News: Search Associates Restructures and Welcomes New COO - Sep 19, 2016
<< Back to: Latest News | General News

Monday, September 19, 2016General News

Search Associates Restructures and Welcomes New COO

Search Associates is pleased to announce an expansion of our executive leadership team, effective August of 2017. Rajiv Bhat has accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) to oversee day-to-day operations and assist in strategic planning.  

Rajiv is an innovative leader who will bring a new level of expertise and commitment to the Search Associates team.  After nearly three decades in senior management positions at global companies, he is in his fifth year as Director of the International School of Panama (ISP).

Looking ahead, Rajiv states:

“I am excited to be joining the Search Associates team next year and, with the benefit of a background in both international business and international education, I hope not only to help SA become even more successful, but to also help it serve the cause of international education even better than it has in its stellar 26-year history."

Rajiv’s background in business and education mirrors his educational accomplishments. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics and a MA in International Relations, as well as a Masters’ diploma in Education Leadership and Management from the University of Warwick, U.K. His early career included teaching at one of the oldest and most prestigious boarding schools in India and a research stint at a think tank in New Delhi focusing on international economic issues. 

Rajiv subsequently moved into the corporate arena with Unilever, the world’s third-largest consumer goods company after  Procter & Gamble  and  Nestlé. During his 18-year career, he lived in China, Vietnam, the United States and India and worked in many different roles, including Marketing Controller, Regional Manager, Sales Director, and more.  Rajiv contributed to organizational success and change as a member on one of the early Unilever teams in China and Vietnam building the businesses in those countries as they opened up to the rest of the world. He then joined S.C. Johnson & Son and worked there from 2001 to 2011, first as Regional Sales Director, Asia and finally as Group General Manager for the Indian Sub-Continent.  In the latter position, Rajiv successfully built the business and organization from the ground up, leading nearly 700 employees across multiple countries and locations while also being part of the senior management team that oversaw international operations of the company.

After almost thirty years in the corporate world, Rajiv returned to the world of education as the Director of ISP. He brought significant positive change to the school from an educational standpoint in terms of alignment with 21st century needs, while also making its internal processes relating to business, HR and recruitment more efficient.   

Rajiv is committed to leading practically and thoughtfully—and in a manner that aligns with Search Associates’ core values. Since our founding in 1990, Search Associates has grown far beyond our wildest dreams.  In order to maintain our highest standards, we are adopting a governance structure to support a much larger organization.

President Jessica Magagna comments:

“Search Associates will always be owned by a member of the Magagna family, to ensure that our core values of finding the best teachers and offering a more personal approach are safeguarded. That said, we understand that bringing in top talent at the executive level will help us move to the next level of success. With Rajiv’s intimate knowledge of international education and business, he is the perfect fit and we are thrilled that he has agreed to join our team next year. I foresee a lot of great changes in our future, and I am excited to be a part of it."

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ralph Jahr has worked in Japan, Belgium, Liberia, the Philippines, Kuwait, Pakistan, and the Dominican Republic.