Cranleigh - Abu Dhabi


Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is governed by a Board of Trustees.

Representatives from two major stakeholders Aldar Properties, and Cranleigh UK make up the main Board.

  • The Principal and the Bursar (financial controller) report directly to the Board. Other senior members of staff are seconded when and as it is appropriate to do so
  • The main Board is served by two sub-committees: The Education Sub-Committee and The Development Committee (commencing September 2022)
  • There are four main Board Meetings every academic year and Sub-Committees meet as often as necessary
  • The Cranleigh UK team who have been involved in the project since its inception sits on the Education Sub-Committee and the Development Committee 


Aldar Main Board 

Chairman - Aldar Properties

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak is Chairman of Aldar Properties PSJC and prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer and Chief Portfolio Management Officer at Aldar. Mohamed has been integral to the development of Aldar’s operational businesses as well as that of the fast growing Sales & Leasing, Property & Asset Management and Facilities Management units within the organisation.

Prior to joining Aldar, he worked with the corporate and investment bank Barclays Capital in London, focusing on investment and finance in the MENA region. Mohamed is the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority as well as the Chairman of Farah Leisure (operator of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld), Aldar Academies and Imagenation. Mohamed is a graduate of Northeastern University (USA), with a double major in Economics and Political Science.

Chief Executive Officer - Aldar Investment

Jassem Saleh Busaibe

Photo of Jassem Saleh BusaibeMr. Busaibe has over 15 years of experience in the fields of finance and investment, having held a number of high profile roles at several private and public companies in Abu Dhabi.

He was most recently the CFO of SENAAT and prior to that served as CEO of Arady Properties, an investment company focused on the private equity and real estate sectors in the GCC, and was formerly Senior Vice President of Private Equities at Invest AD - the Abu Dhabi Investment Company. Prior to that, he spent seven years at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), where he worked as a Portfolio Manager focusing on European Equities. Mr. Busaibe is a CFA Charter holder and holds a M.Sc. in Finance from London Business School, UK.

Chief Investment Officer - Aldar Investment

Jahed Rahman

Photo of Jahed RahmenJahed joined Aldar Properties in January 2013 and is currently Chief Investment Officer within Aldar Investments. He has a broad range of responsibilities which includes oversight of the AED21 billion portfolio of assets with a focus on portfolio allocation as well as Aldar’s non-traditional real estate businesses (schools, hotels, leisure, real estate services and other principal investments). His team is also tasked with executing corporate and asset acquisitions/disposals and restructuring assignments. Jahed sits on the boards of Aldar Academies, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Aldar Investment Properties and Yas Experiences, and is Chairman of Aldar Hotels & Hospitality. In addition, Jahed represents Aldar Properties on the Abu Dhabi Fl Working Committee and is also an adviser to several Abu Dhabi entities on real estate investment and development related matters.
Prior to his existing role, Jahed was an Investment Banker and has over a decade of M&A and Corporate Finance experience gained at firms such as Credit Suisse and Dresdner Kleinwort in London and Dubai. 

He has a MA in Law (Jurisprudence) from the Queen’s College, Oxford University.


Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Education Committee  

Chief Education Officer - Aldar Education 

Stephen Sharples 

Stephen has worked in education for over 20 years and spent most of that time in a variety of leadership positions, including, Head of School and Principal/CEO. Stephen has supported schools and Principals in the UK, North & South America and the UAE to develop new curriculum models, introduce innovative programmes for study, train senior leaders and prepare schools for inspection. He has vast experiences in school start-ups, new school buildings and expansions and raising school performance standards.

In addition to his work in school leadership he has also been employed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation as a consultant and was made an IB Ambassador for the Europe, Africa and Middle East region. He has extensive experience of school improvement, raising standards and developing leadership capacity. He is particularly proud of having mentored several direct reports who later progressed to be successful Principals across the world.

In addition to his Bachelor’s degree, Stephen holds the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and has a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership, Management and Learning.


Deputy Chairman of Governors at Cranleigh UK

Deputy Chairman / Lawyer

Monica Fisher

Photo of Monica Fisher
In addition to her role as Deputy Chairman at Cranleigh School, Monica Fisher chairs the Education Committee and is a member of both the Finance and the Overseas Schools Committee. Monica chaired the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Committee through the development phase and maintained educational governance links. She joined the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Board in 2019.
Monica worked for Bank of America and First National Bank of Chicago in the City of London. On retirement, Monica took on various Trusteeships and Non-Executive Directorships in the corporate, public and charitable sectors.
She has an MA in Zoology from Oxford University.

Governor at Cranleigh UK

Senior Managing Director at Accenture

Simon Whitehouse

Photo of Simon J. WhitehouseSimon Whitehouse is a governor at Cranleigh School and chairs the Overseas Schools Committee, having previously chaired the school’s Risk Management Group. Simon joined the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Board in 2020. 

Simon is retiring from his position as Senior Managing Director at Accenture. He has over 25 years’ experience of consulting and transformational change in Financial Services in Accenture. Simon had specific responsibility for growth and innovation.

Simon has an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.

Director of Education - Aldar Education 

Donna McMaster 

Donna joined Aldar Education in October 2020 from West Lothian Council in Scotland, where she was Head of Education with a proven track record of implementing transformational change across a range of Education Services. Donna provided strategic leadership to almost 80 primary and secondary schools, and 70 nurseries in all aspects of Education. She has extensive experience of leading Schools, Performance and Quality Improvement teams and Professional learning teams. Donna has a wealth of experience, having started her career as a Physics Teacher before progressing into senior leadership and then three Principal posts, prior to her role as Head of Education. Donna was a member of association of Director of Education Scotland, representing all Directors on many Government boards holding a pivotal role leading change on a local and national level, including shaping and influencing the national curriculum. Donna has extensive experience in developing and implementing 3 – 18 curriculum models at school, local authority and national level. She has embraced international research and evidence-based approaches to influence the direction of travel in education for many years.

In addition, Donna was a professional Associate Inspector with Education Scotland the National Improvement agency. Donna holds an honours Degree in Physics, Scottish Qualification for Headship and Diploma in Pastoral support.

Strategic Development Director - Cranleigh International 

James Dale-Adcock 

James is Strategic Development Director at Cranleigh International. He oversees connections between Cranleigh UK and Cranleigh’s schools in Abu Dhabi and China at governance, executive, leadership and operational levels, as well as leading on new international market development for Cranleigh International. Working out of Cranleigh International’s UK based office, James is regularly in Abu Dhabi supporting the leaderships teams and working closely with the Aldar Education executive team. He is an expert in academic development, curriculum and staff recruitment and played an instrumental part in ensuring initial curriculum development at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi was successful. 

James has worked for Cranleigh for over twenty years, initially at Cranleigh’s UK Prep School where he was Deputy Head under Mike Wilson for many years, before setting up the Cranleigh International office in 2018. James holds a Geography degree from London University and PGCE. He is well known on the UK Independent Prep School circuit and is the author of the Galore Park (Hodder Education) Geography text book series. During his career James has advised on education policy within the independent sector in the UK, was an Executive Trustee and served on the Governing Body of Surrey’s first Free School, and is now a Governor at a large maintained secondary school.

Away from education James might be found indulging his other two passions of travel and motorbikes, preferably together!

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Committee Structure

To contact one of the board of trustees, please email Iman Ouazzani at [email protected]

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Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

Cranleigh - Abu Dhabi