executive team

Dr. Frances Tsakonas

Dr. Frances Tsakonas

Frances is the President and Chief Executive Officer of ISNUK™. She has over 35 years experience in international education. Frances has worked for governments, advising on education reform, non-governmental organisations and private education providers around the world, as well as for international organisations such as the World Bank, the OECD, the EU, the European Training Foundation and the British Council. Frances was born and raised in Australia where she completed her primary and secondary schooling, and then continued her studies in Greece, the US, the UK and The Netherlands. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from The American College of Greece, a Master of Education in Multicultural Education and Transnational Communication from Lesley University USA, a Graduate Diploma in Institutional Management and Change in Higher Education from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, a Post-Master's Certificate of Advanced Study from the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University USA, a Certificate in Public Administration from JFK School of Government of Harvard University, a Certificate in the Management of Lifelong Learning from the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Internationalisation from the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Frances is currently studying entrepreneurship, leadership and change management at Oxford University Said Business School.

Professor Martin Hall

Professor Martin Hall

Martin is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford and currently Emeritus Professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. Martin also served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Higher Education Development of the University of Cape Town, and was Chair of the Board of Jisc, the provider of Internet services and digital solutions to universities and colleges in the UK. He currently serves on the board of The Conversation (UK) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Life Fellow of the University of Cape Town and past-President of the World Archaeological Congress. He is an accredited mediator with the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement. Martin is a partner with Artefact Transformation and Facilitation Services. In this capacity he advices on digital learning solutions, Higher Education leadership and management, and on organizational transformation and conflict resolution. He has written extensively on pre-colonial history in Southern Africa, on the historical archaeology of colonialism, on contemporary public culture and on issues in higher education. Recent writing and commentary can be found at martinhallfacilitation.org. Martin holds an Honours degree in Archaeology and Anthropology, along with a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Annelie Strath

Dr. Annelie Strath

Annelie has more than 20 years experience in international higher education and has worked in a number of countries around the world providing technical assistance and expert advice to Ministries of Education. Annelie has worked for international organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. Her most recent assignments include: the development of a strategic plan for Rwanda's higher education sector; the development of a national literacy strategy for non-formal adult education in Afghanistan; and the completion of the Education For All End decade review for Malaysia (including six different thematic areas of early childhood care and education; universalization of primary education; learning and life skills for young people and adults; literacy; gender; quality of education). Annelie holds a PhD in Education and a Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. She is a native of Sweden where she pursued her undergraduate studies in Statistics and Economics at Uppsala University. As an international student herself, Annelie not only understands the demands placed upon studying abroad (especially when one is studying in a language that is not the one's first or native language), but is also keenly interested in international student mobility patterns and developing the ISN (International Students Network) global network.

Mr. Ivaylo Piskov

Mr. Ivaylo Piskov

Ivo has spent a considerable part of his career as an Executive Director at one of Wall Street's biggest companies - Goldman Sachs. His expertise spans IT, management, finance, academics, business development and entrepreneurship, career development and education, non-profit and government.  Ivo is also Managing Partner at Mentor Coach Partners (MCP), a global network of experts who provide skill development solutions to students, startups, SME's and enterprises.  His experience has helped create many of MCP's core skill set of programmes, including several unique products specifically developed for students who are looking to find their dream job or who are looking to start their own business.  Ivo is originally from Bulgaria.  He studied Economics at the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria, Economics and Political Sciences at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and at Georgetown University in the USA.  He then went on to study Computer Science at Brown University in the USA.  In his spare time, Ivo is a devoted culinarian and has written several cookbooks that bring the wonders of Bulgarian cuisine to the tables of people across the world.

Mr. Yemi Soile

Mr. Yemi Soile

Yemi serves on the Board of Advisors of ISNUK™ and is the Board's representative on the ISNUK™ Executive Committee. Yemi is a Youth Ambassador of Nigerian origin who studied Politics and Business at the University of Greenwich from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He subsequently went on to obtain an Advanced Diploma in Administrative Management from the Institute of Administrative Management UK. Yemi has been actively involved in empowering youth and especially Africans in the UK through community activities. In 2007, seeing that knife and gun crime was spiralling out of control in the UK, Yemi organised the first ever ‘Cultural Night’ event in conjunction with the Afro-Caribbean society, aimed at promoting multiculturalism, tackling gun and knife crime, and giving back to the local community. This won Yemi a community service recognition from the Operation Trident Unit of the Metropolitan Police and an award from the University of Greenwich Community Base Organisation. Yemi was also presented with an award for his activities towards youth empowerment in the UK by Refocus Youth Charity, CANUK and IDAY organisation, at the 'Arise Now and Rebuild' event held at the University of London. In 2014, Yemi was honoured with the Youth Ambassador Award as one of the 100 most outstanding Nigerians in the UK during the last 100 years (1914 - 2014).

Ms. Thais Roque

Ms. Thais Roque

Thaís serves on the Board of Advisors of ISNUK™ and is the Board's representative on the ISNUK™ Executive Committe. Thais, of Brazilian-Iranian background, was born and raised in Brazil but moved to Germany when she was 16. There, after completing her Abitur along with an apprenticenship as a Banking Business Woman, she decided to pursue studies in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. She then moved to the UK to continue her studies in Biomedical Engineering at Oxford University where she received a Master's degree and is now pursuing doctoral studies after receiving a scholarship to continue her studies at Oxford. She is currently in her second year. A scholar herself, Thaís acknowledges the fact that she would not be in the UK or at Oxford University if it were not for the generosity of foundations such as the German National Academic Foundation, the Sloane Robinson Foundation and currently the Oxford-Bellhouse Graduate Scholarship programme. She truly believes in the power of education to change people's lives as well as the societies in which they live. For that reason, she has founded the Oxford Students Refugee Campaign (OxSRC), with the aim to create a scholarship fund for those whose studies have been interrupted by war and/or persecution.

Mr. Shaz Memon

Mr. Shaz Memon

Shaz is the creative director at Digimax, a graphic design innovator and inspiration for the past decade that has been creating and developing interactive media solutions to meet the most demanding corporate communication needs of its clients. Shaz's creative flair was evident from an early age and by 18 he was already tutoring professionals in the creative industry. His talents have been acknowledged and have won him multiple awards.  It is no surprise then, that Shaz is regarded as one of the most creative designers in the industry today and is recognised in Who's Who of Britain's Business Elite as one of Britain’s Youngest Directors.  Shaz has worked with some of the biggest names in the UK, including the BBC, FHM Magazine, Barclays Bank, UBS, HP, Lennox Lewis, Hiscox, James Caan, House of Fraser, McDonalds Olympics 2012, as well as with ISNUK for the design and development of this website.  Shaz is a regular contributor of award-winning work and writes for leading magazines on topics of digital design, Ecommerce and related topics. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) degree in Ecommerce from Brunel University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.