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Council of Governors

The Council of Governors has a strategic and financial responsibility for the long term interests and overall wellbeing of the Alice Smith School.

Its three main roles are to determine policy and long term strategy, to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent and to appoint, evaluate and support the development of the Head of School.

The Council of Governors consists of fifteen to eighteen members, comprising seven governors nominated by the trustee organisations named below, up to ten governors elected by parents and the Chair of the Parent Teacher Association.

Seven governors are nominated by the leaders of two local Churches, four expatriate societies and the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce. These governors are a valuable means of ensuring continuity amongst Council members, in what is commonly in international schools, a transient parent body.

These short biographies of each governor start with the Chair and Vice-Chair and then list each governor from the date of joining the Council of Governors. Best practice in international schools is for the vast majority of governors to serve between four and nine years, with a few serving up to the maximum recommended term of twelve years.

Marama Schnitker (New Zealand)

Marama was elected to the Council in 2012.  She served as Vice-Chair from February 2015 and was elected Chair of the Council in June 2017. Marama  is currently the Chair of the Governance Subcommittee. She was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales Roll of Solicitors and worked as a corporate finance lawyer in Australia and South Africa. She has a law degree and an economics degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her two children started at Alice Smith in 2005, the eldest graduating in 2018 and the younger completing studies in the Sixth Form at the Secondary Campus.

Campbell Tupling (Canadian)

Campbell was elected to the Council in 2015 with a desire to contribute to maintaining the school’s excellence and elected as Vice-Chair in June 2017. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, he worked in expat positions in Finance for over 30 years and has started a JV in motorsports with Caterham Cars. His two boys started at Alice Smith in 2008, the eldest graduating in 2017 and the younger completing studies in the Sixth Form at the Secondary Campus.

Eoin Daly (Irish)

Eoin was elected to the Council in 2012. He is currently the Chair of the Head of School Evaluation Subcommittee. He is the Managing Partner of McKinsey and Company's Malaysia office and he also leads the government practice in Southeast Asia. In 2002 he spent a year on secondment to the UK Government's Prime Minister's Delivery Unit. He advises clients from the private and public sectors on strategy and transformational change. He studied at University College Dublin and ESCP in Paris and graduated with Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Studies degrees. 

His eldest two children  attend the Secondary Campus with the youngest currently at the Primary Campus.

Grant Ferguson (British)

Grant was elected to the Council in 2013, having previously served on the Council’s ad hoc Subcommittee on Governance as a parent representative. He was subsequently nominated as a governor by the Selangor St.Andrew’s Society in 2016. He is currently the Chair of the Finance Subcommittee. He has lived and worked in Asia for over 20 years holding senior executive and financial management positions. He is currently an independent advisor and non-executive director of a number of organisations across Asia. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and a corporate governance specialist.

Ricki Fritz (Australian)

Ricki was elected to the Council in 2014. He currently has  two children in the Alice Smith School, his eldest having graduated recently having started from Pre-School at the Primary Campus. He has been involved with the Masterplan Subcommittee since its' inception in 2013, having been the Chair of this subcommittee through recent major facilities developments. Ricki holds an Architectural Degree from Curtin University and his professional background is related to architecture and construction for small to medium sized projects. He is a member of PAM and contributes to the Professional Practice Committee.

Joyce Simson (Malaysian)

Joyce was nominated as a governor by St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur in 2015. She is a Certified Executive Coach with experience in professional training and development coupled with experience as an instructional designer and curriculum developer. She graduated with a business degree from the University Malaya and also holds an MBA from Charles Sturt University, Australia. She has professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, UK and Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

Maura Quigley (Irish)

Maura was nominated as a governor by the St.Patrick's Society of Selangor in 2015. She and her family have been in Kuala Lumpur for more than ten years and for all of that time they have been part of the Alice Smith community.  They have seen all of their children successfully through their education and off to university, the youngest completing their Sixth Form studies in 2018. Professionally she is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists specialising in Sports Medicine and a member of the Health Professionals Council of the UK.

Alexandra Williams (British)

Alex has been a member of the Council of Governors since 2015, initially as Chair of the PTA and currently as a Parent Governor and Chair of the Development Subcommittee.

Alex has three children at the school - two at the Secondary Campus and one at the Primary Campus. She is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and previously worked in Professional Services Marketing in the UK. 

Chen Li-Kai (Malaysian)

Li-Kai was elected to the Council in 2015. Both his children are at the Primary Campus. He is currently the Chair of the Education Subcommittee.

His background is in finance and banking. He graduated with an MSc from the University of Reading and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is currently a partner at a management consulting firm McKinsey and Company. One of his current roles at McKinsey is as the Head of the Education Sector Practice for Asia. The education practice conducts research into education systems worldwide, and they work with public sector institutions, foundations and private organisations to achieve significant and rapid improvements in education system outcomes and student learning through diagnostics, strategy and implementation. 

