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 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 26years. 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. Mr. Huston is currently the Chief of Party of the USAID Ukuk Bulagy Project, a people-centered Rule of Law project in Kyrgyzstan that is aimed at improving justice for all.  Mr. Huston represents East-West Management Institute, USAID’s implementing partner in the project that works directly and closely with many non-governmental and governmental organizations.                                                                             

Elected by BIS Staff to serve on the GB until October 2026.

Kai Ilm

Kai Ilm is a free-lance consultant for banking and development finance and is currently running a private business together with his wife. Previously he served as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and as Member of Audit Committee and Board of Directors in different financial institutions and brings in 15 years of senior management experience. Mr. Ilm lived and worked in many cultural environments, mostly in South-East Europe and the Eurasian region. He first stayed in Bishkek from 2007-2008 and came back with his family in 2015. Mr. Ilm values very much the unique joyful atmosphere BIS offers to its students besides the academic curriculum. His daughter has been with BIS from Preschool 1.

Elected by the Parents Association to serve on the GB until October 2025.

Daniar Amanaliev

Daniyar Amanaliev

Daniar Amanaliev is the co-founder of “Ololo” group, “KG Analytics” intellectual fund and Association of
Creative Industries. 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 one BIS alumni. Daniar was first elected to the Governing Board in October

Elected by the Advisory Council to serve on the GB until November 2026.

Ann Herrigan


Ann Herrigan is a diplomat with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. She is currently Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Bishkek, following postings in Astana, Mali, Minsk and Abu Dhabi. Ms. Herrigan is glad to be continuing the British Embassy’s strong links with the BIS and getting involved in helping to shape the future of this unique institution in the Kyrgyz Republic. Being on the Governing Board is an opportunity to influence the long-term strategic vision of the BIS and thereby have a positive impact on the overall development of education in the Kyrgyz Republic, which will support the Embassy’s work of maintaining and developing relations between the UK and Kyrgyzstan. She believes in the idea of supporting children’s education, which is the foundation for ensuring everyone can reach their full potential.

Elected by the Advisory Council to serve on the GB until October 2024.

Alex Straus

Alex Straus is a diplomat working for the U.S. Department of State. He has project management experience, managing personnel and resources in the public and private sectors. He has previously served in Beijing and Shanghai. He holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and has one child studying at BIS.

Elected by the Advisory Council to serve on the GB until October 2025.


Lance Tillman


Lance Tillman has over 25 years of working experience in education field. Six years of teaching in community colleges and universities in the US preceded a move to Kyrgyzstan in 2006, when he joined the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), leading the American Studies Department and also serving on Curriculum, Building, and Academic Committees. Later he moved into school education, including some time teaching at BIS, while also teaching at the OSCE Academy and the International University in Central Asia. He believes in the importance of educators being represented in governing bodies and supported in their mission to provide the best education for students in their care. He has confidence that BIS offers the best school education in Central Asia due to the dedication of its staff and that BIS can be even more influential throughout the region.

Elected by BIS Staff to serve on the GB until October 2024.


Nazgul Asangojoeva-Baekova

Nazgul Baekova

Nazgul Asangojoeva-Baekova is a Project Coordinator with UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic. 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. She has been working in the field of development for more than 19 years in organisations such as the United Nation Development Program, Eurasia Foundation, HelpAge International, ACTED and Regional Institute of Central Asia. She has considerable experience in developing and implementing projects in the field of education. She was a project manager on inclusive education in Kyrgyzstan at the Eurasia Foundation and many other projects that were successfully implemented and/or are being implemented now. 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 2025.

Afef Tlili

Afef Tlili has worked for over 20 years in international cooperation, with several technical and financial partners, and particularly deals with people centred development approaches based on human rights, inclusion and capacity building for all. Education has been a pillar topic in many of the projects she has been involved in, especially with the Dutch Organisation for Internalisation in Education NUFFIC and Global Education Futures. Ms. Tlili has been called to build and manage several education programs aiming at improving education policies, innovative learning processes and didactics impact evaluation. With the World Bank, she conducted several studies on STEM education at different learning stages, with a focus on women talent pool development on STEM, and potential employability. Ms Tlili is the mother of two children in BIS, one in Preschool and one in Primary School.

