Board of Directors
The members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Founders, and confirmed by the Board of Directors, based upon their personal qualities and ability to contribute to the work of the board.
The responsibilities of the Board are:
Mrs. Aiff received training in the field of Industrial Business Management and served for ten years, along with her husband, Wolfgang, as dormitory parents and administrators at Townshend International School. During that time, she contributed significantly to the culture of the institution, bringing her love of people to the students, who benefited immensely under her care. Mrs. Aiff is known for her insights that allow her to look at complex systems and situations, and find simple and elegant solutions. She has been a board member since 2008.
After graduating from Townshend International School in 2001, and obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kings College, London, Mr. Besharati worked as a consultant for IBM, Shell, and ExxonMobil. He paused his career to pursue a Masters in Sustainable Energy from Imperial College and was then hired by BP on a career acceleration program for future company leaders.
Originally from Italy, Mr. Besharati now works at the company’s headquarters in London in their Alternative Energy department. His roles there have included Carbon Solutions Manager and Biofuels Market Analyst. He currently works for BP Southern Africa as Biofuels Project Manager.
Mr. Besharati brings to the board a rich experience in management and leadership, as well as innovation. As an alumnus of Townshend, the institution is dear to his heart. He has served on the Board since 2011.
Professor Hofmann earned a PhD in physics from Munich University, Germany and is a professor of physics at the Frankfurt Goethe-University. He has been, and still is, an active researcher in particle accelerators, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and has been a visiting professor to several universities and research laboratories in the U.S., Japan and Europe.
Aside from his professional career, he has served since 2005 as External Affairs Director of a non-profit organization with primary focus on freedom of religion.
Dr. Hofmann brings to the board his experience as a professor of higher learning; experience in dealing with international institutions, like European Union funding agencies; and experience in value building and dealing with human rights issues.
Dr. Hofmann has four children; three of whom have graduated from Townshend International School. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2008.
Ramona Reyhani has been an intimate part of Townshend International School since its establishment in 1992. As one of the two founders, she created the philosophy and constitution of the school, and has intimate knowledge of all aspects of the institution, having served as interim school director, director of finances, campus and buildings supervisor. She has now for several years served as the full-time Residential Director, on a voluntary basis.
Mrs. Reyhani was born in Tehran, and has lived in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and Austria. In 1990 she and her family moved to Czechoslovakia, which soon thereafter, with the Velvet Revolution, became the Czech Republic.
Mrs. Reyhani is the author of the book, “Simply Noble: A step-by-step guide to cultivating the best in your child”. She serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors, and has been a member of the board since the school’s founding in 1992.
Reza Reyhani, is a co-founder of Townshend International School. With degrees in mechanical engineering and political science, and training in public relations and media, Mr. Reyhani brings to the board an entrepreneurial spirit, a broad vision, and a philanthropic heart, which have helped nurture Townshend since its birth. Born in Tehran, raised in Austria, and educated in Germany, he moved to the Czech Republic in 1990 after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Here he has established companies that have developed products for such global players as Audi, Sony, and BASF. His approach to business and capacity-building in the Czech Republic have helped his employees and partners become independent in their fields of expertise, launch products in western markets, and build relationships that have lasted decades.
Mr. Reyhani is also the co-founder of the social non-profit road show, “Dawnbreakers of Europe”, the producer of the documentary film, “The New Day”, and conceptual creator of the Meditation Park for the bicentennial celebrations of Czechoslovakia, which conveyed the principle of the oneness of religions, and which was viewed by 50,000 people including President Vaclav Havel.
He has served on the Board of Directors since the founding of the school in 1992.
Ruha Reyhani is partner and strategist at Mensch, an innovation agency that implements human-centered, entrepreneurial, and collaborative approaches to help organizations in the public and private sectors. In the pursuit of collective advancement towards prosperity, her company works to foster creative culture, to accelerate innovation, and to enable clients and partners to become designers of their reality.
She is responsible for Mensch’s strategic direction as well as its business development. She brings vast experience in multi-stakeholder facilitation, collaborative practice, and has developed numerous innovation programmes. Her passion revolves around designing and implementing light-weight early-stage incubators and open innovation programs. Ruha’s previous venture was highlighted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Hillary Clinton, the White House, and won the World Bank 2011 Sustainable Development Project of the Year.
She holds an MBA in International Business and is a visiting Lecturer on leadership and innovation at Humboldt University (Berlin). She is a 1997 graduate of Townshend International School, and has been a member of the Board since 2005.