Key Management

POONAM BHOJANI, Chief Executive Officer

POONAM BHOJANI Chief Executive Officer

Poonam is an Economics Honours Graduate with an MBA from India's premier business school, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Prior to envisioning and cofounding Dubai International Academy, Poonam has had significant industry experience working on leading edge technology solutions with a range of organizations across India, Hong Kong, USA, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Oman and UAE. She is the CEO of Innoventures Education and has served as the President of the Middle East IB Association of Schools and is the Secretary of the Dubai Private Schools Group.

JAMES ROBERTS, Director of Standards

JAMES ROBERTS Director of Standards

James is Director of Standards at Innoventures Education. In this role, he works with the CEO and school leaders to drive forward the group’s quality agenda and secure the highest quality education for every student. He is an experienced school leader and Principal who began his teaching career at inner city secondary schools in London, before moving to the Middle East in 2011. He has over 15 years of senior leadership experience in both outstanding and challenging schools and as well as his degree in Biochemistry, James has a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management, along with the National Professional Qualification for Headship. He firmly believes in unlocking the potential of every child academically, personally and socially through a continuous and relentless drive for sustained improvement in the quality of education.

MICHAEL STEPHEN, Director of Finance & Administration

MICHAEL STEPHEN Director of Finance & Administration

Michael Stephen is a Chartered Accountant and has a Diploma in Portfolio Management with over 20 years’ experience in consulting and industry. He was part of the core team of Innoventures Education that set up Dubai International Academy. Michael started his career in an accounting firm focused on audit, tax, corporate law, and business and investment advisory services. He enjoys business and financial modelling to develop new business ideas, building key relationships, and the challenge of establishing new projects. In 2005, he cofounded Eternus Foundation in Chennai which provides education and health cover to children. Michael is a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants, UK and has been on the faculty of a business school in Dubai.

SAMIRA SARAFANDI, Director of Arabic and Islamic Studies

SAMIRA SARAFANDI Director of Arabic and Islamic Studies

Ms. Samira has over twenty years of experience in education and leadership of Arabic and Islamic Studies teams in Jordan and Dubai.  She has a Diploma in Teaching Techniques and Bachelors of Arts in Arabic and English from the University of Jordan. She studied and delivered a large number of courses in education, teaching and learning of Arabic and Islamic Studies. Samira is passionate about raising the level of interest in these subjects in Dubai as they open the gate to the great Arabic culture and Islamic heritage.  She believes that radical changes should be made in teaching and learning these two important subjects and is happy to be one of those who lead this change.

PRATIBHA RAO, Principal – Dubai International Academy

PRATIBHA RAO Principal – Dubai International Academy

Pratibha is a highly experienced educator who began her teaching career 40 years ago in India.  She has been working in international schools in Dubai for the past 30 years.  Pratibha is an Honours graduate in English Literature and has a degree in Education as well as a Master of Arts in International Education from Oxford Brookes University.  A pioneer in IB education in the region, Pratibha has been involved in the teaching and development of the IB Diploma for two decades.  Pratibha believes in the holistic development of children and she considers herself to be a lifelong learner.

JACQUIE PARR, Principal – Collegiate American School

JACQUIE PARR Principal – Collegiate American School

An experienced school leader, Jacquie has held senior positions both in the UAE and UK for the last 20 years. During her time in the UK she was seconded to the LEA acting as consultant with responsibility for innovation and leadership development. Jacquie is a Research Associate for the former National College of School Leadership and has published internationally on leadership development, talent spotting and succession planning. As a consultant headteacher, Jacquie supported new headteachers and schools in challenging circumstances, during her tenure in the UK. Working within an international setting Jacquie has lead two schools successfully through the DSIB Inspection process. In her her last role as Principal, Jacquie has been instrumental in the design, build and transition to a new campus and expanding a success international primary school to a 3 to 18 through school. Jacquie had extensive experience of school improvement and preparing schools for inspection within the Middle East and UK. Jacquie belives in creating a school community which nutures each and every student to become successful global citizens well-prepared for the 21st century.

MIHAIL KOUZEV, Director of Sports and Activities

MIHAIL KOUZEV Director of Sports and Activities

Mihail has spent more than 20 years in the fields of Sports and Physical Education. A graduate in Physical Education and Sport, he also has a Masters in Sports Studies from the National Academy of Sports in Bulgaria. A former professional athlete, 5 time national champion of Modern Pentathlon and UAE Triathlon Champion in the past.  Mihail joined Innoventures Education more than a decade ago and has been devoted to inspiring young people, teaching and developing the PE curriculum and sports culture. He is currently pursuing a PhD Degree with a focus on sport in international education, curriculum development and students’ wellbeing.

TIMOTHY CRAIG ROBERTS, Principal – Raffles World Academy

TIMOTHY CRAIG ROBERTS Principal – Raffles World Academy

Tim has held leadership positions in the Middle East, Europe and most recently in Abuja, Nigeria.  A graduate in Business Education and Information Technology, Tim also has a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management, he brings with him extensive experience as a Teacher, Head of School and as an inspector of schools.

HITESH BHAGAT, Group Head of Educational Technology

HITESH BHAGAT Group Head of Educational Technology

Hitesh has spent more than 15 years in the field of Educational Technology. A graduate in Computer Science Engineering, he also has a Masters in Philosophy for Computer Management. He joined Dubai International Academy in 2007, as a Technology teacher. In the same year he took up the role of Head of Department – Technology for Dubai International Academy. He later in 2014, took up the role of Group Head of Educational Technology for Innoventures Education and consolidates the efforts across the Group’s schools to maximize the use of Technology systems into teaching and learning. He is also the Timetable coordinator and the Standardised Testing Coordinator for all the schools across the group.