logoGerman-American International School German-American International School, Deutscher Kindergarten und Deutsche Schule, San Francisco, Bay Area

Board of Directors

Board Member
The GAIS Board of Directors is the guardian of the School’s mission and has primary responsibility for overseeing the management of the school. This includes setting the annual budget, tuition and fees, contracting for facilities, hiring the head of school, teachers and staff, and supporting the administration and teachers in their operation of the school.

  • All board members are GAIS parents. Anyone can run for election. If you are a current parent and are interested in running for a seat on the Board of Directors, please contact the Secretary (currently Kristen Hughes) for additional information.
  • Half of the Directors are elected each year at the January meeting of the GAIS Members: they serve for two years, staggered terms.
  • The GAIS Board of Directors currently has eight members, including the President and the Vice President.

 

Daniel Zimmermann,
President

Daniel Zimmermann joined the Board in February 2014 as President.  Daniel grew up in Freiburg, Germany and first came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student in high school.

He permanently moved to California in 1994 to attend UCLA Law School. Daniel and his wife, Deborah Goldberg, also his high school sweetheart, have had children at GAIS without interruption since 2001. Their youngest son is currently attending elementary school.

Daniel rejoined the board after an earlier stint as Vice President from 2000 to 2002. He has also coordinated all legal matters for the School on a pro bono basis since 2000.

Daniel’s draws on his extensive experience in complex corporate transactions and venture technology issues. His experience includes advising emerging growth companies and technology startups on a variety of corporate and corporate finance matters, and counseling venture capital firms as well as global venture and private equity funds in their portfolio investments. Daniel’s practice also has an international focus that involves the regular representation of clients in global expansions and off-shore acquisitions by US companies.

Daniel also has experience working at a European law firm where he worked on private equity, capital markets and venture capital transactions in both London and Munich. Daniel is a member of the California and New York Bar Associations and the International Law Sections of the American and New York Bar Associations.

He has served as chair of the Executive Committee of the International Law Section of the State Bar of California for the 2009-2010 term.

Matthias Hausner,
Vice President

Matthias Hausner grew up in Switzerland near Basel. He moved to the Bay Area in 1997 and now lives in Belmont with his partner Davina. They have one child at GAIS.

Matthias holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from ETH in Zurich. He has worked for a number of software companies as engineer and manager, including Borland, VMware and Google. He has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010, chairing the Education Committee.

He supported the school’s administration in implementing a good balance between all aspects of the IB’s approach to learning and strong academics for all children at GAIS.

Kristen Hughes,
Secretary

Kristen Hughes and her husband, Tony Loeser, have two children at GAIS; they have been a part of the GAIS community for over 7 years. GAIS was a forgone conclusion for their family: Kristen has Austrian heritage and attended a bilingual elementary school (the French school in San Francisco); her husband Tony has German heritage; GAIS is the second-closest elementary school to their house; and most importantly, they love the educational program.

They were first attracted to the school because of the preschool and the Vorschule (Kindergarten) year. Now that both of their kids have graduated into the elementary school, they are very happy with the entire IB program, the excellent curriculum, and the teachers at GAIS.

Kristen has spent her career in high tech and venture capital, and currently manages a private investment fund. She volunteers with Collective Roots, a gardening and nutrition nonprofit, and in addition to GAIS, she serves on the boards of SwiftTest, Inc. (a technology company) and the Palo Alto Community Fund (which funds local nonprofits).

While neither Tony nor herself speak German with the kids, they appreciate the supportive academic and social environment at the school. Their children are not only growing up bilingual, but also growing and learning in an environment committed to nurturing open-minded inquirers!

Kristen’s current term will end in January 2014.

Sven Weber,
Treasurer

Sven Weber joined the Board in May 2013 and is serving as Treasurer.

As the President of SharesPost Investment Management, Sven is responsible for the management of SharesPost Funds. Before joining SharesPost, Sven served as President of SVB Capital at Silicon Valley Bank, where he managed the company’s venture capital investing business, which included direct, secondary and fund of fund investments exceeding $1.5 billion under management.