Datuk Chris S. Thiagarajah (Malaysian)

Chris was nominated as a governor by the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2017. A parent member of the School, upon completing his secondary (Dean Close School, Cheltenham, England) and tertiary (University of Warwick, England) education, Chris served BOH Tea for 15 years before becoming an Entrepreneur.

His eldest child graduated from Alice Smith in 2012 and the younger is at the Secondary Campus.

SKYBUS was founded by Chris on 23rd March 2006 with the opening of the then Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) as the nation’s first low fare city to airport bus operator. An award winning company, SKYBUS runs a 24 hour service between KLSentral and the new klia2 and between Bandar Utama and klia2.

On 1st February 2017, Chris was bestowed the Darjah Kebesaran PANGLIMA MAHKOTA WILAYAH (P.M.W.) award by KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong XV, Sultan Muhammad V, which carries the title DATUK.

Andrew Laughton (British)

Andrew was nominated as a governor by the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (SAPC) in 2018. He is a Deacon of SAPC and a member of the Board of Managers for SAPC in KL. Graduating with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies from the Ealing College of Higher Education, West London, UK (now the Thames Valley University) he has a rich experience in business both in Malaysia and in the UK. Andrew  is currently a retail consultant working on retail and business strategies for various market leading retailers in Malaysia and South East Asia. 

Bernadine Caruana (Australian)

Bernadine was nominated as a governor by the Malaysian Australian New Zealand Association in 2018. Currently she is working at the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur as the Counsellor (Education and Science). She graduated with a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from La Trobe University in 1998 and in 2009 she obtained the Graduate Certificate in Management from the Australian National University.

Taryn Yap (Malaysian)

Chair of the PTA, Taryn, is a marketing graduate from the Monash University of Melbourne who spent the early years of her career working with three of the Big Four advertising agencies - namely Saatchi, Ogilvy and McCann-Erickson. She has two children, one at the Primary Campus and the other at the Secondary Campus. Taryn has been active in the PTA since joining the school several years ago. She joined the Council as PTA Chair in 2018. 

David Thomas (British)

David was appointed a governor in 2018. He has three children at Alice Smith (one in the Primary Campus and two in the Secondary Campus). He moved to Malaysia from London following his appointment as the Deputy British High Commissioner to Malaysia. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) in 1996 and has previously served in Lagos, Pretoria, Washington DC, and Madrid as well as several roles in London. Prior to joining the FCO, David served as a Police Officer in Bedfordshire Police Service (1990-1993) and the Royal Cayman Islands Police (1993 - 1996). 

Paul Ellis (British)

Paul was nominated as a governor by the Royal Society of St. George in 2018. He is currently the Managing Director of Schaefer Kalk (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and also holds the position of General Manager in Schaefer Kalk Hangzhou Calcium Carbonate Ltd. He graduated from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University, United Kingdom in 1975 with B.Sc. (Hons) Chemical Engineering. He has played leading roles in various companies including Revertex (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., Lambson Speciality Chemicals Co. Ltd. (UK), ICI and Magadi Soda Co. (Kenya). He was actively involved in Malaysia’s Government response to the REACH legislation, working party on Transportation of Hazardous goods, Malaysia Northern Region Responsible Care Program Committee, programs with SMI’s and many more.  


Dato' Roslan Jaffar (Malaysian)

Roslan was appointed a governor in December 2018. His eldest child attends the Secondary Campus with the youngest at the Primary Campus.

He is presently the Deputy Group Managing Director and Executive Director of Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad (AZRB), a company listed on Bursa Malaysia. Roslan is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of United Kingdom with 20 years experience in corporate and professional services roles. He is also currently serving as a Trustee for the Sultan Iskandar Foundation, having been appointed to the role on 20th April 2018.  Prior to joining AZRB, he was an Associate Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), with over 12 years experience with PwC at both its KL and Washington DC offices. 

Alif Ayman (Malaysian)

Alif was appointed a governor in December 2018. Currently a Managing Director of AZAIR Sdn Bhd, focusing on operational excellence to ensure the quality and reliability of solutions are upheld. AZAIR is a social enterprise focused on changing the lives of communities that do not have access to the basic necessities of life: Water + Energy + Sanitation.

Having graduated from the University of Multimedia majoring in Film and Animation, Alif has also gained and developed knowledge and entrepreneurial skills from Harvard Business School to help lead the organisation. He has worked as a graphic designer and producer with Astro. Currently, he is also a Director of Pristine Shield Sdn Bhd, a nano bio technology company offering next-gen safe, high efficacy and hygiene protection product and services. Alif has two children at the Primary Campus.

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