Director Search

With the departure of Director Steve Razidlo in Summer 2020, The American International School · Vienna has embarked on a search for a new director.

In preparation for his departure, the Executive Board has established a search committee led by current Board member Alison Shorter-Lawrence. To assist in the search, the committee has hired international educational search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates.

Search Consultants

The search committee, as its first step, has selected Carney, Sandoe & Associates as the consulting firm to conduct a national and international search for candidates. The committee will guide the search process and work closely with the search firm as candidates are named.

John Chandler from Carney Sandoe visited AIS in March. The other members of the Director Search Committee from Carney Sandoe are Art Charles and Fred Wesson.

Search Committee

  • Alison Shorter-Lawrence (Executive Board Member, Committee Chair)
  • Kirsten Detrick (Chair of the Executive Board)
  • Rudi Gabriel P (Business Manager)
  • Mischele Jamgochian (Upper School Librarian)
  • Jan Jones (Lower School Librarian)
  • Renée Carmine-Jones (Parent Representative)
  • Sirin Kont (Executive Board Member)
  • Lutz Kranz (Executive Board Member)
  • Matthew Kuyknedall (High School Teacher)
  • Debra Lechner (Curriculum Coordinator)
  • Andrey Stolyarov (Parent Representative)
  • Bernhard Zwantschko (Executive Board Member)


The goal of this section is to anticipate some questions about the search for AIS’ next Director. If you have additional questions, please contact search chair Alison Shorter-Lawrence at

Who is leading the search process?

The AIS Executive Board is responsible for selecting and hiring AIS’s next director. To facilitate the search process, the board created a search committee that will recommend a director candidate to the board. The group is comprised of parents and employees and as well as a group of board members. Recognizing that selecting our next leader is a critical milestone for the school, the board has engaged Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a leading search firm based in Boston, to serve as consultants to the search committee throughout the process. The firm has led numerous international searches and will assist the search committee in managing the search process from start to finish.

What is the role of the Search Committee?

The search committee directs the search process from start to finish. They will coordinate input from AIS’s varied constituencies – both groups and individuals, work with the search firm to craft the position statement, sort through the initial round of candidates vetted by the search firm, and organize and conduct interviews with the semifinalists. At the end of the process, the search committee will present three finalist candidates to travel to AIS to be interviewed by and then a final selection made by the AIS Executive Board. Upon confirmation of the candidate, the committee will facilitate the leadership transition and integration into the school.

What is the role of the consultant?

Carney, Sandoe & Associates provide advice to the search committee concerning format, logistics, procedure, and best practices in the search process. The consultants will gather data from the online questionnaire and conduct personal interviews to fully understand our culture and institutional needs. Then, working closely with the search committee, they will translate the school’s mission, philosophy, and objectives into a leadership profile. The consultants ensure that the position description includes the personal characteristics and style required for the new director to “fit” effectively with the AIS culture and values. The consultants interview and check references of all candidates before referring their credentials to the search committee for review. The consultants provide committee members detailed interview questions custom-designed to probe whether candidates possess the specific leadership qualities identified as required by the school. They help structure interviews, visits, and reference checks to ensure that these meet the candidates’ and the committee’s needs for information. The consultants also facilitate the flow of feedback between the candidates and the search committee.

What is the current director’s role?

Steve Razidlo’s primary focus will be continuing to lead the school and implementing existing strategic priorities until July 2020.

What is the Board’s role?

The AIS Executive Board is responsible for hiring AIS’s next director. Working closely with the search committee chair, the board assures a high level of congruence between the school’s mission, core values, challenges and opportunities for AIS, and the desired candidate profile. The Executive Board will interview the finalist candidates and will approve the appointment of AIS’s new director.

What is the faculty, staff and administration’s role?

Employees are part of the search committee. Their role is to represent the best interests of the school (not any one particular interest). AIS’s employees will remain actively engaged throughout the search, from giving feedback and commentary to the search firm during the information gathering stage to meeting finalist candidates.

What is the role of current parents?

Parents were invited to complete the online questionnaire which informed the Director's Position Description. Parents had the opportunity to meet with the consultants during the site visit and with candidates during the finalist campus visits. Throughout the search process, parents are encouraged to share their additional thoughts with the search chair via email

What is the students’ role?

Students will be asked to participate in different ways, depending upon what is most age appropriate. Groups of students were invited to meet with the consultants to offer their thoughts on qualities they would like to see in a new director and the search committee also plans to involve students to offer their insights during candidate site visits.

How long will the search take?

The search is a five-stage process, which starts with the preparation phase and ends with the transition of the new director into the school. The second phase is outreach and recruitment, where the consultants use direct solicitation as well as general announcements to identify potential candidates. Next, candidates are evaluated before, in the fourth phase, finalists visit school to meet with the Board and community. The exact timing is dependent on progress through these phases, but it is anticipated that the finalists will be invited to AIS in late May.

Candidate Profile

Click here for the position description.

Safeguarding and Child Protection
In line with emerging international school best practice, AIS Vienna maintains strong child protection policies and procedures and our school strives to provide a safe and secure environment for all students.