Near East South Asia - Council of Overseas Schools

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Who We Are

The Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools is a non-profit association of private, independent American/international schools serving students and their families in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. For 50 years we have focused on promoting exemplary professional learning opportunities for educators working in our schools — in service of improved student learning.

NESA includes Member Schools, Affiliate Schools and Affiliate Organizations in an area stretching from Egypt and Greece to India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

See our Mission, Vision & Beliefs and how we plan Professional Development.

Go to EVENTS »

NESA History

During the administration of U.S. President Kennedy in the early 1960’s, Dr. Finis Engleman (for whom NESA’s award is named) was asked to conduct a study of schools outside the United States that provided schooling for the dependents of American government offices, commercial interests and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). As a result, the U.S. State Department established its Office of Overseas Schools to provide assistance to these schools via regional associations.

Soon NESA was established as one of these regional associations. In 1964, its first by-laws were drawn up, and in 1968 it was formally incorporated as a U.S. non-profit organization, registered in the State of Delaware.

In its early years, NESA was run as a collaborative effort, with leadership rotating among the heads of schools that were part of NESA. In 1974, a part-time secretary was hired to serve the organization. In 1978, Stanley Haas was hired as NESA’s first full-time executive director. He served until his passing in 1995. His wife, Mary Anne, served as interim executive director until David Chojnacki took over the leadership of the organization in 1996. He served in that role until July 2017, when Madeleine Hewitt became the new NESA Executive Director.