ISS Appoints Inaugural Director of DEIJ

Joel Llaban Jr. will join ISS in August 2022

PRINCETON NJ, USA (January 18, 2022) – International Schools Services (ISS) announced that Joel Llaban Jr. will join the staff in August 2022 as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ). The purpose of this newly created role is to champion the importance and value of a diverse, inclusive, equitable and just culture at ISS as well as the creation and implementation of antiracist policies, practices, and programs at ISS specifically and across the international school sector more broadly. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Director of DEIJ will serve as a key partner to other ISS senior leadership team members to develop and drive DEIJ strategies across all departments and functions of ISS.

Liz Duffy, President of ISS, said, “As a global organization with a wide-reach in the international school community, we can help spark progress across the international school sector, but only if we hold ourselves accountable and model the change we aspire to effect. This role represents our long-term commitment to further our own learning and to support systemic change.”

Mr. Llaban has been recognized as an action-oriented, thought-leader in the global movement to foster inclusion, belonging and equity at international schools. He believes that DEIJ is a fundamental human protection and child safeguarding issue, our duty of care, and essential to ensuring that international schools are safe, restorative, transformative, innovative and identity sustaining and identity affirming communities. Joel contributes to and is a member of the Editorial Team of The International Educator (TIE) Online. He has also led workshops and collaborated with organizations where he is also a member such as The Association of International Educators and Leaders of Color (AIELOC), EARCOS, CIS and ISS Diversity Collaborative. He has supported a few other international schools in their initial work on DEIJ. As a member of I-DEA Board committee of the Council of International Schools (CIS), he co-developed the charter and recommendations for CIS to take actions on DEIJ.

“I am thrilled to be joining the innovative and courageous learning community of ISS. It is an organization that genuinely listens and invites BIPOCs to co-create actions,” Joel says.

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“It is our shared responsibility in this pivotal movement in international education to reflect, re-imagine, and further cultivate educational beliefs, experiences, systems and structures that are truly inclusive and equitable for all learners, so children and adults can participate, thrive, create, lead, succeed, and live and love in our most authentic selves without shedding any parts of our intersectional identities in order to fit in. It is our collective call to action and to be in solidarity with one another,” shares Joel Llaban about his outlook regarding this new ISS Director of DEIJ role.

He added, “We would love to see principles and practices of DEIJ as a de-siloed work, undergirding all elements of children’s and adults’ experiences in schools. While we collectively leverage what we know about school change, we will also co-inquire about systems of oppression, deeply reflect and understand individual and institutional harm, as well as intentionally apply identity-centered learning, anti-racism and anti-bias practices in our communities and use them as foundations for learning, transformation, and healing.”

Joel believes that “the diversity of our schools is a consequence of our beliefs, (re)imagination, and actions on inclusion, equity, and justice. When we are inclusive and equitable, when we acknowledge the systemic harm, and remove the systemic barriers for authentic and full participation; when we celebrate the abundance and harness the genius and brilliance of our intersectional identities, we will become more diverse.”

Most recently, Mr. Llaban has served as a Learning Specialist and Instructional Coach and the school-wide DEIJ lead at the International School of Kuala Lumpur. Throughout his 19 years in education, he has been engaged and led in accreditation, teaching and learning, curriculum development, and professional development at the International School of Brussels, the International School of Beijing, Cebu International School, and Paref Springdale School. He holds a Master of Education in International Education Administration from Endicott College (USA) and a Certificate of International School Leadership from the Principals Training Center (PTC). Mr. Llaban is from the Philippines and is currently based in Kuala Lumpur.

Liz Duffy reports, “There was an impressive applicant pool for this critical role, which signals its importance to the international community. I’m delighted that Joel has accepted the position and look forward to learning from him and working with him to embed best DEIJ practices in all we do at ISS.”

About International Schools Services (ISS)

As a nonprofit organization, International Schools Services (ISS) works with more than 800 international schools and tens of thousands of educators each year across its suite of services, creating the largest global footprint in international education support. Since its inception in 1955, ISS has promoted innovative best practices for global education. Core services include starting and operating student-centered, future-oriented schools; recruiting world-class educators and leaders; providing cutting-edge professional learning opportunities; sourcing essential school supplies; administering school foundations; and encouraging more diverse leadership in international schools. With offices in Princeton, NJ USA and Shenzhen, China and staff located across the globe, ISS invites all to join in making a world of difference. For more information, see iss.edu.

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