The Aga Khan Academies, a growing group of IB World Schools dedicated to educating the future leaders of civil society, has hired Theresa Urist to coordinate the college/university guidance process throughout the network. Theresa brings a wealth of diverse experience to the team, having worked for many years with students in both the public and private schools systems in the US.

The Aga Khan Academies is an integrated network of high quality day and boarding schools whose mission is to educate the future leaders of civil society. The ambition is for the network to grow into a global learning community of 18 schools in 14 countries across Central and South Asia and East Africa. To date, there are three Academies in operation. The first opened in 2003 in Mombasa, Kenya, the second in 2011 in Hyderabad, India, and the third in 2013 in Maputo, Mozambique. Each Academy has a small team of counsellors advising students on university options. Theresa’s role will involve coordinating these existing teams, improving information systems, and establishing a network of contacts within the admissions offices of the best universities in the world.

Society conducted a global search to identify people with experience of advising a diverse group of students, in terms of their ability, socio-economic background, nationality and subject interest. We were also mindful of the need for experience with multiple different university application systems, as Academy students matriculate to the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, among other destinations. Given the large number of scholarship students at the Academies, and the popularity of the US, we honed in on those who understood the financial aid system in the US in particular. Crucially, we wanted to find someone who was excited by the mission behind the Academies

Our longlist included 15 men and 15 women from schools in countries as diverse as the US, Canada, Lebanon, China, Hong Kong and Peru. Ultimately, on the basis of her vast experience across the public and private sectors, her networks within the admissions world, and her understanding of the financial aid process, Theresa Urist was the preferred candidate.

Theresa has a BA from Stanford and an MA from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She started her career on the other side of the desk as an Admissions Officer at Harvard, before joining Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart as Director College Guidance. Always keeping a hand in the classroom, Theresa subsequently led guidance teams at a private day school and an urban public charter school in Massachusetts.