Premala Ponnusamy has been appointed Managing Director for Sierra Leone at the Rising Academy Network.

Founded in 2014, the Rising Academy Network’s mission is to create schools that open doors and change lives in the places that need them most. For-purpose not just for-profit, Rising provided emergency education to children kept out of school by the Ebola epidemic before opening its first school in Sierra Leone in 2015. It now runs 29 government schools across seven counties in rural Liberia and 10 schools in Sierra Leone serving families looking for a high-quality education at an affordable cost. It expects to expand to other countries in the region in 2019.

Sierra Leone is where it all started for Rising, and today they operate ten schools in Freetown with plans to build more. As the network continues to grow, there is a need for strong leadership in Sierra Leone. The incoming Managing Director will need to develop and execute a business plan while managing a lean but ambitious team and ensuring cohesion between the various units across the organisation.

Society conducted a global search across both the private and not-for-profit sectors for suitable candidates for this position. We targeted candidates with all-rounder operations competencies and experience running large teams, with a focus on, but not limited to, individuals based in Africa.

Following a rigorous selection process, Premala Ponnusamy was appointed and took up post in May. Having cut her teeth in consultancy with PwC in Malaysia and Indonesia, Premala went on to work for the Performance Management and Delivery Unit at the Prime Minister’s Office in Malaysia, before joining Delivery Associates in July 2015.

On her appointment and the recruitment process, Prem commented:

“I am very excited to be part of this remarkable organisation, working towards a goal close to my heart. The team at Rising is driven by a shared passion, to improve access to quality education in Sierra Leone. This role will bring interesting and new challenges that I am eager to take on and learn from, especially within an organisation with a strong culture of collaboration, support and togetherness. Many thanks to Shehrazade of Society for reaching out and handling the entire process so smoothly and professionally. I truly appreciate Society's approach, which aims to suit the candidate's style enabling an enjoyable and comfortable recruitment process."