The School Board acts as the governing body of the International School of Djibouti. This team is made up of a diverse group of educational and regional experts. ISD is excited about the group of professionals brought together to make the school function and grow in quality and relevance to the Djiboutian context. Participation on the School Board is voluntary and board members receive no compensation for their investment in education for Djibouti.

Thomas Jones, Ph.D., Board member

School Director Dr. Thomas Jones is passionate about and committed to developing quality educational opportunities in the Horn of Africa. He believes that when children thrive at school, their families will also thrive and the future of entire communities will be positively impacted.

Dr. Jones has been at the forefront of educational development in the Horn of Africa for the past twelve years. He completed his doctoral studies in International Educational Leadership and Development with a specialization on the Horn of Africa and continues to pursue the latest knowledge in education through research in the region.


Lucy Johnson - Board member

Lucy is originally from the UK and graduated from Cambridge University with a Masters of Engineering in Sustainable Building Design. Following that she  went to Oxford University and obtained a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education).  Having taught science in a secondary school in the UK, specialising in A-level (AP) Physics and Electronics, she moved to Sudan.  In Sudan she taught Year 6 (5th Grade) at a International School, and oversaw the Primary Science curriculum.  She also volunteered at a residential programme for teenage street boys, and was involved in some other educational projects including a school start-up. She now lives in Djibouti with her husband and children.  All three of her children are students at ISD.  She is particularly interested in literacy and building design.

linda b. bruce, ed.d - board member

Dr. Bruce worked as a teacher educator for the Regis University, College of Professional Studies program and the University of Colorado, Denver, Urban Community Teacher Education program. In these programs she instructed and supervised pre-service teachers. She also facilitated a university-school partnership in an elementary school of predominately second language learners. Prior to this, she taught French in public and private schools. Her doctoral studies focused on teaching practices to foster students' intrinsic motivation. She consulted for REI in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 2001-2003. She is currently serving her second term as member of the REI Board of Directors. 

Dr. Bruce currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, Karl Bruce. Their two grown children and five grandchildren also live in the Denver Metro area.

Idris youssouf elmi, ph.d. - board member

Dr. Idris Yusuf Elmi studied literature at the Université Paul Valéry (Montpellier) and is licensed in Modern Literature. He has been a teacher, principal, school counselor, researcher-designer of textbooks for Djibouti (CRIPEN), and professor at the University of Djibouti. He enjoys poetry and writing. He just retired from his role as the country director of UNESCO and is enjoying developing businesses or consulting regionally. Dr. Elmi contributes to the board through his local knowledge of educational landscape and desire to promote English based education for the region.

diana dudzik, ph.d. - board member

Dr. Diana Dudzik is a specialist in English-as-a-foreign-language curriculum and teacher development from Minnesota, USA. Diana has worked extensively in Vietnam, Djibouti and Laos. In Djibouti, she conducted research on English policies, curriculum reform, and teacher development and evaluated the country’s middle-school English curriculum for the Djiboutian Ministry of Education. More recently, Diana led a team of Djiboutian textbook writers to create a new 12th grade English textbook, and trained teachers to use the new textbook.  Most recently, Diana has worked with the Lao medical university to write English-for-medical-purposes curriculum and materials, and with the national foreign language project of Vietnam to create blended (online and face-to-face) teacher development for the nation’s public school English teachers. As a wife, mother, grandmother, international educator, and cancer survivor, her motto is, “show up and be of use”.

John Nordmeyer - Board Member

John Nordmeyer has worked in education and development in Africa for over 30 years. Projects he directs have influenced the livelihood outcomes of thousands of refugees, at risk children and women, and internally displaced peoples. He has four children that he and his wife, Lorraine have raised in Djibouti. He contributes to ISD with his significant experience with non-profit work, logistics and shipping, and wisdom in relationship with local government.


rachel jones - board member

Rachel Jones is a prolific writer. She has raised her three children in Djibouti and contributes to ISD through marketing and first hand knowledge of expatriate life in Djibouti. Her blog, "Djibouti Jones" is a go to resource for English speaking people to access knowledge about life and work in the region.

Ayanne hassan omar - board member

Ayanne Omar is an adviser to the President of Djibouti for educational development and research. She has been instrumental in promoting the school to key local stakeholders and advising on the process of initiating private education in Djibouti. She plays a key role in the school's ongoing leadership and development.

Kirk Galster - Board member

Upon completion of a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies, Kirk received his M.S. in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. These expertise allow him to analyze complex political, legal, cultural, and strategic issues for any organization ranging from corporations, non profits, and government entities. This has equipped him to handle a variety of issues regarding risk management and strategic decision making. His ability to analyze complex issues utilizing all sources of information or data from geographic, economic, political, or cultural interaction makes him competitive in any industry. Kirk's interests are in economic development using market based solutions and his research has focused on violent conflict and it's relationship with economics.

Dr. Idriss Bexi - Board member


Dr. Bexi is an expert in geophysics. He is passionate about environmental science in the Horn of Africa and works to understand the effects of climate change on the natural resources in the region. As one of the pioneers who built Djibouti University, he lead the earth-science department in which he educated future generations of scientists. He also supports public and private sectors on natural resource management, environment policies and climate change.


Dr. Crane moved to Tunisia in August 2013 to conduct research in dual language immersion with the University of Minnesota. He has a Ph.D. in education and more than 15 years of leadership experience in education and business. He was previously the Executive Director of George Washington Academy, Morocco’s largest international school. He was also the founder and Director of the American Academy of Oujda, an English language center in Oujda, Morocco. Dr. Crane will be a key technical adviser for ISD as we grow into the future.




David Graves is Managing Director, North America for Nord Anglia Education, a network of 42 private premium K-12 international schools located in 15 countries worldwide. He oversees 11 schools in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Washington DC, Illinois, Texas, Florida and Monterrey, Mexico. He was previously CEO for Laureate Hospitality and Design Education, where he managed 13 higher education institutions in 9 countries spanning the US, Europe, China, the Middle East and Australia. David has been involved in recruiting international students to a variety of institutions in a range of countries for more than 15 years. He previously served as a Commissioner on the NEASC Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.