Dr Siva Kumari was appointed seventh Director General of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in January 2014, becoming the first woman to hold the post. In 2018, the IB celebrates 50 years as a multinational, not-for-profit foundation, focused on delivering the highest calibre of education for learners aged 3-19. Dr Kumari cherishes the IB’s rich history and its laudable mission, built on the belief that education can create a better world.

Dr Kumari joined the IB in April 2009 as Asia Pacific Regional Director. In May the following year she was appointed first Chief Operating Officer, with global responsibility for research, university recognition, school improvement and professional development. She also managed the relationship with schools, governments and foundations across the three IB regions: Americas, Asia Pacific, and Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

In all her roles at the IB, Dr Kumari has been steadfast in her passion for the role of teachers and heads of schools in creating a sustainable culture of holistic learning for IB students around the world. Her schools-first approach enables the IB and its committed, engaged worldwide community to develop ever more effective educational practices.

Prior to joining the IB, Dr Kumari served a 15-year tenure as the first Associate Provost for K-12 Initiatives at Rice University, USA. Reporting directly to the President and the Provost, she oversaw more than 80 outreach efforts for the university. She also served as Associate Dean, receiving critical acclaim for her work and winning several national and regional awards. Dr Kumari expanded the university’s teacher professional development programmes into the largest in the USA, and vastly increased the school’s portfolio of information technology programmes.

Her work won competitive funding from state and federal government as well as local and national foundations. In 2002, backed by funding from the US National Science Foundation, Dr Kumari created the Advanced Placement Digital Library for science teachers and served as Chair of the National Science Digital Library Conference. She has served on a wide range of local, national and international professional advisory boards and committees.

In addition to her Bachelor of Science degree, she holds a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in education. Specializing in learning and teaching on the web, she was named Outstanding Doctoral Student in 1999 for pioneering work studying USA-wide pedagogical practices of higher education faculty in online education when the internet was nascent in 1999.