ICS Board of Governors


The Board of Governors is the body that governs the International Community School of Addis Ababa on behalf of the ICS Association (whose members are parents, professional staff and teaching assistants). All members of the Board have a responsibility and obligation to represent the best interests of students, parents and staff in setting the strategic objectives of the school in conjunction with the Head of School.  

In supporting the mission and objectives of ICS, the Board provides strategic support in addition to governance oversight of the school performance.  The operation and administration of the school are led by the Head of School and the school’s executive leadership team.

The Board has the following responsibilities as outlined in the ICS Statutes and Bylaws:

  • To contribute to the development of the school’s strategy, to approve the strategic plans and the corresponding financial plans that support the school’s objectives, to monitor and ensure their implementation
  • To manage the relationship between the School and the Parents Association by implementing policies that cover: governance, finance, assets, risk management, admissions, educational program, personnel, students and community
  • To monitor and evaluate the Head of School’s performance
  • To ensure the school is adequately financed to accomplish its goals and objectives

Board Work Update

Process Reviews

The ICS Board of Governors and a designated taskforce have been working on reviewing and revising the existing ICS Board Appointed Member Selection Process since the beginning of the school year

The taskforce created by the Board's Governance Committee included the following people:

  • Three members from last year’s Selection Taskforce (one ICS parent – Constanze Zimmer, one ICS faculty member – Hannah Kifle, and one ICS Board member – Karin Steiner), 
  • Two ICS parents (Diana Mattanovich and Glenn Shaw) 
  • The Chair of the Governance Committee (US Embassy appointee, Melissa Varma). 

The taskforce met several times to review, revise, and improve upon last year’s process. The principal objectives were to ensure the process would strengthen the benefits of the new Board structure while also addressing the ICS Association’s expectations in relation to members' ownership of the school.

Their contributions and the recommendations of the Governance Committee were presented to the Board in February. The Board carefully considered the proposals, made some amendments and approved this key process on February 27th. Link HERE to the document.

The Governance Committee also established a taskforce to define and refine the Head of School Evaluation Process which is to be used by the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to the ICS Association in evaluating the performance of the Head of School. The contributions of Margot Szamier and Hanne Grol were much appreciated. Following some further revisions and recommendations the Board has also approved this Process.    

The Board of Governors would like to acknowledge and thank these parent and staff members of the ICS Association who volunteered their time to work with Board members on these efforts. The Board has no plans to form any further task forces at this time.

Statutes and Bylaws Reviews

The Board will present to the Association at the AGM on 15th April a timeline and plan for this next series of reviews. It will outline the Board's proposed revisions (on which work has been ongoing), and allow plenty of time for ICS Association participation and contribution to this review. Any changes to our Statutes and Bylaws must be approved by vote of the ICS Association. The Board is working to establish a timeline that will culminate in final voting on the Statutes and Bylaws review at the Board's November AGM.


  • Tuition and Fee Changes for 2019-20, HERE.
  • AGM 19 November 2018 Summary HERE.
  • AGM 19 November 2018 Presentation HERE.
  • AGM 19 November 2018 Video, HERE.
  • AGM 15 April 2019, Presentation, HERE.
  • AGM 15 April 2019 Video HERE
  • Board member profiles and term of office HERE
  • Board Policy Document HERE
  • ICS Statutes & Bylaws HERE

If you have any questions or concerns for the Board, please email board@icsaddis.org. This email is managed by the Board Chair and monitored in the Chair's absence by the Vice Chair.

Hybrid Board Profile

As approved by the ICS Association vote in 2018, this is the first year that the Board has a hybrid profile. This means the Board consists of a combination of:

i) members who have been appointed following a selection and interview process, and

ii) members who have been voted into their position by the ICS Association.

The key aim of this model is to enhance the professionalism of the ICS Board by ensuring its members have the key skills and experience the Board has determined it needs in order to carry out its responsibilities successfully. This hybrid profile model delivers the level of strategic engagement that the school requires for the long term and which had not been achieved with the prior model.

There are two board members elected by the ICS Association that hold a 2-year term.  There are six board members that are appointed by the Board following a selection and interview process that will hold a 4-year term and one member appointed by the US Embassy.

In this first year of the hybrid model, current Board members have varying lengths of terms of office: from one to three and four years. This is to ensure that in the future no more than three positions turn over in any given year.

For the 2018-19 school year there are at total of 6 ICS parents, 1 ICS Alumnus and 2 non-Association professionals on the ICS Board of Governors.

Board Organization

The board governs as a group and by majority vote.  Board members do not have individual authority to act or take decisions on matters that are the responsibility of the Board; it is the Board as a collective whole that must exercise its authority and responsibility to govern and take decisions.

The Board has a leadership team:

  • Board Chair: Patrick Scott
  • Vice Chair: Karin Steiner
  • Treasurer: Michael Zink
  • Secretary: Melissa Varma 

To assist in managing its workload the Board has formed Committees specializing in specific areas. These committees work in detail on specific projects or policies and then develop proposals and recommendations that are presented to the whole Board for approval. 

There are two standing committees:

  1. Finance Committee | Led by the Treasurer: Works currently with the school’s finance team on financial management and oversight from operational budgets to 10-year planning to audit readiness and risk management.
  2. Governance Committee | Led by the Secretary: Works currently on governance and policy, develops the Head of School's evaluation process, manages the ICS Association elections and the Board Nomination and Appointment Process.

Task Forces: what they are and how they are used

When a committee determines it would benefit from additional help or stakeholder input on a matter, they may decide to create a task force. This task force is used to accomplish a defined short-term project, and the committee may invite Association, or community members to participate. External advisors or consultants may also be engaged. The committees consider interest, experience and skills when selecting volunteers.

If you are interested in joining a future task force, please send an email to board@icsaddis.org, and explain what you would be interested in supporting. Potential task forces may cover any area of Board responsibility, and there will be different levels of confidentiality, intensity and duration of work, depending on the subject matter. The board will approve the selection of task force volunteers.

The work output from a task force is then reviewed by the full Committee. Recommendations or proposals that result will be presented by the Committee to the Board and voted on accordingly by the whole Board. 

Feedback and Grievance Process

Parents who have feedback or concerns about their child’s education must speak to the teacher first who must be given an opportunity to respond and provide a resolution. If this does not resolve the matter, then the next step is to contact the school principal. If you remain dissatisfied with the response from the school principal, then the final executive to address your issue is the Head of School.

Parents who have concerns about the operations or administration of the school should write, speak to or make an appointment with a school principal, the deputy Head of School, Executive Director of Strategic Programs or the Head of School.

If, after the sequence above, you remain dissatisfied with the final response, the concern can be brought to the Board.

Parents who have any feedback or concerns in relation to the Board itself should email the Board Chair (board@icsaddis.org) who may then work with Board colleagues as required to address the issue.