Board of Directors

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

The GAIS Board of Directors currently has six voting and two ex-officio members.


Daniel Zimmermann,

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.

Read more about Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel 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.

Kristen Hughes,
Vice President

Kristen Hughes and her husband, Tony Loeser, have two children; they have been a part of the GAIS community for over 12 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.

Read more about Kristen Hughes

They were first attracted to the school because of the preschool, but stayed for the IB program, the curriculum, and the teachers at GAIS. One child has graduated GAIS, the other is entering 7th grade.

Kristen has spent her career in high tech and venture capital before going back to school to get a M.Ed. at Stanford and a science teaching credential.

While neither Tony nor Kristen 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!

Matthias Hausner,

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.

Read more about Matthias Hausner

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.

Sven Weber,

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.

Read more about Sven Weber

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.


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.

Read more about Jon Kessler

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.

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.

Read more about Brooke Heckert

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.

Dr Michael Schramm,

Ex-Officio Member

Mike began his career in the United States as an elementary school teacher and then as a teacher and coordinator of gifted and talented programs. He then embarked on an international career, holding various positions at several highly acclaimed and very large international schools.

Read more about Mike Schramm

Mike spent five years at the Singapore American School as a teacher and then Director of Curriculum and Professional Development. Next, he spent nine years at the International School in Santiago, Chile as the Assistant Elementary School Principal and then the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development. While at these schools, he helped with the consolidation of three campuses into one, led the development of long-range technology plans and led teacher development programs.

In addition to leading the Uruguayan-American School, Mike has served on accreditation teams and participates on a curriculum-writing team for International Schools. He has pursued numerous professional development courses and earned a Ed.D. while teaching in North Carolina.

Beate Teufel,
Head of GAIS Parent Association

Ex-Officio Member 

Beate Teufel was elected as President of the GAIS Parent Association for the 2015-16 school year.

Her children are currently in 6th and 4th grades and have been attending GAIS since preschool. While her family was initially attracted to the preschool with its play-based curriculum, they now value the progressive educational IB program. They love the community spirit and the engaged staff at GAIS and are committed to staying through high school.

Read more about Beate Teufel

Having grown up in Germany, Beate has an educational background in pediatric intensive care nursing and has worked in the largest neonatal intensive care unit in Germany for many years as bedside nurse, preceptor and educator. She is married to Robert, whom she met playing volleyball almost 30 years ago.

After the Bay Area became their home of choice in 1996, Beate first earned her degree in nursing and then obtained a chiropractic degree. While her children were small, she practiced part time for eight years with main focus on treating children and preventing postural injuries. After taking a family leave for a year in Germany, she now works as RN at Stanford Hospital. She volunteers with the Breast Cancer 3-Day and is active in her church community.