Board of Directors
The role of the Board of Directors at AISJ is a strategic one.
Primary functions of the Board are:
- Long term sustainability
- Setting the mission, vision and core beliefs, strategic goals and measurable outcomes for the School
- Hiring, retention and annual evaluation of the School Director, thus ensuring a quality educational program
- Ensuring long-term financial health approving tuition fees and the annual budget.
The Board has a hybrid structure and is comprised of elected, appointed and seconded members.
The Board meets monthly through the academic year and conducts the majority of its role through standing committees namely Finance, Facilities and Governance.
CAROLYNN PETTIT - BOARD CHAIR
Carolynn has served on the AISJ Board of Directors since May 2010. Prior to being appointed Board Chair, Carolynn chaired the Board Facilities Committee for 7 years. She has also served on and chaired the Board Governance Committee. Carolynn previously served 2 years on the Board of the International Schools Group (ISG) of Saudi Arabia on its Finance and Facilities Committee.
Carolynn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and enjoyed a 20-year career in petrochemical process design and project management working in the USA, Cyprus, South Africa, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Her daughters Claire and Anna enrolled in AISJ in 2004. Claire graduated from AISJ in 2015 and is in her final year at Northeastern University. Anna graduated from AISJ in 2017 and is her third year at Columbia University.
Carolynn is dedicated to the long-term sustainability of AISJ and continues to serve many volunteer roles at AISJ for the benefit of the students.
Term ends – June 2021
RACHEL GEYER - DEPUTY BOARD CHAIR
Rachel and her husband, Markus, moved to Johannesburg in July 2016. They have a son studying for his IB diploma at the Johannesburg Campus and a son who graduated from AISJ in 2017 and is now studying Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. They also have a daughter who is training to be a Chartered Accountant in the UK, and a son who is studying Data Science and Knowledge Engineering at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.
Rachel is British and German and grew up in the UK. After earning a degree in Business from the Universities of Swansea, (U.K.) and Augsburg, (Germany), Rachel moved to Germany as a lecturer with the Business Faculty at the University of Regensburg. Rachel then led the Centre of Applied Languages for Business and Law at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, before starting on an extended expat journey with her husband. They have lived in China, Dubai and now South Africa, returning for several years to Germany in between each foreign assignment.
Rachel has worked in the majority of the schools attended by their children, whether in a teaching capacity, volunteering or, most recently, as Board Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee on the board of the Bavarian International School near Munich, Germany. Rachel has always strived to be a positive support to each school community and believes that a school can best reach its full potential when all stakeholders work together towards this goal. Prior to being appointed Deputy Chair, Rachel served as Board Secretary of the AISJ Board of Directors.
Term ends - June 2020
ALIYA MASOOD – GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Aliya and her family moved to South Africa in 2015. Her two children, Ali and Nur Bano attend High School. Aliya was elected to the Board of Directors in 2017. Last year she served as Chair of the Search Committee where she led a successful search and recruitment process for a new School Director.
Prior to moving to South Africa, Aliya lived in Dubai where she was teaching psychology at the University of Wollongong. During this time, she also received a Post Graduate Certification in Higher Education from Middlesex University, UK. Aliya has previous corporate work experience in Media and Communications. However, her most challenging and rewarding role has been that of an educator.
Aliya is from Pakistan but grew up in Washington, DC. She has a BA (Hons.) and MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. She has also served on the Board of the Oxbridge Society, Karachi, Educational Trust. Aliya is a passionate educator who believes we must be committed to delivering a high quality program and supporting the diverse needs of all our students.
Term ends - June 2020
NANCY ROTHGERBER – BOARD DIRECTOR
Nancy is the parent of three AISJ students who are currently in grades 8, 6 and 3 on the Pretoria campus. She works for CDC and is married to Jeremy, who works for the US Peace Corps.
The Rothgerbers are enjoying their third year living in South Africa and have been living overseas for a decade, with postings in Bamako, Mali and Rabat, Morocco prior to moving to Pretoria.
Nancy previously served as a Parent Representative to the Board of the Rabat American School. She was appointed as a parent committee member on the AISJ Board’s Governance Committee for the 2018-19 academic year. She has also volunteered as a room parent for the Parent Association before being elected as a Board Director to the AISJ Board of Directors in April 2019.
Nancy has gathered board experience throughout her professional history. In her role in Corporate Development for KaBOOM! (an American nonprofit organization), she worked with the development committee of the executive board to ensure that development metrics were met and sustainably projected. In her role in Corporate Philanthropy at XM Satellite Radio, she supported the company’s representation on the boards of several organizations, including a business improvement district and several nonprofit organizations. She worked as the Community Development Director for the American Cancer Society and served as the Communications Manager for a local children’s rights NGO when she was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Gambia.
Nancy is committed to the successful growth of the school and plans to remain in South Africa for the foreseeable future.
