Governance bodies of the Bishkek International School include:

Governing Board​

As a community school, BIS offers a number of opportunities to get involved and help shape the future of this unique institution in the Kyrgyz Republic. Becoming a member of the Governing Board gives persons with an interest in education the chance to influence the direction of BIS and thereby have positive impact on the overall development of education in the region.

As Board members with diverse cultural backgrounds we bring an abundance of experience into an international group of seasoned professionals, all sharing a passion for a school that takes responsibility for creating lasting value to its surroundings. We work together to ensure the best possible conditions for the school management to deliver high quality education and offer an engaging and inclusive working environment for all staff.

We welcome your suggestions to continue developing BIS as the best international school in Central Asia!

Fred Huston, Chair of the Governing Board


Fred Huston is currently the Branch Office Executive Director for international Development Law Organization (IDLO) overseeing Rule of Law projects in Central Asia – supported by various different intergovernmental and government organizations. Mr. Huston brings a broad array of experience to BIS. He is a licensed attorney from the State of Colorado (USA) and has lived and worked in Bishkek for 23 years. He is fluent in Russian and has worked at the highest government levels in Kyrgyzstan – as an advisor in the Legal Department of the KR President. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver, College of Law in 1980 and also has degrees in Geology and Russian from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Elected by BIS Staff to serve on the GB until October 2023.


 Hugh Salmon, Vice-Chair of the Governing Board 

Hugh S for website

Hugh Salmon is Director of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, which works to promote the knowledge, resources and political will needed to strengthen the social service workforce worldwide. He has masters degrees in social work and civil society management, and has served many years on NGO / non-profit governing boards. Mr Salmon first worked as a child protection social worker in the UK in the 1990s, then from 2000 began working in Moldova, Georgia and then Kyrgyzstan, in training, consultancy and management roles, on social work and youth development projects. He later returned to senior management roles in UK social services, and helped set up a new global alliance to strengthen family-based care, Family for Every Child. Mr Salmon and his wife first met in Bishkek, and after a few years living in London, returned to Kyrgyzstan in 2017, to give their two sons the opportunity to join BIS.

Elected by Advisory Council to serve on the GB until October 2023.


Aicholpon Alieva

Aicholpon A for website

Aicholpon Alieva is a managing partner and head of the Exploration & Mining Practice at Kalikova & Associates. Ms Alieva has more than fifteen years of experience in advising foreign investors, research institutions, leading national companies, foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations on a wide range of legal issues related to foreign investments, mining, project finance and M&A. She believes that her knowledge, experience, skills and professional network will enable her to effectively serve as a member of the BIS Governing Board and contribute to the development of BIS.

Elected by BIS Staff to serve on the GB until October 2021.


 Daniar Amanaliev 

Daniar A for website

Daniar Amanaliev is the co-founder and general manager of “OLOLO art studio” that provides art classes, co-working and events space. Mr Amanaliev has more than ten years of experience in operational management. He has been a strong supporter of the BIS idea since the first day and has always provided advice and support to BIS in an informal capacity when requested. He is the father of two current BIS students and was first elected to the Governing Board in October 2013.

Elected by the Advisory Council to serve on the GB until October 2022.


Nazgul Asangojoeva-Baekova

Nazgul Baekova

Nazgul Asangojoeva-Baekova is the Country Director of HelpAge International, an NGO advocating for the rights of older people in the Kyrgyz Republic and worldwide. She is a Fulbright scholar holding a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University, where she researched the effectiveness of career development courses at Cambodian schools. With more than 16 years in the field of development, she has worked with Eurasia Foundation, HelpAge International, Regional Institute of Central Asia and United Nations consulting and managing projects in the fields of education, social protection, public health, media, gender-based violence, elder abuse and more. As a project manager at the Eurasia Foundation, Ms Asangojoeva-Baekova coordinated and implemented a project on inclusive education in Kyrgyzstan. She has also taught Economics at the AGUPKR University. Ms Nazgul has three daughters. One of them graduated from BIS and is now studying Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Elected by BIS Staff to serve on the GB until October 2022.

Stephanie Powers

Stephanie Powers

Stephanie Powers is the mother of two children enrolled at BIS. She is a registered nurse and works part-time at the US Embassy in Bishkek. Her experience as a nurse and as a parent provides her with insight and understanding that is very helpful in guiding the school. She has been an active member of the International Women’s Group in Warsaw, Poland, Riga, Latvia and in Bishkek, where she has served on several committees and boards as well as within the American embassies at each post. She believes that her contributions to the school community and decisions on the behalf of the GB will allow BIS to be the best place possible for children to grow and learn.

