Professor Ralph Tabberer CB
Chair of Governing Body
Ralph is an alumni of Plymouth College after which he attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, gaining a MA in Economics, Social and Political Science. In addition, he gained a PGCE from Brunel University. Ralph was a teacher and completed 10 years’ of research study into how children learn before joining the Civil Service. A highly successful career led to his appointment in 2000, as Chief Executive of the TTA (Teacher Training Agency), which became the TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools), and was the UK’s most senior official for schools under the Blair Government. In 2009, he came to the Middle East as Chief Schools Officer and Chief Operating Officer for GEMS Education.
After 4 years in charge of their schools, he set up his own companies in the UK and UAE that provide governments, investors and operators with financial, planning, educational and marketing support for their schools. and is a visiting professor at Warwick University and University College London.
He was made Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath by Her Majesty The Queen in 2008.
Chairman of Hartland International School and Co-Chairman of Sobha Group, UAE.
He joined the Company in 2004 bringing with him, a wealth of industry and leadership experience. In his capacity as Co-Chairman, Ajay has helped shape Sobha Group’s growth in the UAE, a key market for the company including the diversification of the Group into Educational Services. Ajay is known for incisive industry analysis and team-building skills.
Ajay is a gold medallist in Chemical Engineering from M.S University Baroda and holds a post graduate degree in Business Administration from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai.
Mrs. Bindu Menon
Director of Hartland International School
Bindu is one of the promoters in the Sobha Group portfolio in the U.A.E. She has been associated with Sobha Group since 2008 and spearheaded the operations and team building for certain group companies.
She was instrumental in setting up Sobha Landscaping and Nurseries LLC –FZ (2013) and Sobha Horticulture & Landscaping (2014) to cater the landscaping requirements of UAE companies as well as the Group’s growing residential development portfolio – Sobha Hartland and District One projects located in Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City. As the Director of these companies, she is actively involved in the operations and expansion of this division.
Bindu holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. She was born in India and raised in Oman where she spent her childhood along with her family and is now an Omani passport holder. She has been in Dubai for more than 15 years.
Dubai Community Governor
Ken is the Director of Education for Al Najah Education, a Dubai based company with schools, nurseries and tuition centres in Dubai, Oman and Singapore. Prior to this he was CEO of the Al Dhafra Schools, in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, and Country Director, Qatar and Bahrain, for GEMS Education.
Ken started teaching in the UK in 1989 becoming a successful Principal; OFSTED described his Leadership as ‘inspirational’. He became an Advisory Principal in the largest Local Authority in the UK and also a Consultant Leader for the UK’s National College for School Leadership. Ken was also an assessor of Advanced Skills Teachers.
He ran his own educational consultancy for five years, providing services across the British Isles and beyond. Ken was educated at Frobel and Avery Hill Colleges in London, where he was born. He has worked in the UAE, Libya, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, South Africa, and Brunei. Ken is married with four children.
Dubai Community Governor
Conor Lawler is the Senior Vice President Finance and has been working at Atlantis The Palm since November 2010.
Conor started his career with four years in Forte Hotels in the UK before joining Hyatt International Hotels for eight years with positions as Director of Finance in Dubai, Belgrade and Baku. He ran his own business in Ireland for five years and completed property developments during that time. He then worked as Manager and CFO for an online international hospitality procurement company until 2010.
Conor is the SVP of Finance in Atlantis with responsibilities for General Accounting, Procurement and Logistics and leads of a team of over 150 staff. He is responsible for day to day finance, investment strategy, banking, audit and owners’ relations. Key projects in recent years include refinancing on multiple occasions and due diligence in relation to changes in ownership.
He has an Honors Degree in Hotel Management (Bachelor of Science in Business Management) and qualified as an ACCA post graduate in March 2013.
Achievements and awards include provincial rugby titles in Ireland, President of the local Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, Treasurer of the Irish Business Network in Dubai and more recently a member of the ACCA Management Advisory Committee and Captain of the Dubai Irish Golf Society.
Originally from Birmingham, UK, following the completion of her degree in Biomedical Science, Raj travelled to Italy where she worked as a teaching assistant. This experience in education led to her returning to England to train as a Science teacher.
She qualified in 2005 and worked in three different challenging schools for 8 years before moving to Dubai in 2009 to further her career as Head of Science in an established Dubai school.
She is a founding member of the Hartland School team. A keen traveller, she recently got married and is looking forward to this next stage of her life while continuing to contribute to the Hartland growing community.
Peter joined Hartland International School in 2015 and is currently a Year 6 Class Teacher, having spent the last two years in Year 2. Originally from Tipperary in Ireland, he has lived and worked in Cork for most of his career. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Limerick in 2008, and spent 7 years teaching primary school children from ages six to twelve in Ireland.
Jodi is a seasoned business executive with a background in small business and a passion for start-up and turn-around business initiatives. With more than twenty years of experience, she has a broad range of small business experience in several industries including technical communications, engineering, biotechnology, geriatric healthcare and public interest legal services.
She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of three organizations where she plays an ongoing and active role in advising and directing leadership teams. She recently joined Dumyé to lead operations and help move the company to the next level.
Jodi has a law degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters degree in Health Science from Adelphi University in New York.
She relocated to Dubai from North Carolina in the Fall of 2015. Prior to moving to Dubai, Jodi launched a nationally recognized public interest legal project supporting cancer patients and their families to navigate the many legal challenges they face, allowing patients to focus on their prescribed plan of care.
Jodi and her husband have a daughter in the primary phase of the school.
With a background in law, having qualified as a lawyer in Australia in 2001 and in England and Wales in 2008, Cassie has worked both in private practice in Sydney and in-house in London across a number of fields of law.
She has extensive experience in the education sector having been in-house legal counsel for the largest group of independent schools in the UK. She has assisted schools deal with all sorts of issues relating to facilities, employment, parental concerns, child safeguarding, health and safety and compliance with school standards.
Cassie and her husband have two children in the primary phase at Hartland.