Board of Trustees
The American School in London is governed by the Board of Trustees, which oversees the school’s institutional affairs, governance and finances, including fundraising, but delegates to the Head of School responsibility for the day-to-day administration, programing and policies. The Board oversees the school’s adherence to its mission; appoints, supports and works closely with the Head of School; and participates in periodic strategic planning for the growth and evolution of the School.
The Board is organized into six working committees: Admin/Finance, Advancement, Buildings & Grounds, Investment, Trustee Affairs, and Executive. The approximately 25 board members serve three-year renewable terms. Up to five new board members are appointed each year for their diverse range of talents, skill sets, perspectives, experience, demographics across all school divisions, tenure at the School and active school engagement; all of which support the School to fulfill its promise and achieve its mission.
- David Novak P ’18 ’20, Chair
- Erin Roth P ’15 ’16 ’21, Vice Chair
- Robin Appleby P ’24 (ASL 2017-present) Head of School
- Chris Anderson P ’19 ’22
- Cynthia Bake P ’15 ’17 ’20 ’25
- Luca Bassi P ’24 ’27
- Jennifer Benjamin P ’21
- Erin Crawford P ’20 ’23
- Daniel Hajjar P ’20 ’23 ’27
- George Hatzmann P ’16 ’20 ’23 ’26
- Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevala P ’21 ’23
- Frank Ledahawsky
- Sherine Magar-Sawiris P ’16 ’23 ’25
- Rebecca Manuel P ’17 ’21
- Liad Meidar P ’23 ’26 ’30
- William H. Roedy P ’14 ’16 ’20 ’22
- Stephanie Schueppert ’89 P ’24 ’26
- Hahnah Seminara P ’24 ’27 ’30
- Ramez Sousou P ’17 ’18 ’22
- Nikos Stathopoulos P ’21 ’23
- Kavi Thakrar P ’29 ’31
- Stacey Towfighi P ’18 ’20 ’23
- Chris Whitman P ’19 ’20 ’22
- Irene Zia P ’29
David Novak and his wife, Jane, moved to London in 2000. They are parents to Ethan ’18 and Jonathan ’20, and joined ASL in fall 2004. David has chaired the ASL Board of Trustees since January 2015.
Since 1997, David has worked at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm, and currently runs their European business. Prior to this, David worked for Morgan Stanley in the private equity and investment banking areas.
David holds a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard University.
On being appointed to the ASL Board of Trustees, David said, “ASL is the center of our life in London. As a community, its impact on our family extends well beyond the education of our children. I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to ASL’s continued growth and excellence in the future.”
Erin moved to London from McLean, VA, with her husband, Alex, in 1999 and they became ASL parents in 2001, bringing children Jack ’15, Max ’16 and Helen ’21 to the School. Erin joined the Board in July 2015, and has served as vice chair since July 2018. She serves on the Trustee Affairs and the Buildings & Grounds committees.
Erin served as PCA president for two years and has volunteered in various guises at ASL since 2003, including two years as PCA VP Communications, two years on the PCA SCOOP committee, two years as grade rep coordinator, and six years as a library volunteer and room parent in the Lower School. Erin also served on the Planning Committee for MSA Accreditation.
As a family, the Roths support the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Camp, Yale University and Yale University Library. Erin sits on the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and serves as a college interviewer.
Erin holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Chris Anderson and wife Kathleen O’Connor, came to ASL in 2016, along with their children, Nicholas ’19 and Elias ’22. Chris was elected to the ASL Board of Trustees in June 2018. He is a member of the Trustee Affairs Committee.
Chris is professor of European politics and policy at the London School of Economics. An expert in public opinion, elections and political economy, Chris previously held positions at universities in the US and the UK, including Rice, Northwestern, Syracuse, Oxford, Cornell and Warwick.
In addition, Chris is an author and a consultant on analytics in professional football. His bestselling book, The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong, has been translated into many languages around the world.
