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.
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.
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 (Finance, Governance, Marketing, Site Development, Strategic Planning)
- Caroline Banerjee (Finance)
- Ruchikar Dalela (Finance, Strategic Planning)
- Rosalind Gibbons (Governance)
- Jesper Johansen (Finance, Site Development)
- Poornima Luthra (Marketing, Strategic Planning)
- Debbie Raymond (Governance, Strategic Planning)
- Henrik Schmidt (Strategic Planning)
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.
Caroline is British and has been living in Denmark and a parent at CIS since 2012 with her daughter currently in Grade 7. 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.
Ruchikar Dalela heads the Denmark region for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He oversees strategic, customer, organizational and operational functions for the region. In the last 21 years of his career, he has occupied several leadership roles across different markets.
Ruchikar moved to Copenhagen in 2016, and has lived previously in Helsinki, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Cupertino, and Mumbai.
As an expat parent of two young children, Ruchikar has been connected to international schools – here in Copenhagen, and previously in Helsinki and France. He served in the Board of Governors of the International School of Helsinki, before moving to Copenhagen.
As a CIS parent with two kids, one in primary and middle-school each, he has a good appreciation of the IB program evolution across the school years, and appreciates the IB philosophy that encourages enquiry and the learning mind-set.
Ruchikar was appointed to the board, just before the 2019-20 scholastic year. He is excited to contribute to the school through his role in the board, and currently is a part of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Finance Committee.
In his leisure time, Ruchikar is passionate about music, mythology & culture, and education & teaching.
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.
Jesper is a Danish national who has lived more than 30 years abroad. He returned to Denmark with his family in 2017. His 2 boys are currently attending in Primary and Middle School, after having previously attended international schools in Frankfurt and Geneva.
My name is Dr. Poornima Luthra, and I am a parent of two children who study at CIS. We are Singaporeans with an Indian heritage and our family moved to Copenhagen in 2015.
I have been in academia for more than 11 years as a faculty member in universities in Singapore and Copenhagen. The focus of my research and teaching has been in the fields of leadership, team dynamics, international HR, as well as diversity management. I have a PhD, Masters and Undergraduate degree from the National University of Singapore. As an educator at the university level, I understand the academic rigor required of educational institutions. In addition to my current position at Copenhagen Business School, I am also a consultant with the firm Globally Local, conducting diversity training with the corporate sector.
As a member of the board, I look forward to being actively involved in the formation and implementation of the school’s strategic framework for the next five years helping to ensure that we are aligned with our vision and able to deliver on the needs of our school community.
I am mum to two boys at CIS, in Primary and Middle school. We are from London, and came to Denmark in 2017. Prior, to living in Denmark, I was a senior manager for three London Boroughs (Westminster, Kensington & Hammersmith) managing child welfare services. A key area of responsibility for me was to oversee safeguarding standards in over 120 schools - that is the practice, culture and policies that promote the wellbeing of children and young people. I have experience of advising schools and other organisations in relation to a range of issues such as digital safety, bullying and the safe recruitment of staff. I plan to contribute to the life of the school by sharing these insights and perspectives at the Board level. I also have a good understanding of the needs of young people who require learning support and I am a strong supporter of inclusive education.
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.
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 email@example.com