Who We Are
The Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools is a non-profit association of more than 100 private, independent American/international schools serving students and their families in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. For more than 50 years we have focused on promoting exemplary professional learning opportunities for educators working in our schools -- in service of improved student learning.
Currently NESA includes 40+ members plus over 130 affiliate schools and organizations in an area stretching from Libya, Egypt and Greece to India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
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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 were providing 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 continued to serve in that role until July, 2017, when Madeleine Hewitt became the new NESA Executive Director.