Elected by the Parents Association to serve on the GB until October 2022.

Peter Ormel

Peter Ormel

Peter Ormel has two children who are studying at BIS. He is Country Director for ACTED in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. His past experience includes: being Economic Development Advisor for the Danish Government in Bolivia; Education Coordinator for the Dutch Government in Bolivia; President of the Dutch school in La Paz, Bolivia; and Treasurer of the Dutch school on Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He believes that his experience will enable him to contribute to the strategic development and realization of long-term goals of BIS. 

Elected by the Parents Association to serve on the GB until October 2023. 

  Keneshbek Sainazarov

Keneshbek S for website

Keneshbek Sainazarov is a development professional with 18 years experience of developing and implementing large scale programs and projects in democracy, governance, youth empowerment, education, capacity-building, conflicts and disaster mitigation and emergencies programming. He has extensive experience in program development, strategic planning and budgeting for UNDP, USAID-funded organizations in Central Asia and international non-profit organizations. He has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Education young voter participation and civic education, to the Ministry of Social Welfare in youth policy development, to the Ministry of Finance in budget efficiency and effective delivery, to the Defense Council under the President and to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in preventing violent extremism and radicalization, and served as the Chair of the Advisory Council for the Ministry of Education and Science (2010-2015). Mr Sainazarov plays an advisory role in the field of education policy for a number of for-profit and non-profit organizations, media and government institutions.

Elected by the Advisory Council to serve on the GB until October 2021.

  Sanjar Tursaliev

Sanjar T for website

Sanjar Tursaliev is the father of three current BIS students. He and his family have been actively involved in the school’s life since they arrived in Bishkek more than two years ago. Mr Tursaliev worked for United Nations Development Programme for twenty years and managed projects in the areas of Poverty Reduction, Social and Economic Development, and Regional Development. He worked and lived in Slovakia, USA, and Turkey. His four children studied in different private and public schools in the countries they lived, hence his family has great experience to contribute to the school’s development. Currently Mr Tursaliev is an entrepreneur and participates in business projects in areas of education and construction. 

Elected by the Parents Association to serve on the GB until October 2021.

Parents Association

What is the Parents Association? 

What is the Parents Association Management Committee? 

Every parent and guardian of children enrolled at BIS is a member of the Parents’ Association (PA). There are no fees or obligations to join.  We encourage every parent and guardian to attend school events and to be an active member of the BIS community, contributing in time, energy and donations when they are called for.

The Parents Association Management Committee (PAMC) is comprised of a group of dedicated parents that communicate often and meet regularly to plan our bi-annual “All Parents Meeting” and to organize school fundraising events.  We meet quarterly with the Management Board (MB) in order to align objectives.


We work closely with the school management, staff, and parents to continue the ongoing positive development of the school. 

We particularly work towards:

  • Welcoming new families to the school
  • Organizing regular social and fundraising events
  • Discussing issues raised by parents and how to solve them where possible, and
  • Providing feedback and support to the school

JOIN US!  COMMUNICATE WITH US!  We always welcome the participation of more parents to make a #BetterBIS.  Also, if you have any questions, comments or concerns for the PAMC, please write to

BIS Parents Association Regulations – with amendments Nov 2011

Advisory Council

BIS Advisory Council represents permanent institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic with an interest in development of the school. The Council helps to set and maintain the ethos and direction of the school and has the right to elect three members of the Governing Board. It meets three or four times a year to discuss development of BIS, education issues in the Kyrgyz Republic and to elect members of the Governing Board. Regulations of the Advisory Council are available to download from the school website.

Membership of the Advisory Council is by invitation from the Advisory Council.

BIS Founders

BIS has twelve individuals recognised as Founders:

  1.  Mark Witschi, Swiss citizen
  2.  Emma Woodcock, British citizen
  3.  Emil Umetaliev, Kyrgyz citizen
  4.  David Grant, British citizen
  5.  Andrew Lewis, British citizen
  6.  Mike Atsoparthis, British citizen
  7.  Umar Shavurov, Kyrgyz citizen
  8. Tolondu Toichubaev, Kyrgyz citizen
  9. Rysbek Toktogul, Kyrgyz citizen
  10. Jamilya Imankulova, Kyrgyz citizen
  11.  Chinara MacDonald, Kyrgyz citizen
  12.  Armando Ruano, US citizen

The Founders have delegated most of their powers under the Charter to the Governing Board but retain the right to elect three members of the Governing Board, a right of veto over decisions of the Governing Board and the right to approve any changes to the school Charter. The right of veto has never been used and is unlikely to be used except in a case where a Governing Board decision contradicts the intentions of the founding Charter or the BIS vision, mission and commitments.