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OUR PEOPLE

OUR BOARD

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Martin E.P. Seligman

Co-Founder

Martin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focuses on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, and optimism. He is also Director of the Penn Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (MAPP). He is a best-selling author of several books, including Flourish.

 

He received the American Psychological Society’s William James Fellow Award for basic science and Cattell Award for the application of science, and two Distinguished Scientific Contribution awards from the American Psychological Association. In 1996, Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association by the largest vote in modern history. 

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Anne Johnstone

Global Chair

The Principal of Ravenswood School for Girls since 2016, Anne Johnstone is an internationally recognised educational leader renowned for her pioneering work in the field of Positive Education and the wellbeing of young people.


Anne is a founding Board Member of the national Positive Education in Schools Association (PESA) and the Chair of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN). She has also been appointed to the role of Chair of the Excellence in Leadership and Teaching Council for the Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW).

 

In 2023 The Educator announced Anne as The Most Influential Educator 2023, an award that celebrates inspirational leaders who have had a transformational impact on their students and school communities.

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Mike Buchanan

IPEN UK/Europe

Mike Buchanan is the Founder of Positively Leading, a bespoke coaching consultancy focused on understanding, improvement and fulfilment. He is also the Executive Head of Apex2100, the world’s leading school for elite skiers, and was Executive Director of HMC, the English-speaking world’s oldest association of Head Teachers. He is a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and a former school principal.

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Lim Lai Cheng

IPEN Southeast Asia

Lim Lai Cheng is Chairperson of the Singapore Positive Education Network and Co-Founder of the Global Alliance of Leading Edge Schools for Sustainability. She has extensive experience as teacher and principal in several schools, including Raffles Institution, and was involved in curriculum planning and policy development at the Singapore Ministry of Education. She is an advisor to several education foundations in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Slovakia and South Africa. She was conferred the Chevalier Dans L’ Ordre Des Palmes Academiques by the French government in 2012.

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Deborah Heisz

At-Large Member

Deborah is the co-founder, editorial director and CEO of the positive lifestyle website and magazine LiveHappy.com.  She is also Co-CEO of Neora, LLC, an international skin care and wellness company, and the author of Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy.  With more than 25 years working in and leading entrepreneurial organizations, Deborah is passionate about IPEN’s mission and contributes her expertise in strategic planning, marketing, branding and operations to the IPEN team.

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Justin Robinson

Treasurer, At-Large Member

Justin Robinson is the inaugural Director of the Institute of Positive Education, based at Geelong Grammar School, Australia.  Justin leads an experienced team dedicated to research, development and professional learning in the field of Positive Education.  He continues to inspire and empower teachers around the world to place wellbeing at the heart of education. Justin is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne and was listed in The Australian Educator’s Top 50 Hot List in 2017.  

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Sir Anthony Seldon 

President and Co-Founder 

Sir Anthony Seldon is the current Head of Epsom College and is one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors. Sir Anthony is author or editor of over 40 books on contemporary history, including the inside books on the last five Prime Ministers; Chair of the National Archives Trust; was the co-founder and first director of the Institute for Contemporary British History.

 

He is co-founder of Action for Happiness; honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street; a member of the Government’s First World War Culture Committee; was Chair of the Comment Awards; is a Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company; the President of IPEN (International Positive Education Network); is patron or on the board of several charities; founder of the Via Sacra Western Front Walk; and was executive producer of the film Journey’s End.

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Abdulla Al Karam

IPEN MENA

As Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Abdulla Al Karam has led the quality and growth of the private education sector in Dubai – including early learning centres, schools, universities and training institutes - since KHDA was established in 2007. Dr. Al Karam holds key positions across the UAE - he is chairman of the Dubai Future Education Council, and an Education Committee member of the Global Council for Happiness and Wellbeing.

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Rosalinda Ballesteros-Valdés

IPEN Latin America 

Rosalinda Ballesteros-Valdés PhD is the director for the Institute of Wellbeing Science at  Universidad Tecmilenio, considered the first Positive University. At Tecmilenio she previously held the position of Vice-president for High School Education, and designed the Positive Education Curriculum for 28 Tecmilenio High Schools (more than 15,000 students). Dr. Ballesteros-Valdés holds a PhD in Humanistic Studies by Tecnológico de Monterrey in México and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has 25 years’ experience in education and curriculum design. Dr. Ballesteros-Valdés worked extensively in peace education programs, from Education for Peace International and Peace begins with children in México.

 

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Christopher Stawski

US-IPEN

Christopher Stawski is Senior Program Director and Senior Fellow at the Kern Family Foundation  and a faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has been a program and strategy consultant and previously served for ten years at the John Templeton Foundation, where he was a Vice President. Stawski was educated at Swarthmore College, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on several non-profit boards, including as Chairman of USPEN and past Chairman of IPEN.

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Héctor Escamilla

At-Large Member

Hector Escamilla is Vice President of Development at Tecnologico de Monterrey University, a private non-for-profit university system in Mexico.  He served for almost 11 years as President of Tecmilenio University, Mexico, focused on providing the highest return on investment in education that translated into high employment rates and enhanced student wellbeing, happiness and purpose in life.  He led a team that initiated a disruptive innovation process developing a vision that embraces wellbeing for students, faculty and administrators based on the science of Positive Psychology. Martin Seligman recognized Tecmilenio University as the first Positive University in the world.

 

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Dominic A.A. Randolph

At-Large Member

Dominic A.A. Randolph was Riverdale Country School’s sixth Head of School and is a leader in the international character education movement. Prior to this Dominic served as Assistant Headmaster at The Lawrenceville School and worked in a variety of teaching and administrative roles in schools in Europe and the Middle East. He is a Co-Founder of the nonprofit educational research organisation – the Character Lab. The Character Lab is a non-profit sponsoring translational research on character strengths in schools. Dominic is a board member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium and past Chair of IPEN. 

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OUR SUPPORTORS

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Ravenswood School for Girls

Ravenswood School for Girls is a multi-award-winning Prep to Year 12 Day and Boarding school in Sydney, Australia that aims to equip and inspire girls to participate in and contribute to the evolving global society. Based in Gordon on Sydney’s North Shore, Ravenswood is one of Australia’s leading independent girls’ schools and a leader in Positive Education and Visible Wellbeing, offering holistic education with a strong academic focus. The uniqueness of the School comes from the personalized approach and concern with developing the whole person through academic, social, emotional and spiritual growth.

 

Ravenswood is proud to have been named a 5-Star Innovative School by The Educator magazine five times in six years (2018, 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023), recognized for their groundbreaking innovations in the areas of Positive Education and STEM. Ravenswood has also received multiple Excellence Awards at the Australian Education Awards (School Principal of the Year 2022,  Best Student Wellbeing Program 2022 , Boarding School of the Year 2022 and Primary School Teacher of the Year 2022).

 

Principal Mrs Anne Johnstone was selected on The Educator’s Hot List in 2022 and 2023 for innovative work in Positive Education and named on The Educator’s Most Influential Educators list in 2023 as an educator at the forefront of educational excellence in Australia.

IPEN is grateful for the support that Ravenswood School for Girls provides to our global network.

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Stuart Johnson

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Jeff Olson

Critical to the establishment and subsequent success of IPEN was the generous initial funding and resource contribution of Stuart Johnson, Founder and CEO of Success Partners and Jeff Olson, Founder and CEO of Neora LLC and Co-Founder of Live Happy,  LLC. The IPEN family thanks both these men for their belief in the importance of establishing a global network aimed at helping people to flourish.

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