2023-2024 PTA Board
Chair & Secondary Liaison
Pooja was born and raised in India. She has a Masters in Business Administration. She moved to California with her husband Vikas Gupta right after their marriage. She worked at Zynga (a gaming company) in Silicon Valley as a Studio Program Manager, managing New Game Launches and Acquisitions. After living in the US for more than 15 years she moved to Berlin with her family (her children Parth- Grade 9 and Vivan- Grade 4) and their dog Koko in July 2021. She enjoys traveling, trying out new food (Vegetarian), meeting new people, and making friends. She has been actively involved with the PTA events ever since they started at BBIS. She is looking forward to the role of being the PTA co-chair and taking this opportunity to connect with more families. Do not hesitate to reach out.
Fun facts about Pooja - she is a certified Yoga teacher and loves designing her own Indian outfits and jewelry.
Michael was born and raised in Germany. He holds a Master in Business Administration. Michael spent an additional 2 years in the US while working there. He travelled the world while working for a Consulting Company as well as after joining the Management Board of Rhenus Logistics as CFO back in 2002.
Since 2021, he’s taking care of his two kids, exploring and explaining the world with them. Both are happily enrolled at BBIS, now in 4th & 5th grade. Michael enjoys structure, focus and plenty of sports.
New Families Liaison and Communications
Maya Chandrasekaran is the co-founder of a climate investment firm and author of children's books. She has grown up in Tanzania and India, studied English Literature in North America and now lives in Germany. Maya and her family (her children are in Grades 4 and 6 at BBIS) moved to Berlin and BBIS in 2022. Maya is passionate about all things green and sustainable, and excited to welcome new families to the BBIS community.
In her free time Maya enjoys traveling, joining the BBIS Bookclub meetings, doing yoga and exploring Berlin’s history, fantastic ethnic foods and neighbourhoods. Fun fact – Maya is addicted to cosy murder mysteries – is constantly re-reading her Agatha Christie collection – and a sucker for scones and clotted cream.
Primary School Liaison
Judith was born and raised in Berlin. She holds a master’s degree in business administration & management from Humboldt University Berlin, HHL Handelshochschule Leipzig and ESCP Paris. After university, and a short stop in Frankfurt, Judith and her husband Pravin moved to Zurich. What was planned as an interim stay, created a “From Zurich with Love”-story for 11 years. Their first daughter Maya was born there in 2015. In 2017, they decided it was time to move back to their roots in Berlin. In Nikolassee, they found a place for their growing family: with Mona born in 2018, and Philip born in 2022, they are a happy family of five now.
Judith has been with a global professional service firm for the last 18 years, in numerous roles and different locations. Working closely with the firms’ European leadership team for the past few years, Judith is known for her inclusive problem-solving skills and team management experience. In her free time (hmmm, with three little kids, what is ‘free time’ again?), Judith enjoys running, Yoga, tennis and playing Skat.
Fun fact: Judith and Pravin have known each other since early high-school days – he was the best friend of Judith’s older brother…the rest is history 😊
Primary & Secondary School Liaison
Eve was born and raised in Germany. She studied business administration & management and worked over 15 years as a TV anchor and correspondent in Berlin and Hamburg.
In 2011 she founded the venture capital holding quantum reality where she serves as CEO to this day. She invests in data & analytics companies, legal tech and quantum computing and therefore supports the school with a considerable donation in achieving excellence in the field of STEM. At Berlin Business Angels she joined the board of directors.
Eve lived in Palo Alto, CA for some time and founded her own legal tech company that was sold in 2018 to a group of US investors. With her 3 sons Jack, Max and Hanni she is a happy member of the BBIS community since 2012. As an entrepreneur and investor she loves Company Building, Brand Building and Venture Capital. In her free time she loves falconry in Germany.
Boarding School Liaison
Manuela, originating from Romania, has a BBIS Boarding son in grade 10 and a daughter aged 14. She shares her time between Berlin and Bucharest/ Romania. Her professional background includes a Master Degree in Economics, 10-year experience in banking system and another 10-year experience in Entrepreneurship. Manuela’s hobbies are traveling, new cultures discovering, Real Estate and reading good books.
Events & Cultural Committee Lead
Ishanka moved to Berlin from Sri Lanka as a diplomat spouse. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration (UK) and has 10 years work experience in the field of finance.
Ishanka enjoys engaging children in activities, is passionate about social work and her hobbies are cooking, making handcrafts, shopping and traveling.
Ishanka is looking forward to actively engaging in PTA activities during her stay in Berlin.
Tonya’s husband, Jude works for the US State Department. They have 2 girls, Nailani and Asha. Tonya was a stay at home mom until she applied and began working as a Rover Secretary with the State Department. Tonya and family have just moved to Berlin (2023).
Tonya is a former Contemporary Dancer who loves all things dance, fashion and traveling. She enjoys meeting new people and building community wherever she can. “Looking forward to assisting when and where I can while being on the board.”
Fun fact: Tonya has always wanted to work for the FBI or CIA. In her free time, she’ll binge watch any show on TV that has to do with solving crimes.
I am originally from the United States, born and raised in Iowa. My family came to BBIS based on the high standards of the primary education. I hold a PhD in Education in addition to having an MPA and an ED.M. in International Education Policy. Most of my life’s work is as an educator in service of others including in government, non-profit, or academia. Likewise, I have extensive international experience as both an avid traveler and lover of all things cross-cultural. A few of my favorite countries include USA, Brazil, Romania, China, Turkey, Japan, India, Germany – all places I have lived and worked. Given most of my adult life has been spent living and working abroad I like to think of myself as International, and therefore strive to provide my family with an educational environment that is based on discovery, cross cultural exchange, adventure, and kindness. I am especially interested in BBIS efforts to Go Green. I hope to support children and families to connect, have fun and learn. Moreover, during my parental leave years I retrained as a Balance Body Pilates Instructor and Mindfulness Practitioner; I love helping overstressed parent to slow down, destress, reestablish their mind body connection and find joy in movement. Please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Laura was born and raised in the United States. She has moved with her family to four countries as a member of the US Foreign Service community. She is currently CSO of a small business consulting firm, LVL-Up Strategies and serves on the RunningBrooke Board of Directors. Laura loves spending time with her husband and two girls, both BBIS students, as they travel and adventure through this amazing life.
Fun fact about Laura: “I've found that the word butterfly in any language usually ends up being my favorite word in that language. It always sounds beautiful.”
Gillian, who hails from the US (Maine), has been in Berlin for six years already, five of which she spent as a member of the PTA board, in many positions. She has a son in 11th grade, and a daughter in 9th at another Berlin school.
Gillian is (graciously) holding this position until a new "Web Guru" can be found... she was supposed to be retired from the PTA Board, but is too committed to let the website die a gruesome death. This position is very creative and flexible, and perfect for someone who has a way with words, is comfortable with tech, and is a good team player. We will get you going, training is just a couple of hours. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in this most excellent (volunteer) job. Thank you!!
Fun fact: Gillian used to be a teacher, and that's why you'll sometimes see her on campus scolding naughty children, or using her "teacher voice," or trying to organize field trips.