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Official photo of Mr. Mark Ulfers.

The Office of Overseas Schools (A/OPR/OS) Director Thomas Shearer will retire from the Department in December of 2021. We are pleased to announce, that after an extensive search, Mr. Mark Ulfers was selected as the next Director of A/OPR/OS.  Mr. Ulfers brings decades of experience with international schools to this role. Since 2018, he has served as Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) where he led international school program development around the world.

Prior to his work with AAIE, Mr. Ulfers was an independent international school head for 31 years.  He began his overseas career at Singapore American School and later led the first American school on the island of Cyprus.  He returned to Asia at the Taipei American School, then to the Frankfurt International School in Germany and ended his school head career at the American School of Paris. We are thrilled Mr. Ulfers is joining our team and continuing to build on the important work of A/OPR/OS.

A/OPR/OS applauds Mr. Shearer’s illustrious 43-year career as an educator and administrator, which took him around the world and back again and has positively impacted so many lives.  Nine years ago, he joined the Department of State as a Regional Education Officer (REO), and in 2017 was named A/OPR/OS Office Director. Since then, he has led this office with passion, purpose, and conviction. Mr. Shearer’s knowledge of the international schools’ community is unparalleled, and his unbridled energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Mr. Shearer is a leader in every best sense of the word.

Since both gentlemen are well known in the international schools arena, the transition will be as seamless as possible. A/OPR/OS will continue to uphold the highest standards of support to our assisted schools, embassies, and diplomatic families located around the globe.

U.S. Department of State

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