A native of Germany, Chris was educated at the University of Cologne, Virginia Tech, and Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his PhD.
Cynthia Bake and her husband, Christopher, joined ASL in 2012 along with their children, Andrew ’15, Grace ’17, Alice ’20 and Willem ’25. Cynthia served as a New Frontiers capital campaign communications advisor and was an active participant in the school’s Middle States Association accreditation process. Cynthia and Chris were 2014-15 Annual Fund leadership chairs for the Middle School, and Cynthia has served on the Communications Council (now the Heads Council). She was elected to the Board of Trustees in January 2015, and is a member of the Trustee Affairs Committee, co-chairs the Advancement Committee and chairs the Heads Council.
Prior to moving to London, the Bake family lived in Argentina, Bahrain and most recently Dubai, where Cynthia was communications leader for the American School of Dubai PTA.
Fluent in French and conversant in Spanish, Cynthia worked for the Société Générale first in San Francisco and then in the Communications Department in New York. She holds a BS from Santa Clara University, where she studied French, political science and international business.
Luca Bassi and his wife, Leila, joined the School in 2015, along with daughters Sophia ’24 and Amelia ’27. Luca and Leila have been enthusiastic Annual Fund canvassers since 2016. Luca was appointed to the ASL Board of Trustees in February 2018. He serves as chair of the Admin/Finance committee and a member of the Investment committee.
After starting his career with Bain & Company in Milan, in 2000, Luca moved to London to join Goldman Sachs. Since 2003, Luca has worked for Bain Capital, where he serves as managing director in the private equity business.
Luca holds a BA in business administration from Università Bocconi in Milan, and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School in New York.
As part of the Private Equity Fellow Program at Columbia, Luca has served as a mentor since 2014.
London-born Jennifer Benjamin arrived at ASL in 2014 with daughter Olivia ’21. She was invited to join the ASL Board of Trustees in June 2018. Jennifer is a member of the Trustee Affairs Committee.
A career civil servant in the Department of Health and Social Care since 2005, Jennifer has extensive knowledge and experience of health care policy and its application in the England National Health Service.
In 2017, Jennifer became deputy director of the Department of Health and Social Care, where she is head of quality, patient safety and investigations, with responsibility for advising and supporting government ministers to deliver national and international policy and programs that ensure patients and other users of health and social care receive safe and high-quality services.
Jennifer holds a BSc (Honours) in psychology from University College London, and an MSc in health service management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Erin Crawford and husband Nick, along with their children Ava ’20 and Gavin ’23, moved to London in 2009 and joined ASL in 2010. Erin was appointed to the ASL Board of Trustees in spring 2017, and is a member of the Admin/Finance and Advancement committees.
Erin co-chaired the successful Dream Big, ASL! auction in 2015, which not only served to support the school’s Parent Community Association, but also contributed to the establishment of Waverley Park at ASL. Erin has been active in other roles at the School, with volunteer positions including stints in the Lower School Library, classroom parent roles, and as an Annual Fund class captain.
After college, Erin began her career at Merrill Lynch before moving on to Lehman Brothers Inc. as VP & sales associate with the Institutional Client Group. A Huntington, NY, native, Erin graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and holds a BA in economics and political science.
Daniel and his wife, Kima Kouly Hajjar, have been part of the ASL community since 2015, along with their children, Gabe ’20, Danielle ’23 and Marcus ’27. Daniel was elected to the ASL Board of Trustees in summer 2017, and chairs the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
An architect with extensive experience in North America and the EMEA region, Daniel is managing principal of HOK London, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. He has served on HOK’s board of directors since 2010.
His volunteer experience involves serving as a board member and a coach to the Dubai Little League, and sitting on the external advisory board of the British University of Dubai and the Canadian Business Council Executive Board. Daniel is also a founding member of the Emirates Green Building Council, where he served in the capacity of vice-chairman.
Daniel was awarded a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and holds a master’s in architecture from the same institution.
George, his wife Jennifer, and children Jack ’16, Tanner ’20, Madeleine ’23 and Isadora ’26, joined ASL in 2010, when they moved to London from New York. George was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2018 and is a member of the Buildings & Grounds, and Admin/Finance committees.
George began his career at two major law firms in New York (Shearman & Sterling, and Mayer Brown), before moving to Tishman Speyer, a real estate owner and operator with a worldwide portfolio, where he served as legal counsel for the US and South America.
In 2010, George and his family moved to the UK, where George serves as managing director and general counsel at Tishman Speyer’s London office. George oversees Tishman Speyer’s activities and assets throughout Europe and in India, and plays a lead role in the company’s legal, compliance and regulatory matters.
George was previously a board member of the Long Island City Business Improvement District.
George graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Purchase, and with honors from Columbia Law School.
Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevala and husband Cyrus Vandrevala moved to London and became ASL parents in September 2007, when their son, Jeh, joined K1. Their second son, Anand, joined the School in fall 2009. Priya serves on the Admin/Finance, and Buildings and Grounds committees.
Priya is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist with business interests in real estate and technology. She is a partner of Intrepid Capital Partners, a global investor focused on private growth equity investments. Priya spent her early years with Arthur Andersen.
Priya served as chairman of the steering board for the real estate community of the World Economic Forum. The Forum has nominated her into its Young Global Leaders program. Priya heads the Vandrevala Foundation, a social enterprise active especially in support of mental health.
Priya is a Chartered Accountant and a post-graduate from Mumbai University.
Frank serves as Minister Counselor for Management Affairs at the US Embassy in London. He joined the ASL Board of Trustees in fall 2019, and serves on the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
Frank joined the US Diplomatic Service in 1988 after eight years as a systems engineer for AT&T Bell Laboratories, later Bell Communications Research. His foreign service career spans more than 30 years, during which he has served in Guangzhou, Madrid, Libreville, Asuncion, Quito, Washington, Rome, Baghdad, Berlin and Paris.
Frank is the recipient of the Department’s Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor awards. He holds a BS in computer science and mathematics from Virginia Tech and an MS in operations research from Stanford University.
Speaking Italian, Spanish and French, Frank has served on school boards in Libreville, Asuncion, Quito, Rome and Berlin. He is married to Elixabete Astibia and has two daughters.
Sherine and husband Nassef Sawiris have been parents at ASL since 2012, when they joined the School with three of their four children: Nadia ’16, Samih ’23 and Nassef ’25. Sherine has served on the Advancement Committee since 2016, the Campaign Leadership Committee (2015-16), and has co-chaired the Arab Culture Group, part of the ASL PCA International Community Committee, since 2015. She was elected to the ASL Board of Trustees in summer 2017, and serves on the Trustee Affairs Committee.
Fluent in three languages, Sherine has served for a number of years on the acquisition committee for Middle Eastern art at Tate Modern, London. Sherine is an ambassador for Chain of Hope, a London-based charity that works towards giving children across the globe access to quality cardiac care. In addition, she is co-chair of the charity’s annual gala ball committee. Sherine is a trustee of the Sawiris Foundation.
Having set up home in three continents, Sherine is acutely aware of the importance of multiculturalism and the impact that effective governance of a school can have on its students and the contribution they make in society in years to come.
Sherine graduated ‘cum laude’ from the American University in Cairo with a BA in business administration and a minor in economics.
Rebecca Manuel and husband Eric Bueno have been parents at ASL since 2009, when they joined the School with sons Max ’17 and Zack ’21. Rebecca and Eric served as 2014-15 Annual Fund class captains, while Rebecca took part in the school’s Middle States Association accreditation process. She was elected to the ASL Board of Trustees in January 2015, and is a member of the Admin/Finance and Investment committees.
