Mr. Shashank Vira
CEO, Global Education Management Systems
GEMS runs over 50 schools in India and abroad.
Shashank is an entrepreneur, educator, and social infrastructure financier, with three decades of experience. He has been the CEO of international companies, led private equity investments and debt financing of education, established several high quality international academic institutions, master planned and overseen the development of townships and founded technology-in-education companies.
Prior to the Hearth, Shashank was the Managing Director of the European family office and fund, Copper Beech. Before that, he established a chain of high-quality international schools. He spent several years developing education infrastructure, social-sector financing and technology, including being Sector Head at the Infrastructure Development Finance Company, and being Head of Schoolnet Research. He has a deep involvement with curriculum development and examinations in India, having been Head of Research, Development & Consultancy at the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. He has taught at the Doon School, Wellington College UK, Lady Shriram College and SOIL, and been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.
Shashank has been closely associated with curriculum reform and pedagogical innovations at the high school and undergraduate university levels in India and the UK. He has advised MHRD (Govt. of India), CISCE and CBSE, the Commonwealth of Learning, Cambridge Assessment, the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the World Bank, ILO and IFC (W). He has led the design of new university departments and curricula, including setting up innovative schools and universities and designing an international undergraduate level Liberal Arts programme.
His work in education has also included advising the Govt. of Jamaica in its Reform of Secondary Education project, and in developing a Technology in Education policy for the Govt. of Brunei. He has been on the board of governors/advisors of several the most prominent schools, colleges and universities. He chairs the development charity set up by the Rhodes Trust and Somerville College, Oxford.
Shashank received his M. Phil. from the University of Cambridge. He has also done graduate work in Physics at Brown University and holds an Honours degree (Bachelor of Science) in Physics from St. Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi, as well as professional teaching qualifications (Bachelor of Education). His schooling was mostly at the Doon School (India) and he was partly home schooled.