Interim Head of College at UWC Dilijan College in Armenia
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Interim Head of College
UWC Dilijan College (Armenia)

Appointed - Denise Davidson
Apr 11, 2016
May 6, 2016


TITLE:                                                               Interim Head of College

START DATE/ TIME:                               July 1st, 2016

DURATION:                                                 1 year (with the opportunity to extend the contract)

LOCATION:                                                  Dilijan, Armenia


UWC Dilijan represents an exciting extension of the UWC movement into the Caucasus region at the junction of Asia and Europe. It is the fourteenth United World College. UWC Dilijan is a community working towards a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world through a balanced, challenging and transformative education with people from diverse backgrounds. The College aims to be an integral part of Dilijan and to make a positive personal, local and global impact.

  • An international co-educational boarding school, UWC Dilijan evolved from the original idea to create Dilijan International School of Armenia, first conceived in 2006 by Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend with the support of other Founding Donors
  • Situated at the junction of Asia and Europe, halfway between Yerevan and Tbilisi, the capitals of Armenia and Georgia
  • Supported by a large-scale philanthropic initiative to fund the construction of the campus as well as an admissions policy that aims to make places available to anyone regardless of their socio-economic background
  • A full member of UWC International and an International Baccalaureate World School (Diploma)
  • The College opened for the IB Diploma Years (16+) in August 2014
  • IB Diploma admissions are organized via UWC national committees in students’ countries of origin
  • International body of students – 188 students from 63 different countries
  • 34 academic and 34 non-academic staff members from 14 countries of the world
  • Academic programme recognized by universities worldwide – the IB Diploma Programme
  • Curriculum taught in English
  • A wide range of other languages (initially French, German, Russian, Spanish) and mother-tongue support
  • Diverse service programmes engaging with the local community and environment
  • State-of-the-art learning spaces and environmentally friendly facilities
  • Over 88 hectares of land, partially located within Dilijan National Park

A short video about the College can be found via the following link:

UWC Dilijan’s core value is sustainable excellence in all aspects of development, from intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual growth to environmental stewardship. The School’s tree of sustainable excellence is nurtured by seven fundamental roots:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Faculty Dedication
  • Personal Integrity
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Social Responsibility
  • Responsible Architecture
  • Environmental Stewardship


The Board of Governors of UWC Dilijan College has a clear model for its further development.

Over the past several years the Board and administration have worked hard to establish the College as a leading educational institution in the region. UWC Dilijan has already become a beacon of excellence in the Caucasus. In considering the next phase in the development of the School several models have been reviewed by the School’s Board of Governors. A model has been chosen which further integrates the School within its Armenian context and the broader aims and functioning of the IDeA and RVVZ Foundations[1], including in its operations. This mutually beneficial contribution of the School to the development of its surrounding Armenian community and to the overall objectives of the RVVZ Foundation of innovation in global education is a real cornerstone of the School’s future.

The Board now believes that this is an appropriate moment to effect a change of leadership at the School to reflect these new priorities. As a consequence, the Board is looking for an interim head of College to take over from July 1st, who will hand over to a permanent successor once carefully selected.

[1] IDeA (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) Charitable Foundation and RVVZ Foundation (Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend Family Foundation) were established by a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan and his wife, Veronika Zonabend. RVVZ Foundation has three priority areas: Global education, Territory development and Philanthropy infrastructure with a focus on Russia, Armenia and post-Soviet countries while IDeA Foundation focuses on programs, which achieve tangible socioeconomic development and assist Armenia in transition from the survival model to the prosperity model. All of the Foundations’ projects are closely interrelated, making possible a synergistic effect from the initiatives implemented. The Foundations have initiated and accomplished a number of charity and educational projects, both locally and globally. Among them are: Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO in Russia, UWC Dilijan College and Dilijan City Development Project, Tatev Revival Program (including the world’s longest aerial tramway) in Armenia, St. George Cathedral restoration in Georgia, and 100 LIVES initiative featuring the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.


The Interim Head will be responsible for managing UWC Dilijan and leading it towards the achievement of its mission in line with its values.

Reporting to the Board of Governors, the Interim Head of School will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for UWC Dilijan and will manage a team of professionals and support personnel. As the Interim Head of School, they will provide leadership to the College’s strategic planning process and will implement new strategic initiatives. In addition, they will provide coordination with the Board, the Founders and the Foundations’ senior management team.