In July 2018, Rebecca joined Pollen Street Capital in the role as partner for strategy and investor relations. From October 2014, Rebecca was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she served as managing director, and previously, she worked for Royal Bank of Scotland for 10 years, holding a number of senior roles in investment banking.
Rebecca was selected as one of Financial News’ ‘100 Most Influential Women in Finance’ in 2008 and 2010. She also served on the board of the European Loan Market Association from 2009 to 2011. She is a frequent contributor to recruiting, diversity and women in leadership external and internal initiatives, including previous sponsorship of WorkX.
Rebecca earned her BA at the University of Michigan and her MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Liad and his wife, Eileen, joined ASL in 2010, and are parents to Gabrielle ’23, Emmet ’26 and Asher ’30. Eileen and Liad served as Annual Fund chairs in 2013-14.
In addition, Liad worked on the School Improvement Committee for accreditation with the MSA. He served on the New Frontiers Campaign Cabinet Committee, and has been a leadership canvasser since 2011. Liad is co-chair of the Advancement Committee and a member of the Investment Committee.
Liad is managing partner of Gatemore Capital Management, an independent asset manager with multi-asset, activist and venture strategies. The company was co-founded by Liad in 2005 and has offices in London and Paris. Liad also serves as chairman of GSE Worldwide, a sports agency and portfolio company of Gatemore.
Liad began his career in the Leveraged Finance Group at Bankers Trust, and went on to serve as executive VP and later CEO of Ubarter.com and subsequently founder and CEO of i5 Digital, a technology company incubator.
A national level rower at school and university, Liad holds an A.B. in economics from Princeton. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Perelman Institute at Princeton University and on the board of the Henry Jackson Society.
Bill Roedy’s dedication to ASL as a trustee spans more than 20 years, making him the school’s longest serving board member. He serves on the Investment and Trustee Affairs committees, and was formerly a representative on the Cultural Competency Council. Bill was the first co-chair of the Diversity Council (or ICCE), and served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Strategic Plan 2010. He has twice delivered the commencement address at graduation, in 1994 and 2010. Bill and his wife, Alex, are parents to Noa ’14, Liam ’16, Rocky ’20 and Tiger ’22.
Bill is former Chairman/CEO of MTV Networks International, where he and his team built a global operation of 200 channels, 20 brands in 200 countries, reaching a potential audience of 2 billion people, and launching the most channels in the history of TV.
Prior to joining MTVNI, Bill was a VP for HBO for 10 years, and was inducted as one of the ‘Pioneers’ of the US cable industry into the Cable Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Earlier, he was an officer in the US Army, where he qualified as Airborne and Army Ranger, with decorated combat service in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star, Air Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (with Silver Star). He also commanded nuclear missile bases in Italy as part of NATO, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal.
In 1998, Bill was named Ambassador for UNAIDS, addressing the UN General Assembly on several occasions regarding the pandemic. He was founding member and chair of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, 1998–2002, and later chair of the advisory board. In 2005, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Bill founding chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative Leadership Committee. In 2010, he was appointed as first ever Envoy for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, joining the board in 2015.
Bill is founding chair of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, which provides young people with resources to fight the epidemic at the grass roots level, in combination with MTV’s award-winning HIV/AIDS programming. He is active in a wide range of other global health, educational, business, and geopolitical initiatives. He is a Churchill Fellow, appointed by the Churchill National Museum.
Bill’s awards include Individual Business Leadership Award, presented by US President Bill Clinton; the International Emmy Founder’s Award; amfAR’s Award of Courage; Doctors of the World Leadership Award; and the UN Correspondents Association Global Citizen of the Year Award, presented by UN Secretary General Ban–Ki-Moon.
Bill holds a BSc from West Point and an MBA from Harvard, as well as two honorary doctorates. He is an executive producer of the film documentary, Battle of amfAR, which premiered on HBO on World AIDS Day in December 2013. He the author of What Makes Business Rock, a CNBC Best Business Book of 2011. Bill is working on a second book, on the art of intelligent perseverance.