Elected by the Parents Association to serve on the GB until October 2026

Nikita Ryjih

Nikita Ryjih is the CEO / co-founder of EFIS Products, Inc operating under the brand ‘FitJab’, and the CEO / co- founder of Family Distribution LLC. He has worked in top management positions for over 12 years in different countries, including USA, Ukraine and the Kyrgyz Republic, where has been successful in planning and implementing change in diverse communities in order to reach strategic goals, while maintaining current operations and delivering excellent services. Mr Ryjih has two children in BIS Primary School.

Elected by the Parents Association to serve on the GB until October 2025.

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


JJ Gurga – President of the PAMC, Representative on Library Committee

 JJ is from the UK and has one son at BIS. She is very happy to be part of the PAMC which she sees as an important way for parents to help the school be the best it can be.

Arkady Rogalsky – PAMC Member, Class Representative Coordinator (Middle School), Representative on ECA Committee

Arkady is a geologist from Kyrgyzstan with 3 children at BIS. He joined the PAMC to help support the school to achieve high educational standards.

Gulzat Bektursunova – PAMC Member, Class Representative Coordinator (Primary School)

Gulzat is from Kyrgyzstan and has one daughter at BIS. She is glad to be on the PAMC not only to help the school improve but also to meet new, interesting people.

Alya Solovieva – PAMC Member, Communications Officer

Alya is a mother of two. She thinks BIS is like a small family and is happy to be an important part of that in the PAMC.

Meerim Askarova – PAMC Member, Class Representative Coordinator (Pre-School), Representative on Nutrition Committee

Meerim is a diplomat from Kyrgyzstan with 4 children. She joined the PAMC to build effective cooperation and partnership between the school and parents.

Ainura Emilbekova – PAMC Member, Class Representative Coordinator (High School), Representative on Nutrition Committee, Health & Safety Committee, ECA Committee

Ainura is a journalist from Kyrgyzstan and the mother of three children. As a member of the PAMC, she would like to contribute to the communication process between parents and the school.

Adilya Sakaeva – Vice President (Treasurer)

Adilya is from Kyrgyzstan and has two children and is the PAMC treasurer. She enjoys being part of a great team!

Rahima Salirova – PAMC Member

Rahima is a mother of two and a teacher of the Chinese language. She thinks that the PAMC is a cohesive and friendly team.

Elena Sherbakova – PAMC Member, Communications Officer, Representative on ECA Committee

Elena is from Kyrgyzstan and has one daughter at BIS. She joined the PAMC to provide support and help the school development.

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.

Advisory Council Membership List October 2023

Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic

The Swiss Government opened an Embassy in the Kyrgyz
Republic on 5 November 2012. Switzerland supports Kyrgyzstan in its economic,
social and political transitions. The objective of its Cooperation Programme is
to promote peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive
institutions and a sustainable development to improve the well-being of the

Olivier Bangerter, Ambassador

Chair of the BIS Advisory Council

US Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic

The US Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic was officially opened on February 1, 1992. The U.S. Embassy represents the U.S. government and works on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, such as trade, commerce, economic development, democracy and governance, humanitarian assistance, health promotion and disease control, counternarcotics, and environmental protection.

Jennefer Steineckert, Community Liaison Office Co-Coordinator 

American University of Central Asia (AUCA)

Founded in 1993, AUCA develops future leaders for the democratic transformation of
Central Asia. It is an international, multi-disciplinary learning community in the American
liberal arts tradition. AUCA is the first university in Central Asia to offer US accredited
degrees in liberal arts programs through a partnership with Bard College in the United

Chingiz Shamshiev, AUCA Vice-President

British Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic
The British Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic was opened in March 2012. The embassy works
with various projects on capacity building, election monitoring, conflict prevention and
training for lawyers. The Embassy aims to develop and sustain the important bilateral
relationship between the UK and the Kyrgyz Republic, supporting security, democratisation
and prosperity.

Ann Herrigan, Deputy Head of Mission

Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kyrgyzstan
The Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bishkek is a bilateral mission in
Kyrgyzstan and is involved in promoting Dutch interests in Kyrgyzstan. The Consulate also
plays an important role in the field of development cooperation and cultural affairs.

