know “how” to learn and how they learn best, they will be able to learn any skill, concept, topic, issue or system. They will be able to learn and apply knowledge, skills and dispositions to succeed in any course, in any training, in any job.

Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning provides an age-appropriate self-directed learning experience that culminates in a demonstration of learning. This not only taps into their curiosity, interests, and passions, but also requires students to apply traditional academic skills, such as research, writing and data analytics.

Our goal is for our students to discover topics and projects of interest and develop academic skills across disciplines inspiring inquiry into the summer, the next year, and perhaps a lifetime.

Inception / PLEx

Inception is a one-to-two year high school learning framework that covers the core classes of reading, writing and mathematics and provides a platform for highly progressive and innovative projects and initiatives. Inception builds upon students’ knowledge and takes their learning to a higher level, outside of traditional frameworks, through a very personalized learning program.

PLEx is a personalized learning experience that allows all students to inquire and apply their learning in authentic and meaningful ways through individual projects and topics.

Learning Communities

At ICS we have designed Learning Communities, which are spaces where learning is collaborative and co-constructed between teachers and students. A space where students work with each other to learn, grow and excel together.

This gives students opportunities to extend their learning themselves, going deeper into a topic or project with peer support and teacher coaching.

Our ES building was specifically purpose-built with grade level hubs to facilitate learning communities.


ICS Campus

The ICS Campus is an oasis of green and calm in a bustling city.  In the last 5 years we have added new MS and ES buildings, a renovated sports pavilion, new admin offices and a fitness center.  In 2022, ICS will break ground on a swimming pool and faculty apartments. Our purpose-built buildings allow for flexible spaces and support learning hubs. Check out the campus HERE.

Living in Addis and Ethiopia

Ethiopia is rich with history, culture, religion, food, coffee and so much more. The country has amazing natural beauty in a variety of different landscapes and regions. You can visit a live volcano, swim in natural hot springs, laugh with hippos and visit wineries.  Ethiopia has so much to offer within its borders and Addis Ababa is a major travel hub for all destinations in Africa.

According to the World Bank, with about 115 million people (2020), Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria, and still the fastest growing economy in the region. Over the past 15 years, Ethiopia has been among the fastest growing countries in the world (at an average of 10 percent per year).  With this growth more products and services have come to Addis Ababa, with great restaurants, entertainment, tourism opportunities, live music, bazaars and more.

Here is a glimpse of some Hidden Gems in Addis

Bale Mountains

Addis Ababa at night

Open Position

ICS is seeking to appoint a new Head of School to begin July 2023. The Head of School reports to the Board of Governors and is responsible for the leadership of the school and the success of its programs, students and employees.

Preferred Skills, Abilities and Experiences

Leadership, communication, mobilization, organization, and the ability to work with others are the main qualities of a successful candidate.  We also are looking for:

  • A visionary leader who is future focused and demonstrates a clear commitment to providing the best possible education to ICS students through both articulating and building support for the progressive and innovative changes in education while still enabling academic rigor that will well prepare students for successful and fulfilled lives in a rapidly changing world.
  • A resilient leader who can manage crises and navigate the political landscape, working with various federal, regional and local offices and officials, and international embassies in partnership to ensure the vision of ICS.
  • A leader who embraces, respects, understands, and values the culture of Ethiopia and the diversity represented across the ICS Community, and systematically seeks to further extend the nature of the diversity represented within ICS as well as building strategic partnerships across the school and broader Ethiopian community.
  • A leader who easily develops positive relationships with all members of the ICS community in being approachable, an excellent listener and an effective communicator, both speaking and writing in ways that reflect transparency and meaningful engagement with stakeholders in advance of decision making.
  • A leader who can successfully build support across the school community while providing leadership that serves to further unify all constituent groups around the achievement of the areas of strategic focus at ICS.
  • A leader who knows how to execute and can successfully lead the implementation of a multi-year roadmap for further improvement as reflected in the ICS strategic plan.
  • A leader with exceptional management and oversight skills who can inspire and support overseas and local employees, recruit and retain outstanding faculty, administrators, and staff, put strong systems and processes in place, and has a proven record of managing resources effectively, including a strong background in finance and in translating available financial resources into comprehensive learning opportunities for students.
  • A leader who understands Board governance and has a track record of successfully collaborating with Boards to produce highly effective fiduciary and strategic governance.


ICS Addis provides a comprehensive and competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience.

Application Process

ICS Addis has retained Search Associates to serve as consultant in the search for a new Head of School.

Interested candidates should apply as soon as possible, but no later than 1 April 2022.

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the school if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization.  Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all applicants who emerge in the search as a semi-finalist.

 Candidates should note that, in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, ICS reserves the right to bring the search to an early close. For this reason, it is very important that interested candidates apply at the earliest possible time.

Candidates should send the information requested below. Information must be submitted EXACTLY in the form and manner requested. Please DO NOT send any information other than that which is specifically requested below.

  • A letter of application, not to exceed two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this particular position
  • A current resume, not to exceed two pages
  • A statement outlining educational beliefs and leadership style, not to exceed two pages
  • A one-page list of references with phone numbers and E-mail addresses

Please note that ALL the above materials must be scanned into a SINGLE .pdf ATTACHMENT and sent to Search Associates at both of the e-mail addresses listed below. Also, please note that it is important to limit the size of your SINGLE .pdf to 6MB.  Please send your application to both:  bmutsch@searchassociates.com and cjacoby@searchassociates.com

ICS Addis is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of identity, religion, nationality or lifestyle

Did You Know…?

Search Associates is a family-owned business founded by John Magagna, former international educator. After working with her father for ten years, daughter Jessica Magagna is now CEO.