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Chip Barder

“Great schools have a pervasive sense of trust and a desire to get things done while still having fun.”


A Quick Summary

Over 45 years of working around the global has enabled Chip Barder to have a unique insight into the realm of international schooling today. In this show, the “Where’s Your Head At?” hosts talk with Chip about how he started his international career, his experiences and his advice for leaders and future leaders. Effective leadership, coaching, governance, the fundamentals of what makes a great school and Chip’s most meaningful professional learning experience are all discussed in this show. 


Show notes

In this episode…

Introduction for Chip Barder (3.10)

Chip’s fascinating career history (3.50)

How did you get your first job overseas? Where is Zaire?(6.00)

Good schools or great schools…what makes the difference? (8.20)

What are the key changes in education over the past 20 years? (10.50)

What are the key threads of a leader that helps them get noticed? (13.40)

Effective leaders can be vulnerable (16.25)

Chip’s most meaningful professional learning experience (17.45)

Why do we want to improve and what is the importance of balance? (19.50)

What question should we ask Chip? (21.45)

Chip’s golden pieces of advice (26.55)

How to contact Chip (29.50)



Chip Barder

Chip Barder has been an international school educator for 45 years in seven different countries, including 22 years as a Head of School. His passion for best practice in governance began in 1984 when he was asked to facilitate a board retreat at The International School of Kuala Lumpur. Since that time, he has worked with numerous boards and facilitated workshops on board governance all over the world. Most recently, in cooperation with the boards of UNIS Hanoi and AIS Johannesburg, he launched Governance As Leadership Training Institutes (GALTI), which have been annual events and have already attracted well over 500 board members from Africa, Asia and the Middle East since 2014. He has also served on numerous international organizational boards as a board member as well as board chair.