DR. ANDY PAGE-SMITH - SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Andy Page-Smith was born in Britain and immigrated to Tasmania, Australia as a child. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Australia teaching at all levels K-12. Before entering international education he worked as a consultant in literacy development and as an Associate Professor of Education. He earned his doctorate degree from the University of Sarasota, Florida, with research on “Mentoring in Cross-Cultural Contexts”. This is his twenty-fourth year overseas – having held leadership positions in Kuwait, Vietnam, Qatar and Hong Kong, as well as serving on the NESA Board and President of ACAMIS for four years. In August 2010 he took up his current appointment as School Director of the American School of Johannesburg. He currently serves on the Board of Academy of International School Heads as well as working as an adjunct professor for Lehigh University. He has a particular interest in leadership, governance, and teaching and learning. He is married and has a daughter who graduated from AISJ in 2017.
ERDI KURSUNOGLU - TREASURER & FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Erdi is married to Umut and the Kursunoglu family moved to South Africa eight years ago. They have 2 sons, Can who is an AISJ graduate and currently studies Aeronautical Science at Embry Riddle University in US and Ates who is at AISJ at the Johannesburg Campus transitioning into Grade 10. Erdi was born in Frankfurt, Germany and grew up in Germany and Turkey. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Bogazici University, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Management from Istanbul University and an MBA in Finance from Imperial College London.
He has 17 years of executive experience at Ericsson as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Sales in various regions, namely Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Far East and Sub Saharan Africa. Erdi has been the Chief Financial Officer of Mass Discounters/Massmart (a subsidiary of Walmart) for the last 3.5 years.
Term ends - June 2020
MALIK JAFFER – BOARD SECRETARY
Malik is married to Ambereen, and together they have three children. Their sons, Hafiz (14) and Ziyad (9) are at the Pretoria Campus in grades 8 and 3 respectively. They also have a two-year-old daughter, Azana, who is at Hedgerows and will attend AISJ for Kindergarten in a few years.
The family lived in South Africa from 2006-2013 and Hafiz started at AISJ at the old Pretoria Campus and later moved to the new Pretoria Campus. After spending four years in the USA, the family moved back to South Africa in 2017 and is expected to be here through to 2023.
Malik was born in Kenya but grew up in the USA and has spent a large part of his career in various African and Asian countries. He has a strong understanding of different cultural backgrounds and diversity across the continents. For the last 9 years, he has served on the African Palliative Care Association and is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Governance Committee.
Malik has a Certificate in Health Systems Decentralization and Human Resources for Health from Harvard University and a Master of Public Health, Concentration: International Health from Boston University.
Term ends June 2022
PATRICK MCCABE - FACILITIES COMMITTEE CHAIR
Patrick is originally from Dallas, Texas. He attended the University of Texas for his undergraduate, after which he lived in Hawaii working in the hotel & hospitality business for 9 years. He then attended Tulane for his MBA and subsequently joined Citibank. Before moving to South Africa, he spent 12 years across Asia with Citibank in Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.
He has spent the last 9 years in South Africa and is here with his wife Nacha and two children, Maya and William who attend AISJ at the Johannesburg Campus. Patrick joined RMB in 2013 and will be staying in South Africa for the foreseeable future.
Term ends - June 2020
RODNEY GILLESPIE - BOARD DIRECTOR
Rodney has been with AstraZeneca for approximately ten years and was a part of the US business where he held a number of senior roles in Managed Markets and Sales leadership, which included being the National Sales Director for primary care where he led a 1800 person sales force with outstanding results. Over the past few years, Rodney has worked internationally, first in the UK and currently in South Africa.
He has demonstrated his leadership by heading the Global Product Team and Global Brand Teams for Movantik where he drove the US & EU launch performance and successfully navigated the completion of a deal with Prostrakan for the out-licensing of Moventig in the EU. Prior to this, Rodney had been the VP of Commercial Strategy, International and before that he was the Commercial Head of the Forxiga Franchise as well as Saxa/Dapa for the International region where he worked closely with emerging markets to successfully launch multiple brands. He also led the integration of the Diabetes business from Bristol Myers Squibb to AstraZeneca for the International markets. Rodney has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce & Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA and Masters of Business Administration, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Rodney enjoys, spending time with his wife, Angela, and his girls. He has a daughter who attends AISJ at the Johannesburg Campus and a daughter who attends university in the United States. He has a passion for participating in activities/organizations that allow him to give back to disadvantaged communities and kids. In addition to serving on the AISJ Board of Directors, Rodney is the Secretary for the South African Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Term ends - June 2020
REBECCA KRZYWDA - BOARD DIRECTOR
Rebecca Krzywda has worked with USAID since 1999. She has served in Serbia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Nigeria, the Philippines and Pakistan. Ms. Krzywda holds a Masters of Accounting and a Bachelors in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from the George Washington University where she was on the rowing team. She is also a CPA. Ms Krzywda has triplets (two sons and a daughter) who attend AISJ at the Johannesburg Campus. Prior to USAID, Ms. Krzywda worked with the African Wildlife Foundation and a private company as a bookkeeper.
Term ends - June 2022
BRIAN WOODY - US AMBASSADOR REP
Brian Woody has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) since 2009. He has served in South Sudan, Kenya, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Georgia. Prior to joining USAID, Brian served as a Foreign Service Specialist with the Department of State serving in Beijing, China and San Salvador, El Salvador. He is a graduate of Norwich University where he received his Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Foreign Languages from George Mason University. Mr. Woody is married to Chickelle Woody and they have two children: Carter (10) and Sidney (8) who attend AISJ at the Pretoria Campus.