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NIST School Directors Programme Leadership Team


Head of School

An accomplished educator and leader, Dr. James Dalziel joined NIST in 2020 after having served as Executive Director of Education, Continental Europe for GEMS World Academy, as well as Head of School at their Switzerland campus. Prior to his tenure with GEMS, he held multiple leadership roles, including founding Head of School at United World Colleges Southeast Asia (UWCSEA) – East Campus, Middle School Principal at UWCSEA – Dover Campus, and Middle School Principal at Canadian International School Singapore.

James earned two bachelor degrees: one from York University in history/philosophy and kinesiology, and one from University of Toronto in education. He has a master’s degree in educational management and a doctorate in education, both from the University of Western Australia. James also earned a Master of Business Administration with emphasis on innovation, accounting and managerial finance from the Helsinki School of Economics at Aalto University. He is joined in Bangkok by his wife Nancy, who holds the role of Director of Teaching & Learning, and their two children.


School Director

Ms. Poonam Sachdev is the Thai School Director, and she has worked in several roles in school administration since joining NIST in September 1995. Her key responsibilities include liaising and working with Thai government agencies such as the Ministry of Education, the Immigration Office and the Labour Department to ensure the school is in compliance with Thai laws. Khun Poonam earned her bachelor’s degree in commerce from Punjab University in India, a Diploma in Teaching from Suan Sunandha College in Bangkok and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Assumption University, also in Bangkok. Both of her children attended and graduated from NIST.


Elementary Principal

With a varied career that spans finance, technology and education, Elementary Principal Iain Macfarlane, a Canadian national, draws upon a wide range of skills in leading the elementary school. Upon earning his teaching qualifications, he first taught in Australia and South Korea before taking on the role of Elementary Principal at the American School of Kuwait. He then returned to South Korea, where he served as Principal at Busan Foreign School for five years before joining NIST as Elementary Principal in 2021.

Iain holds a BA (Honors) in English & Humanities from York University in Canada, a Master of Teaching from Griffith University in Australia and a Master of Science in International School Leadership from Wilkes University in the United States. He is joined in Bangkok by his wife, Angela, and their son, Jameson.


Secondary Principal

Originally from Australia, Secondary Principal Dr. Angelo Coskinas began his career as an English and history teacher in New South Wales before transitioning overseas. He took on several leadership roles in Singapore, including department head at Springfield Secondary School and Upper School Vice Principal United World College of Southeast Asia, one of the most well-known schools in Asia. Before joining NIST in 2019, his most recent position was Upper School Principal at the International School of Belgrade in Serbia.

Angelo earned a bachelor of arts and diploma of education from the University of New South Wales, followed by a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Walden University in the United States, and a Doctorate in Education Leadership and Learning from Aspen University in the United States. He and his wife Megan have two adult children who graduated from international schools.


Director of Teaching & Learning

Nancy is an experienced international educator who began teaching in Canada and has worked in Singapore, Switzerland and now Thailand. She has held many leadership positions including vice-principal, principal and head of curriculum development & research at UWC South East Asia in Singapore. 

Throughout her career, Nancy has maintained a particular interest in curriculum, assessment and how best practices maximise student learning. She is a concept-based curriculum instructor with the Lynn Erickson Institute and has served as a workshop and evaluation team leader for the International Baccalaureate. Nancy views education through a holistic lens that nurtures well-rounded individuals, prepares students for real-life challenges and cultivates responsible global citizenship. Nancy has two secondary children who attend NIST.


Director of Support Services

Australian born and educated, Lisa started her teaching career in Australia and has over 20 years’ experience as an international educator working in Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE and Thailand. As a former divisional and K-12 principal, Lisa joined NIST in 2021 as the Director of Support Services and Designated Safeguarding Lead. Her overarching responsibility includes Allied Health, Counselling, Enrichment Support and Learning Support.

With a thirst for knowledge and interest in how wellbeing underpins the realisation of potential, her post-graduate qualifications include a Master of Education degree (Gifted & Talented Education), a Master of Business degree focused on educational leadership and human resources, and a Master of Science in Coaching Psychology. Her research was entitled Why Thrive? Navigating the middle years in an international school context. Lisa and her husband have two sons, both international school graduates, who have become the next generation of young professional expatriates.