Prior to SVB Capital, Sven managed secondary investments at Cipio Partners and direct investments for Siemens. He previously had operational responsibilities at both Vodafone Germany and O2 Germany.

Sven holds a master’s degree in physics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he specialized in information technology and environmental physics.

 

Tom Siegel,
Board Member

Tom Siegel and his family have been part of the GAIS community since 2008. Over the years Tom has had the chance to work in a variety of volunteer roles across different parts of GAIS.

One of his favorite activities are the annual field trips that the school is organizing to local technology companies to educate the school’s elementary and middle school classes about the internet and IT. Making sure that kids are exposed to technology in a responsible and safe manner is important to Tom.

GAIS, with its focus on multi-lingual and IB based education is a unique and special place that Tom is excited to help prosper and grow.

He grew up in Germany but has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 10+ years. He has worked at Google leading the team that is responsible for Trust & Safety across user facing products. Tom holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering & Management from the University of Technology in Dresden / Germany, and an MBA from Stanford University.

Brooke Heckert,
Board Member

Brooke Heckert worked for GE Capital for thirteen years.  In her most recent role as VP, Global E-Commerce, Brooke was responsible for developing the strategy, securing the funding and recruiting the team to develop the Internet as a primary sales, marketing, and service channel for GE Capital’s $4.2 billion net income consumer finance business operating in 52 countries. Brooke also was responsible for the online online user experience and identity as well as cross functional integration with technology, risk, finance and operations.

Prior to this role, Brooke held a series of positions with increasing levels of responsibility within GE Capital from managing front line associates to leading growth efforts from ideation to commercialization in business development, product development, customer relationship management and e-commerce.  Brooke is certified in the six sigma and design for six sigma methodologies.

Brooke holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Information Systems & Operations Management from Indiana University.

Brooke and her husband, Michael Linse, have three children at GAIS — in preschool, first grade and the fourth grade.

Janice Bishop,
Board Member

Janice grew up in the Bay Area but has also lived in Vienna and Berlin. Her husband Lukas Gründler is from Vienna. They have two children at GAIS. The Bishop/Gründler family speaks both German and English at home, is committed to a German/English bilingual educational program, and values the multi-cultural and forward-thinking IB education offered.

Janice holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry and remote sensing from Stanford University and a PhD. in chemistry from Brown University.

She was a Humboldt Fellow at the DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Berlin and has been at the SETI Institute and NASA-Ames studying the planet Mars since 1997.

As a board member, Janice seeks to strengthen the academic programs at GAIS to make sure that all children are engaged and challenged. She is working with the staff to help teachers provide instruction at many levels in each class and increase communication between teachers and parents.

Jon Kessler,
Board Member

Jon Kessler is the Executive Chairman of $1.3 billion trust HealthEquity, managing the firm’s day-to-day operations and leading the Board of Directors.  He joined HealthEquity in 2009.  Jon is also the founder of WageWorks (NYSE: WAGE), a provider of tax-advantaged programs for consumer-directed health, commuter and other employee spending account benefits. During his tenure as chairman and CEO from 2000 through 2007, WageWorks was named to the Inc. 500 list of US private growth companies three consecutive years, growing from zero to nearly $100m in sales.

Jon was also previously a senior economist in Washington, DC, specializing in employee benefits and environmental taxation during the Clinton and Bush (Sr.) administrations, and a benefits taxation specialist at Arthur Andersen, LLP.

Jon holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.  He holds a US patent for inventions covering methods for electronically adjudicating pre-tax healthcare and other expense transactions. Jon is a board member of bank holding company Redwood Capital, of the non-partisan Employee Benefits Research Institute in Washington, and advisory board member of the Innovation in Insurance program of the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.

Dominic Liechti,
Managing Director

Ex-Officio Member

Barbara zu Putlitz,
Head of Parent Association

Ex-Officio Member