Today the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Board of Governors has announced the selection of Dr. Siva Kumari as the new IB Director General.The announcement was made by Carol Bellamy, Chair of the IB Board, during the 2013 bi-annual IB Heads World Conference in Buenos Aires, where hundreds of school leaders were in attendance. Dr. Kumari is the seventh Director General in the IB’s 45-year history and the first woman to hold the post. She currently serves as the IB’s Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Bellamy recently served as Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and is a past Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In her announcement, Ms. Bellamy said:
“Dr. Kumari’s inspirational leadership and standing in the broader IB global community will serve her well as she further develops, articulates and implements the IB’s strategic vision and promotes the IB as the most attractive and effective curriculum of choice for schools and education systems around the world–at a time when many factors that shape education are changing rapidly.”
Dr. Kumari succeeds Jeffrey Beard who, since 2005, has led the IB through its continued remarkable transformation over 45 years into a prominent global institution known for its educational excellence, academic rigour and leadership in international education. Dr. Kumari brings more than 20 years of professional experience both in secondary and higher education. Since May 2010, she has served the IB as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In her post, Dr. Kumari has prioritized and strengthened support to IB heads of school, teachers, students and schools throughout the IB worldwide community. Along with a strong team, she expanded the IB’s impact through research, university recognition, and professional development. Dr. Kumari joined the IB as Regional Director for Asia Pacific in 2009. She is credited with implementing a new structure within the organization to better support IB World Schools through services and systems, and with initiating new forums through which IB leadership has created closer ties to school leaders. She has overseen impressive growth of the IB helping to facilitate the expansion of IB programmes worldwide.
Dr. Nicholas Tate, Chair of the IB Education Committee and former head of The International School of Geneva, has said of the appointment, “I am delighted that Dr. Kumari has accepted the role of IB Director General. I know of no one better placed to enable the IB to strengthen its place both as the world’s leading provider of outstanding international education programmes and as the organization that reflects most profoundly on what an ‘international education’ means.”
Prior to joining the IB, Dr. Kumari ended a successful 15-year career with Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA as Associate Provost of K-12 initiatives to join the IB in 2009. At Rice, she led major programs for teacher training in Advanced Placement and started IB teacher training. She also created a one-of-a-kind graduate program for heads of schools with the Dean of the business school. Throughout her tenure there, she worked on innovative technology and programmatic solutions for educational problems, always providing researched and sustainable solutions. Her experience in initiating, designing and implementing major educational projects in collaboration with school teachers, faculty at the university and community organizations has been invaluable to the IB. She also served as Assistant Research Professor in the Instructional Technology Program at the University of Houston, and as Associate Dean and Director of Programs at Rice’s School of Continuing Studies, where she was awarded institutional and national accolades for her work.
Dr. Kumari, stated:
“Trends influencing the world in which we live and work are also transforming the way students learn. The IB is uniquely positioned to support this transformation, promoting the best innovations in teaching and learning. Access to information, social technologies, and connectivity are dramatically different today than when the IB was created 45 years ago. It is our responsibility to lead the way in international education and harness these capabilities as we create programmes and services to engage students in deep learning. I am honored to be entrusted with this position and I look forward to working with all members of the IB community, who continue to inspire me to do the best for the IB and the best for our schools.”
Dr. Kumari’s appointment becomes effective on 1 January, 2014. She will relocate to the IB’s global centre in The Hague, The Netherlands, when she assumes her duties as Director General.