Jamilya Imankulova, Honorary Consul

Embassy of France in Kyrgyzstan
Franco-Kyrgyz diplomatic relationships started when the French Foreign Minister Roland
Dumas visited Bishkek in 1992. Several main agreements, including friendship agreement,
cooperation agreement, investment promotion and protection agreement were signed in
1994 and the French Embassy was officially opened in 2010.

Francois Delahousse, Ambassador
Florent Even, Deputy Head of Mission
(alternate representative on the BIS
Advisory Council

Hyatt Regency Bishkek
The first and most established international five-star Hotel with 20 years of experience in
Bishkek. It is in a safe, quiet and central location right in the center of Bishkek’s business,
government and cultural district.

Stanisav Stojcic , General Manager

International Business Council (IBC)
IBC, founded in December 2000, has been contributing to the creation of an attractive
investment climate and economic development in Kyrgyzstan for over 20 years. There are
two main areas of IBC activity: 1) Promotion of favorable legislative initiatives for the
business environment and investment climate, the expression of voice of business in B2G
format and 2) creating a platform for cooperation, searching for investors, customers and
partners for companies and entrepreneurs in B2B format.

Askar Sydykov, Executive Director

International University of Central Asia (IUCA)
IUCA is a small university created according to an American model of higher education, with
the highest academic and ethical standards. Training programs create a real opportunity to
get higher education and to achieve a successful career. Graduates may receive a Kyrgyz
state diploma for a bachelor’s degree and an American-style diploma, which is recognized
around the world.

Camila Sharshekeeva, Provost.

Kyrgyz Concept 

Kyrgyz Concept is one of the leading travel companies in Kyrgyzstan, renowned for providing a wide array of accessible and diverse travel options and events. Kyrgyz Concept offers air tickets, tours abroad, tourism along the Great Silk Road, organisation of conferences and training abroad. For 33 years the company has served more than 2,350,000 Clients. The company has offices in Bishkek, Osh, Almaty and Prague.


Emil Umetaliev, Co-Founder of Bishkek
International School, Founder of Kyrgyz

Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic
The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic is the central executive body
that conducts state policy and exercises management in the field of education and science
and state control over the availability and quality of education.

Olga Bryzgalova,

Chief Specialist of the Department of School and Out-of-School Education


Ololo is a group of companies that combines the largest coworking spaces chain in Central Asia, John Galt business accelerator and Liberterra property management company, which aims to bring a community of creative professionals together and create a favorable atmosphere for them. The vision of the group is to build a city for digital nomads of Asia on Issyk Kul.

Daniar Amanaliev, Co-Founder and Band

ProKG Club
“ProKG” Professionals’ Club was formed in April 2009 by the initiative group of young
professionals. The mission is to create a platform that unites professionals who inspire and
guide young leaders. ProKG brings together high-class specialists with international
experience in areas such as business, investment, banking, medicine, public sector,
international economics, audit, IT and telecommunications.

Cholponbek Jumashukurov, Co-founder

Sierra Group 

Sierra was opened in 2010 by Bradley Brenneman. Today it is considered as one of the best coffee chains in the city offering fresh roasted coffee, smoothies, soups, salads, sandwiches, muffins, burgers, steaks and Mexican food. Sierra is now franchising around the country and region.  

Brad Brenneman, Founder.
Uulzhan Davletova (alternate

United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic

 The Kyrgyz Republic joined the United Nations on 2 March 1992 as a new independent state. Since then, the UN has been supporting Kyrgyzstan to achieve its national priorities, which respond to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN System in Kyrgyzstan is made up of UN affiliated programmes, funds, specialized agencies and other entities working in the country. At present it consists of 27 members, 12 of which are non-residents. The aim of the UN system in the Kyrgyz Republic is to assist the Country in implementing development reforms and provide support in the achievement of internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.

Antje Grawe, Resident Coordinator
Ulziisuren Jamsran, UN Women (alternate
representative on the BIS Advisory

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 first six Founders listed here are the legal Founders. The legal Founders have delegated most of their power to the Governing Board, as defined in the Charter. The legal Founders remaining role is to protect the integrity of the Charter, hence any changes to the Charter require approval by the legal Founders. If the legal Founders determine that the Governing Board is operating in contradiction to the Charter, or the overall vision and mission of the school, they may also dismiss the Governing Board, temporarily appoint an interim board and request new Governing Board elections by the electing bodies.