Alumna Stephanie Schueppert attended ASL’s Lower School in Grades 1-4. In 2015, she returned to our school with husband Brian Saunders, along with their children, Sage ’24 and Dylan ’26. Since returning to ASL, Stephanie has volunteered in a host of capacities, including as a Grade Rep in the Middle School, in classroom parent roles, and as a member of the Communications Council. Stephanie was elected to the Board of Trustees in February 2018, and serves on the Admin/Finance Committee and co-chairs the Trustee Affairs Committee.
Stephanie began her professional career practicing corporate law at McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago. In 2001, she joined Goldman Sachs & Co., based in New York and later Tokyo. During her 14-year career with Goldman Sachs, she worked in the investment banking division and the firmwide business selection and conflicts group.
Stephanie holds an AB in anthropology from Princeton, a JD from Northwestern University School of Law, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Hahnah Seminara, husband Robert, and their three children, Nathaniel ’24, Sebastian ’27 and Amelia ’30, have been a part of the ASL community since 2013. Hahnah was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2019. She is a member of the Advancement Committee.
Hahnah has been a dedicated and active volunteer at ASL, having served as chair of the 2019 PCA auction, Live Well ASL, which raised much-needed funds to refurbish the Marlborough and Kindergarten playgrounds and to expand service-learning initiatives at ASL. In addition, Hahnah was co-chair of logistics for the 2018 Global Festival; served as a PCA grade rep and coordinator, a member of the Communications Council, and a principal Annual Fund canvasser; and helped organize the inaugural Community Swap.
Hahnah holds a BA, summa cum laude, in biology with a concentration in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. She qualified as a Medical Doctor from Yale School of Medicine, cum laude, Alpha Omega Alpha (medical honor society). Hahnah has received numerous awards, including the Parker Prize, in 1998, the highest award bestowed at Yale Medical School graduation.
Following qualification, Hahnah completed a residency and chief residency in Neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. During that time she was involved in research projects at Yale University and at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute, NY. Hahnah has served as a consultant for Credit Suisse First Boston, and as attending neurosurgeon at the Metropolitan Hospital, in New York. She is currently an investor/co-sponsor with PN Solutions Company, PA.
Ramez Sousou was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2009 and serves on the Investment Committee. He was formerly a representative on the Cultural Competency Council.
Ramez is founder and co-CEO of TowerBrook Capital Partners, an international investment firm operating in Europe and the United States.
He was previously co-head of Soros Private Equity and was a member of the Management Committee of Soros Fund Management. Prior to that, he was a senior member of the Principal Investments group of Goldman Sachs.
Ramez is on the board of the US Middle East Project, and the Lambeth Trust, and is a member of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University. He is a former trustee of Habitat for Humanity International, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Alpha International, and was founding chair of the Private Equity Foundation.
He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he was a Harvard College Scholar; and Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is married to Tiziana Sousou and they have three children.
Nikos and his wife, Marita, have been at ASL since 2013 and have two children, Elena ’21 and Pete ’23. Marita and Nikos served as 2016-17 Annual Fund co-chairs. Nikos serves on the Advancement Committee.
Nikos is managing partner and a member of the executive committee and investment committee of BC Partners, an international private equity firm. He has more than 20 years’ experience in private equity and has been an active investor in the media, telecoms, consumer and retail industries. Prior to joining BC Partners, Nikos was a partner at Apax Partners and a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London.
Nikos is a member of the Harvard Business School Global Advisory Board, Impetus, The Hellenic Initiative and the Council of Serpentine Galleries. He is chairman of the BC Partners Foundation and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Nikos holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree in business administration from Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB).
Kavi joined ASL in 2017 with his wife, Maria, and their children, Nahla ’29 and Kenza ’31. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2019, and serves on the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Kavi played a significant role on the 2018-19 Mission Review Team.
