The CIS Board of Trustees

The Copenhagen International School Board consists of elected and appointed members, primarily parents of students enrolled in the school. The Board strives for gender balance and diversity of cultural background, skills and experience. All members are volunteers.

As the legal authorising body of CIS, the Board focuses its efforts first and foremost on supporting and promoting the school’s vision and mission. In addition, we appoint and support the school’s Director, we oversee the school’s fiscal health, and we review and update the school’s policies and procedures.

The Board drives the creation of a strategic framework, in collaboration with contributions from the CIS community. The most recent strategic framework was presented in 2013 and its implementation is ongoing.

As with any Board, by our very definition we delegate the day-to-day administration and operational decisions to the Director.


Board Composition

Chair and Vice Chair

The Board Chair acts as a sounding board in weekly meetings with the Director, and oversees the composition and functioning of the subcommittees, of which she/he is an ex officio member. In addition, the Chair leads the annual Board induction, presides over Board meetings and presents the annual report at the Annual General Meeting. The Board Chair liaises with and delegates authority to the Vice Chair as and when needed.

Board Chair - Susanne Rumohr Hækkerup

It is a great honour for me to be part of the CIS Board and do my very best to contribute to the further development of this fantastic school. I was born in Copenhagen and embrace my city and Danish culture, but having lived for more than 12 years abroad (in London, Moscow, Pristina, Beijing, and Mexico City) I can relate to expatriate families and the challenges of living in a foreign country.

As the very lucky and proud mother of five children who have attended five different international schools including CIS, I have come to understand the importance of a first-rate learning environment. One of my sons graduated from CIS in 2017 and my youngest will graduate in 2020.

Presently, I am the Executive Director of the EAC Foundation and Asia House, situated not far from CIS at Indiakaj by Langelinie, stimulating closer ties between Denmark and countries in Asia. Graduating in 1987 from Copenhagen University with a MA in history, political science, and Russian, I have served as a civil servant and diplomat for the Danish Government in the Ministry for Defense and Ministry for Foreign Affairs, most recently as Denmark’s Ambassador to Mexico and eight countries in the Caribbean from 2010-14 and Ambassador for Disarmament 2014-15.

From its modest, but very visionary beginning as one of the founders of the IB in 1968, CIS has developed into a modern school (in a remarkably attractive building), inclusive and academically strong at the same time. I hope with my wide experience in collaborating with diverse groups with varied interests and perspectives as well as through a transparent and forthcoming attitude to be able to support CIS in becoming the best possible school and work place for students and staff.

Vice Chair: Sylvia Scharf

Sylvia and her German husband Klaus moved to Copenhagen many years ago after having lived and worked in Germany as well as in the UK. Both of Sylvia's sons graduated from CIS. Her professional background is a BSc in Economics from Philipps University, Marburg and a MBA in Marketing and International Business from Georg-August University, Göttingen. She has worked for many years as Marketing Manager in various international companies such as Marbert, DIESEL, Procter & Gamble, and WELLA. Today, Sylvia works as Marketing and Customer Relation Manager for an international company in Denmark. Furthermore she is the COO of a yacht charter company in Greece/Turkey.

Sylvia was a member of the board of an international Montessori Kindergarten for more than two years. In the eight years prior to CIS, she served on the board of Rygaards School. This resulted in an in-depth knowledge of the international market, in particular by regularly attending international conferences and seminars. She was awarded a diploma in "Sustainable International School Governance" from the European Council of International Schools in London.

Sylvia believes that continuous school improvement, in line with its mission and vision, should drive the actions of the board and that constant evaluation of the tools and methods used is necessary to compete successfully as an international school.

Finance

The Finance Committee liaises with the school's CFO to provide advice and guidance on all financial matters. In addition, this committee reviews and identifies any issues relating to the school's operating and capital budgets and annual external audit processes.

Finance: Caroline Banerjee

Caroline is British and has been living in Denmark and a parent at CIS since 2012 with her daughter currently in Grade 6. She lives with her husband and family in Østerbro.

She is a graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and a Chartered Management Accountant. She has worked in financial control and management roles for the past 20 years in Telecoms, FMCG and Pharma.

She was appointed a member of the Finance Committee in 2016 and has been privileged to play a small part in the evolution of the school from the old campus to the new home in Nordhavn.

Finance: Heather Stevenson

Heather has been part of the CIS community since 2014 and her twins are currently in Middle School at CIS. Originally from California, her Danish husband's job and family has brought them to Denmark.

Heather has over 20 years of marketing, sales and general management experience and an MBA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications and Revenue (Fundraising) for the 5th largest Public Television station in the US. In this role, she managed all marketing communications for the TV station including launching the station's first strategic social media plan. Prior to her time is public media, she worked for a range of media companies in the US and Denmark and whether working for a large media conglomerate like Sony Pictures or Twentieth Century Fox or as CEO at a venture capital backed company based in Denmark, she has consistently delivered on business plans and brought a positive attitude to everything she does. As for her volunteer activities, for the past two years, she has been President of LINK (Ladies International Network København) a women's expat network.

Heather brings to the CIS board strong leadership and organization skills and proficiency in establishing strategies and marketing plans. She has managed multi-cultural teams and worked with staff and volunteers to accomplish organization's goals. CIS is central to Heather's family's life for the foreseeable future and she feels it is very important that all our children have the best possible educational and social development experiences while they attend CIS.

Additional Members

Rosalind Gibbons

My name is Rosalind Gibbons. I ran for the board because I firmly believe that a good well-rounded education is one of the best things that a parent can give to their children. Good schools are dynamic; adapting to children, time and places to provide an inspiring learning environment. CIS achieves this with the International Baccalaureate Program. With the building of the new school at Nordhavn, CIS is entering a very exciting period of growth, which I feel I could contribute to.

