Committees allow the Board of Trustees to accomplish important work with the help of a subset of smaller groups tailored to the school’s needs. To learn a little more about the Finance Committee, we asked ASD Board Chair Rashad Sinokrot a few questions.
The Finance Committee assists the Board with its fiduciary duty to manage and safeguard the finances of the school, governing with best practices for now while at the same time securing the future of generations to come.
The Finance Committee advises the Board of Trustees on supervising the annual budget and investment of the endowment through the investment committee.
The Finance Committee is comprised of representation from the Board of Trustees, ASD Administration (Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, and Finance Director), and parent volunteers who serve for a term of two years. This year we are fortunate to have ASD Parents Ms. Ruanda Oberholzer and Mr. Rallph Khoury.
The committee members have solid expertise and knowledge in the fields of finance and accounting. In addition, they assist with their relationships in the ASD community, the financial field, and Dubai in opening doors for ASD.
For the current school year:
- Formalize the Investment Committee and ensure that ASD assets are properly invested to maximize risk-adjusted returns.
- Institutionalize a sustainable annual financial aid fund to be provided to families on an annual basis. A Taskforce has been formed to build a framework through a formal committee with processes (application, adjudication, and sources of funding).
- Review ASD's housing strategy to align with the school’s long-term goals and to continue to attract the best talent while balancing the real estate market trends. (A second task force has been formed to review and advise on this.)
- Enhance finance communication strategy to all ASD stakeholders.
- Set up a finance strategy session to discuss long-term plans and review the heat-map matrix.
Some of these initiatives have a financial return and impact on the budget which can be measured by reviewing the financials. Others help facilitate the job of various ASD stakeholders to ensure we continue to take care of our community in the best way we can. We also welcome feedback.
These initiatives ensure that ASD has the resources and means both in human and financial capital to be able to deliver on our mission. When selecting partners to work with, banks to deal with, and funds to invest in, ASD core values guide our decisions and relationships.
When should the community expect feedback regarding the progress of this committee?
As you can see from above, one of the objectives for this school year is to improve communication with all ASD stakeholders. The Board and Administration hold a town hall in March every year to share the upcoming budget and tuition for the following school year. Going forward, the recommendations of the committee and task forces will be communicated to the community once approved by the Board of Directors.
The Board is very thankful for the parent volunteers who serve and advise the school on this important work. We are fortunate to have such talent available for the school to tap into.
Rashad Sinokrot is the current Chair of the ASD Board of Trustees and has been a board member since 2015. The American School of Dubai Board of Trustees is a group of volunteers dedicated to carrying out the mission of ASD and the community it serves.