Born and raised in the UK, Kavi began his career as an investment analyst for the International Finance Corporation in Washington, DC. Kavi returned to London in 2008 to join his family business, Tilda Rice. In 2010, he co-founded Dishoom, an Indian restaurant group. The company has won numerous accolades, including ranking 19th in the 2019 Sunday Times Top 100 Places to Work, Best Restaurant in the UK (two years in a row), Best Learning and Development in Hospitality, Most Admired Brand, Restaurateur of the Year, Best Small Restaurant Group, and many more.
In addition, Dishoom has been a leader with its Meal for a Meal initiative, donating a meal to a hungry child for every person who dines at Dishoom, which is helping to feed schoolchildren in the UK and in India.
Kavi holds an MA (Hons) in business and economics from the University of Edinburgh.
Stacey and husband Ali first joined ASL in 2003 as parents to Michaela ’18. John ’20 then enrolled in 2005, before the family relocated back to Boston later that year. The Towfighis returned to London in 2012 and were back at ASL with Spencer ’23 joining his older siblings at the School. Stacey was appointed to the Board of Trustees at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year. She is co-chair of the Trustee Affairs Committee and a member of the Advancement Committee.
Stacey brings a wealth of experience to the Board, having volunteered frequently at ASL since the family’s arrival in London. Stacey and Ali served as Annual Fund co-chairs for 2015-16; Stacey played a significant role on the Auction Committee for Dream Big, ASL! in 2015, and took on the role of secretary on the PCA board, 2013-15. In addition, she has served as a grade rep, on the Communications Council, and on the Finance Standards team for MSA Accreditation.
Before arriving in London, Stacey held a finance and communication role at Dyal Compass LLC in Boston, MA, from 2008 to 2012, and worked in various investment and business roles at Wellington Management Company from 1993 to 2001.
Stacey holds a BSc in psychology from Allegheny College, and an MBA in administration and marketing from The Sawyer School, Suffolk University, Boston, MA.
Chris and his wife, Faith, moved to London in 2007 with their children, Quinn ’19, Lily ’20 and Maddy ’22. Chris was appointed to the ASL Board of Trustees in July 2015.
Chris served for three years as a leadership canvasser for the Annual Fund, was a member of the New Frontiers Campaign Cabinet Committee, and served on the Mission and Governance Committee for accreditation with the MSA. Chris chairs the Investment Committee, and serves on the Admin/Finance committee. In addition, Faith and Chris were leadership co-chairs for the 2013-14 Annual Fund.
Chris worked at Deutsche Bank for 23 years, holding several senior capital markets roles, including head of financial resources management, head of global debt syndicate, global co-head of equity capital markets and head of North American debt capital markets, as well as serving as group treasurer during the 2007-09 global financial crisis.
Chris graduated from Dartmouth College in 1989, with an A.B. in government. He attained the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1992.
Irene Zia and husband Larry Small joined the School in 2016 with their son, Alexander ’29. Irene was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2019, and serves on the Advancement Committee. Irene and Larry acted as co-chairs of the Annual Fund in 2018-19. In addition, Irene volunteered as a room parent, served as the solicitation chair for the 2017 PCA auction, ASL One of a Kind, has been active on the Communications Council, and co-chairs the ICC Italian Culture Group.
Born in Italy, Irene began her career with Nestle in Milan, as a marketing and brand specialist, and subsequently moved with her family to the UK and to Switzerland, holding positions of increasing responsibility. In 2008, she returned to London and became retail sales and marketing director for Natuzzi UK. Irene is currently a brand strategy consultant, providing insights for business development, marketing and communications to start-ups and SEs.
Fluent in English and Italian, Irene holds an MA cum laude in literature from the University of Pisa, Italy, and an Executive MBA from the International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Advisor to the Board of Trustees
Richard A. Bailey