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Advisory Council


Avi's professional career spans Marketing Services, Media, Private Equity, Investments and Government sectors.  At the helm of the BPG Group ( since 1991, Avi consolidates the Group's interests across advertising, public advocacy, public relations, design, activation, media asset management and digital verticals, in the Middle East and North Africa regions.  He has also assisted in the conceptualization and execution of a number of strategic Dubai initiatives and has served the Government of Dubai while assisting with the development of Knowledge Economy hubs in Dubai.  An Alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Avi is a founding Director of Endeavor UAE, PanIIM Alumni Network Gulf and the Advisory Board of Abu Dhabi Capital Management. Avi is also the Managing Director of Innoventures Education, General Partner of Montana Capital and AMEA Ventures Ltd, and is Chairman of International Management Ventures FZ LLC.



Hamdi is the Chairman of Solitaire IGT.  He graduated in physical education from Helwan University, Cairo, in 1976. He then moved to the US to pursue his interest in professional soccer and in 1978 joined FedEx, an organization he served for 33 years. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Freights and Logistics, the American Business Council and the Supply Chain & Logistics Group (SCLG) of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was also a member of the International Advisory Council and the School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah from 2002 to 2005, and on the Board of Trustees of the American School of Dubai between 1998 and 2006. He is a former CEO of FedEx for the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.



Poonam is an Economics Honours Graduate with an MBA from India's premier business school, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Prior to envisioning and cofounding Dubai Gulf Academy, Poonam has had significant industry experience working on leading edge technology solutions with a range of organizations across India, Hong Kong, USA, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Oman and UAE. She is the CEO of Innoventures Education and has served as the President of the Middle East IB Association of Schools and is the Secretary of the Dubai Private Schools Group.



Toby has spent over 20 years in the international advertising business based in London. Fourteen years at Young and Rubicam, 7 as CEO, were followed by a short spell with them in New York, before joining Cordiant as Group Chairman of Bates Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. Since it was acquired by WPP in August 2003, Toby is the only member of its Executive Committee to have remained as now Global Client Leader and CEO of Team HSBC, and CEO JWT Europe. Toby enjoys both tennis and golf. He is also a Governor of Harrow School.



Dr. Jaap Mos been involved with Dutch and international education for more than 30 years. He was the founding Principal of The International School of The Hague, Netherlands, and remained in this position until 2006. He continued as chair of the Leadership team to found United World College Maastricht, Netherlands. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Dutch International Secondary Schools and on the Board of Trustees of the European Council of International Schools. Currently he is Director of LanguageOne, based in the Netherlands. LanguageOne offers and develops Mother Tongue Education, integrated in international curricula, for the Dutch, and other European speaking communities outside of the home country. Since 2010 Jaap is a member of the IB Regional Council for Africa, Europe & Middle East. Jaap is living in Amsterdam, Netherlands.



Dr. Lance de Masi is the President of The American University in Dubai (AUD). His career bridges experience as an academic and practicing communications professional. Prior to joining AUD in 1997 he held various high-level management positions in the US, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, UK; and most recently, Dubai with IMPACT/BBDO where he served 6 years as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. Dr. de Masi’s tenure as President has witnessed AUD’s transformation from a small, up-start operation to an institution of higher learning of substantial size and credible academic reputation. In 1997, he was granted a Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Schiller International University. He currently serves as President of the UAE Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA).



Sahia Ahmad, a Barrister, is the General Counsel of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai, the entity responsible for regulating the tourism sector and the marketing of Dubai as a destination. She is an Emirati, who completed her schooling in Dubai and studied Law at Kings College, London. As a member of Lincoln's Inn, Sahia is the first UAE National to become a member of English Bar. Sahia's career has included practising Law in the UAE for 20 years at Allen & Overy, as founding General Counsel of Dubai World, as a Partner in one of the world’s largest law firms and as the General Counsel of Emirates Investment Authority, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the UAE Federal Government. She has advised governments and multinationals through her career and involved in drafting many of Dubai and UAE Laws. Her four children study at DGA.



Herbert Pohl is the Managing Director of Jones Pohl Group.  Formerly, he was a Director at McKinsey & Company. He has been with McKinsey since 1997, first in Europe, since 2007 in the Middle East. Before joining McKinsey, he worked as a lawyer. Herbert studied Law and Economics in Freiburg, Geneva, Munich, and New York, he holds a LL.M. from New York University and a PhD from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. He is married with three daughters, the two older ones going to Dubai Gulf Academy.



Sushmeta was born in India and has been a resident of Dubai for the past three decades.  She has a Diploma from Swiss Finishing School and Masters from University of Wollongong, Dubai.  Sushmeta is currently a working partner in the family business with interests in various fields including manufacturing, trading and real estate in India, Dubai, UK and Africa.  She has one child at DGA who has been with the school since its inception.



Alan has been a Teacher, Teacher Educator, Educational Consultant, and currently is General Manager of the Australian Council for Educational, Dubai office and is responsible for the direction of a wide national and international programs in the UAE and Middle East region.  He has extensive experience in working with schools and developing effective assessment programs for students and schools.  Alan is currently also Project Director for the UAE National Assessment Program (UAENAP 2015).  He is also a parent at DGA.



Michael is the Director, Finance & Administration at Innoventures Education.  He is a Chartered Accountant and has a Diploma in Portfolio Management with over 20 years' experience in consulting and industry. He was part of the core team of Innoventures Education that set up Dubai Gulf Academy in 2005. Michael started his career in an accounting firm focused on audit, tax, corporate law, and business and investment advisory services. He is a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants, UK and has been on the faculty of a business school in Dubai.