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Janecke Aarnæs

Director - Universal American School of Dubai, UAE

Janecke Aarnaes, mother of two American-Norwegian boys (20 and 17) and step-mother of two Sudanese-Norwegian girls (15 and 9), is a global citizen and an international educator with more than 25 years of experience in teaching and leadership. Janecke, newly appointed Director at Universal American School of Dubai, an IB World School and a leading American international school in the region. She came to Dubai in 2017 to set up and be the Founding Head of Dwight School Dubai, also an IB World School with a strong American legacy.

Prior to that she held the position as Head of School at Oslo International School (OIS) in Norway, also a cutting-edge private K-12 co-ed IB World School. Having started as a foreign language teacher, Janecke has worked within the private educational sector, within both national and international schools in Norway, Belgium and the UAE. Janecke has held numerous leadership roles, including seven years as Head of School at Sonans Oslo, a strategic project role as Business Development Manager at the Scandinavian School of Brussels (SSB), where she also served on the Board of Governors. She was also an Officer to the College of the EFTA Surveillance Authority in Belgium, a judicial inter-governmental institution in Brussels tasked with monitoring implementation of EU legislation.

Her experience furthermore includes stints with private educational start-ups, such as the Sonans Privatgymnas, a Norwegian upper secondary school for adults, where she was the Founding Director, and for performing a demerger at SSB that resulted in the founding of the Norwegian School of Brussels (DNSB).