The 2019 Mary Anne Haas ISS Women’s Symposium

Symposium Attracts Delegates from 17 Countries to Focus on the Challenges for Women in Global Leadership

The 17th annual Mary Anne Haas ISS Women’s Symposium attracted more than 30 female international educators from 17 countries for an inspiring multi-day workshop focused on women’s leadership at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. This year’s delegates joined a dynamic alumnae group of nearly 400 women who have served as mentors, peer advisors, and motivators over the years for a much larger cohort of female educators and students.

“It was exciting to see how wide-reaching this event has become. There is an incredible network of alumnae, but now that community is posting and sharing their experiences on social media, the reach multiples exponentially. Young girls, rising leaders and current women leaders all benefit from the network of support and valuable dialogue,” says key organizer of the symposium, Beth Pfannl, ISS VP of Administrative Searches and Governance Services. “The short video montage really captures the spirit of the event; and participants provided their own ‘Words of Wisdom” to inspire even more women around the world.”

The symposium is made possible through the efforts of nonprofit, International Schools Services (ISS) and is supported through a generous grant from the Office of Overseas Schools at the US Department of State, as well as key sponsors. The Mary Anne Haas ISS Women’s Symposium, now in its seventeenth year, continues to be focused on helping advance women educators in leadership in international schools – as well as provide important role models to future generations of women leaders.

Workshop topics during the June 21-23, 2019 event in Princeton, NJ ranged from discussing biases that women encounter in the workplace, to leadership profiles to mindfulness to skill building; combined with several networking events to encourage even more informal coaching and experience-sharing. Rose Puffer, Superintendent of the International School of Islamabad who was recognized by AAIE as the 2019 Superintendent of the Year, gave an inspiring and insightful presentation on “The Challenges of Leadership for a Woman in the Muslim World.”

Organizers and graduates of the Mary Anne Haas ISS Symposium also host an annual Women’s Breakfast at the annual AAIE Leadership Conference (Conversation) every February and speak at regional education conferences around the world.

To stay connected with the dialogue, follow #issedu #ISSwomenlead #Wlead. For more information and/or if you are interested in being a sponsor of this event, contact or visit the ISS Women’s Leadership page.

Sponsors of the 17th Annual Mary Anne Haas Women’s Symposium

Grant: Office of Overseas Schools

Gold Level Sponsors: EARCOS – East Asia Regional Council of Schools; AAIE – Association for the Advancement of International Education

Silver Level Sponsors: NESA – Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools; GMU – The Center for International Education at George Mason University

Bronze Level Sponsors: MSA-CESS – Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools; AASSA – Assoc. of American Schools in South America; CSDA; FROSCH Travel; College Board; PA Group (Premier Assurance Group); CEESA – Central & Eastern European Schools Association; Consilience Learning; MAIS – Mediterranean Association of International Schools; AISA – Association of International Schools in Africa

About International Schools Services (ISS)

As a nonprofit organization, International Schools Services (ISS) works with more than 500 international schools and 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 launched and managed more than 110 international schools; placed approximately 50,000 educators; developed ground-breaking learning programs, such as the World Language Initiative and Level 5 Creativity & Innovation Hubs; processed about 15,000 school supply orders annually; and stewarded over 75 school foundations each year. With its headquarters in Princeton, NJ, USA and locations in China and Bahrain, ISS currently directly owns, operates, or manages nearly 20 international schools around the world and promotes innovative best practices for global education through its core services that include founding and managing student-centered, future-oriented schools; recruiting world-class educators; providing cutting-edge professional learning opportunities; sourcing essential school supplies; and stewarding school foundations. ISS staff has extensive experience in all aspects of international education, with most senior leaders having served as Heads of Schools across a variety of continents. To learn more, please visit: