Dubai-based GEMS Education has announced that it has hired the former boss of the International Baccalaureate to lead the development of its education programmes.
Jeffrey Beard has been appointed as group director for innovation, schools operator GEMS said in a statement.
Beard served as director general of the International Baccalaureate for eight years, transforming the not-for-profit educational organisation into one of the fastest-growing and most respected education curricula in the world.
The programme, which emphasises critical thinking, project work and global-mindedness, are taught in almost 3,700 schools across the world, with almost 1.2 million students registered in 2014.
The statement said Beard "will bring his proven leadership and management ability to the development of new educational programmes for 21st century learning".
Among programmes under development are a new global school network that will combine top quality education and student skill development with cultural experiences across different countries, the statement added.
Beard said: "GEMS is uniquely positioned to implement novel programmes to cultivate global learning and lead innovation. For parents and students, it can open a world of learning and growth built round the skills that everyone will need in a modern knowledge economy. I am excited to join such a forward-looking company."
Dino Varkey, group chief operating officer at GEMS, added: "We are delighted that Jeffrey Beard will be joining us to help lead the innovation of programmes to cultivate a new generation of global citizens and implement some of the most novel research and ideas going on in education.
"Few organisations have the global reach and ambition to implement such programs as GEMS, and we will benefit from his experience and leadership."
GEMS currently operates close to 100 schools in 19 countries, serving 147,000 students from 151 countries.
The company charges up to $40,000 a year in school fees.
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