The Geneva-based International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) — which has 5,284 schools in 158 countries worldwide — has announced that Dr Siva Kumari will be stepping down from her role as the Director General.
Dr. Kumari, who served with the organisation for close to twelve years — the last six years as director general — recently shared with the Board of Governors that she is ready to move on to the next milestone in her career. Her dedicated service to the IB, talent, and ideas ensure the organisation is well positioned for the future especially as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the wake of this announcement, members of the Board’s Governance and Organization Committee, the Board Chair, and Dr Kumari are preparing for a transition period, lasting through 31 March 2021. Until then, Dr Kumari will continue to lead the IB, working with the team to ensure continuity of operations and working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
Highlighting the achievements under Dr Kumari’s leadership, Dr George Rupp, chair of the IB Board of Governors, said, “Thanks to Dr Kumari, the IB significantly strengthened its position as a global leader in pre-university education. The organisation further developed its programs, enhanced its services to the IB school and teacher community, and established a sustainable financial position that will enable further investment in the field of international education.”
“The Board of Governors and the entire IB community is enormously thankful to Siva for her extraordinary efforts during her 12-year tenure with the organisation. We are sincerely grateful for her leadership, especially during the current challenging environment resulting from continuing disruptions and challenges from COVID-19,” Dr Rupp added. “Her contributions to the IB mission are remarkable and appreciated. Her inspiration and leadership are contributing to the building of a better world.”
Dr Kumari said, “Serving as the first female director-general is an honour and privilege. Visiting IB schools across the globe, seeing the dedication and passion of IB educators and IB heads of schools firsthand, and learning from them every day is a true joy. The IB’s talented senior leaders and passionate colleagues, who are dedicated to improving international education make the role even more fulfilling. I’m delighted to have worked on the 2030 strategy and will look forward to its execution.”
“The IB is a remarkable organisation,” she added. “I look forward to working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition and am confident that the future is bright.”
The Board will commence an international search process to recruit the eighth director general for the organisation. An appointment in early 2021 is expected. The IB is ensuring stability through a lengthy transition period in order to appoint a new director general and ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.
The Board had previously announced the appointment of Dr Helen Drennen as the next chair of the Board of Governors. A widely recognised leader in education in Australia and internationally, Dr. Drennen brings deep IB experience to the organisation.
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