My background is in sustainability and environmental project management. In Australia I had a consultancy business focussing on community- local government initiatives, including the establishment of governance frameworks, education and sustainable living programs. I have been involved in the PTA at our previous schools and volunteered in the classroom.

Who are we? We are a British – Australian family. That is my husband and I was born in Britain but have spent the last 19 years in Australia. Our boys are true blue Aussies. We moved to Denmark in August 2014 for my husband to take up a position at København Universitet. I am not working at the moment but I am looking to re-establish my small projects consultancy here. As a family we are passionate about the environment and enjoy the great outdoors. We expect to be in Denmark for several years and are embracing the lifestyle, language and weather.

Dimitri Griffioen

Dimitri Griffioen arrived in Copenhagen August 1 2015 when his partner was posted as Special Envoy and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Kingdom of Denmark.

Dimitri Griffioen started his career after his military service, as a Royal Army cavalry officer and later at Procter & Gamble Benelux in the fields of marketing and sales. The request of the Royal Navy, he joined the Naval Materiel Command returning to the Ministry of Defense and took on more senior positions in the fields of international programs, naval systems and C4I followed by an executive position at the National Center for Research and Development. Gaining more experience, he was asked to join the leadership team of the National Police Shared Service Centre in order to improve the operational systems and business operations and to deliver a development program in order to renew the IT for the Police and affiliated services. Back in The Hague, he became responsible for inter-departmental policy making and law making for finance, business operation and IT followed by a CFO and CIO assignment at the one of the biggest IT Shared Service Centers for the National Government. Later, he became COO of that organization. Afterwards he served the Deputy Secretary-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs as a senior policy maker. In addition to his day to day work he served as a board member to several organizations as well start-ups and spin-offs.

He graduated as Drs. in Business Economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam (NL) and followed a MBA course at Michigan State University, East-Lansing (USA). He is still connected as a reserve officer with the Ministry of Defense, leading one of the two platoons of the Royal House Hold Hussars. Dimitri and his wife Yvette enjoy horse riding, skiing and rowing. Their children are CIS students and play field hockey and like skiing very much.

Dimitri brings to the CIS Board strong leadership, policy making, consultancy and governance skills and proficiency in establishing strategies and business plans as well as executing and program management. He understands that change is the only constant. He was member of multi-cultural teams and worked with staff and volunteers to accomplish organization's goals. CIS is important for all parents, temporary or more permanent, to feel comfortable during their stay in Denmark and he feels it is very important that all our children have the best possible educational and social development experiences to enter their future with confidence.

Laura Lochman

Laura Lochman arrived in Copenhagen August 1, 2016 to take up her post as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy to the Kingdom of Denmark.

Laura Lochman is a career American diplomat with over 27 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation. She has served in various overseas assignments with the Department of State, including as Economic Counselor in Bogota, Colombia, Consul General in Calgary, Canada, Deputy Economic Counselor and Chief of the Trade and Investment Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and Deputy Economic Counselor and Environment, Science and Technology Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Earlier, she served in Caracas, Venezuela and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In Washington, Laura served in the State Department’s Office of Cuban Affairs, the Bureau of South Asian Affairs, and in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science. Laura was detailed for one year from the State Department to a non-governmental organization, the Nature Conservancy, as a policy advisor. She has also spent two years as the State Department’s Deputy Director of the Office of Central European Affairs.

She graduated with a B.A. in International Studies and French from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She also studied at the Université de Montpellier, France. Laura, her husband Joseph Schaefer, and their son Nicholas enjoy skiing, hiking, and the outdoors. Laura holds a black belt in karate, and her foreign languages include French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Henrik Schmidt

My name is Henrik Schmidt, and I became a part of the CIS Board in 2018. I am an external member of the Board in the sense that I am not a parent to any children in the school.

I work as a senior development consultant in Momentum Consulting A/S, situated in Nordhavnen. My areas of expertise are Brain Based Learning, Leadership Development, Change Management, Behavioural Design (Nudging), Systemic / Executive Coaching, and Cross-Cultural Understanding

I have more than 30 years of experience as a trainer, teacher and coach. Long time ago I started as a school teacher (1985) and became a school principal 2005. Concurrently I worked with educational counselling, private health practices and schools and has been a commissioned writer of educational and pedagogical materials.

In 2011 my professional career took a major shift when I joined corporate life in Novo Nordisk as a Senior Leadership Development Specialist. I worked at Novo Nordisk for more than 7 years before I recently started as an independent consultant in Momentum Consulting.

I have a master’s degree in psychology, diplomas in leadership development, social counselling (“AKT”), coaching and a bachelor’s degree in teaching.

Much of my time is spend on investigating human conditions and studying the fascinating human brain. It is a great passion of mine, and I work tirelessly to communicate the implications of this knowledge for teaching, leadership, coaching, etc. This, my many years of work in the public sector, and with my recent experience within corporate life, is what I bring to the board.

Privately I have been married for more than 30 years, I have two adult children (22 and 25) and I love playing music.

Policy

School policies reflect the ethos of a school, its core values and intent. They provide guidance and support for staff, pupils, parents and the community in a diverse range of situations from administration and school discipline through to environmental footprint and catering. The policies aim to ensure that any decisions taken within the school community are fair, just and transparent. They outline what the school community can expect from the school, the school’s expectations of the community and how the school will handle various situations.

The CIS Policies are adopted by the Board and are comprehensibly reviewed every five years. (Last review 2016.) However individual policies are updated as and when deemed necessary to reflect the dynamic nature of our school environment.

Contact the Board

For general queries, kindly contact the Board Secretary at board.secretary@cis.dk