School structure:

  • Develop and approve the College's management and organizational structure to fulfil the goals and objectives set by the Board and the Founders;
  • Establish key performance indicators for key roles to measure effectiveness and progress.

Stakeholder management:

  • Develop an open and engaging dialogue with various stakeholders including the Board, the Founders, and UWC National Committees;
  • Develop the community united by common values and aspirations about UWC Dilijan educational mission;
  • Ensure representation of the School within the UWC and IB organizations;
  • Establish and develop the alumni network platform.

Personnel management:

  • To define recruitment gaps and hire a team of dedicated professionals through participating in the staffing process: preparing job descriptions, person specifications and hiring terms and conditions;
  • To develop and apply strategies to continuously improve faculty and staff working conditions, discipline, professional development, compensation and benefits;
  • To promote an atmosphere of constant personal development for the faculty and staff;
  • To promote effective communication and cooperation within the team through regular staff and department meetings;
  • To establish practices and procedures to promote constructive relationships among the School staff.


  • To develop the academic and non-academic curriculum in line with the policies determined by the UWC and the Board of Governors;
  • To monitor and evaluate the quality of the teaching process;
  • To participate in the developing and maintaining partnerships with schools worldwide;
  • To participate in establishing relationships with major universities to ensure the students’ future;
  • To provide the School guidelines, policies and procedures;
  • To ensure that the educational policies and practice are consistent the United World Colleges;
  • To ensure the educational policies and practices reflect and embody its sustainability and “Green” agenda.

Financial and operational management:

  • To optimize and maintain the School budgeting and reporting systems;
  • To ensure the School budget execution;
  • To streamline operational processes and interfaces with external providers.

Marketing and fundraising:

  • To ensure the effective marketing strategy of the School to potential donors and parents;
  • To represent the School at external forums;
  • To establish the platform for engaging parents to participate and contribute more towards the school;
  • To oversee and agree on the implementation of an appropriate fundraising budget and strategy.

Student welfare and pastoral care:

  • To assure the well-being of the students at all times, through the effective planning and implementation of safety and security measures;
  • Introduce and establish processes to assess and monitor the students psychological welfare;
  • To set effective and appropriate levels of staff supervision and pastoral care of students;
  • To cultivate positive and mutually respectful relationships among students and between students and staff.

School’s internal set up:

  • To assess current systems and processes to determine how to streamline activities, fill gaps, and ensure consistently strong performance;
  • To ensure teachers are regularly appraised;
  • To ensure the development of extra-curricular activities with local community involvement (for example, historical, arts, sports and social activities);
  • To develop cooperation and integration with the local community (urban and rural).


  • Extensive experience in a boarding school;
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach a senior-level staff to manage and develop high-performance teams;
  • Excellent listener, connects easily with others, demonstrates an active interest in students’ development;
  • A genuine affection for young people;
  • A consultative yet decisive management style, and desire and ability to both mentor and empower others to reach their own potential;
  • Analytic and decisive decision maker with the ability to prioritize and communicate to staff key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve the goals;
  • A strong track record of academic and professional achievement;
  • High moral and ethical standards;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent public speaking skills;
  • International experience, working in a multinational environment;
  • Passion, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven and self-directed;
  • Ability to work under pressure; stress tolerance;
  • Excellent knowledge of English language.



A contract for one year (2016-2017) will be offered, renewable thereafter by mutual agreement between the Head and the Board of Trustees.   The successful candidate will receive a highly competitive salary and a generous benefits package including free high-quality accommodation on campus.



Suitably qualified candidates should send to David Cope of Search Associates (

all together in one single pdf file, as an email attachment, to arrive as soon as possible and absolutely no later than 6 May 2016


  • a letter of application (two pages maximum), briefly outlining why the candidate wishes to apply for this position, what specific skills, qualities and experience he/she can offer the College, and why he/she feels confident in meeting the challenges of this position
  • a CV (two pages maximum)
  • a statement of educational and leadership philosophy (one page)
  • the names and full contact details (including current email addresses) of four or more professional referees
  • a recent head-and-shoulders photo (if not on the CV)

The Board hopes to appoint the Interim Head by the end of May 2016.


David Cope

Search Associates, Berry House, 41 High Street, Over, Cambridge CB24 5NB, UK

Tel.  +44 1954 231130            Fax  +44 1954 232145        E-mail:



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.