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Our Leadership Team

IDP’s global team is led by Andrew Barkla, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.

The Global Leadership Team comprises our Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Head of People Experience, Director of Corporate Development, CEO of Hotcourses and five Regional Directors.

Each Regional Director is responsible for managing the complete operations of their region.

Andrew Barkla

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Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Andrew commenced work with IDP Education in August 2015 as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. 

Refer to the Board of Directors page for a summary of Andrew’s professional credentials.


Murray Walton

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Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary

Murray joined IDP Education in March 2010 as Group Financial Controller and was appointed Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary in May 2010.

Prior to joining the Company, Murray held senior finance and management roles with Kodak Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Shanghai and was CFO Asia-Pacific until April 2008.

Murray started his finance career with Fisher & Paykel in 1978 and completed Accounting and Information Systems qualifications at the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.

Murray is a chartered accountant (CA) and a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).


Warwick Freeland

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Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director IELTS

Warwick commenced work with IDP Education in November 2008 as General Manager, Strategy and Business Development and is currently Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director IELTS, a position which he has held since July 2011.

He is responsible for strategy, acquisitions, information services, project management and IELTS.

Prior to joining the Company, Warwick worked for Carl Zeiss Vision in Germany as VP Global Product Marketing and Innovation. He has also previously worked with high-growth electronics and machine tools companies.

Warwick has also managed the Victorian Government’s economic development for Europe and North America.

Warwick holds a Graduate Diploma, Marketing from Monash University and a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) from Swinburne University of Technology.


Harmeet Pental

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Chief Operating Officer

Harmeet joined IDP Education in March 2009 and was appointed as IDP’s Chief Operating Officer in October 2017.

Harmeet has overall responsibility across IDP’s North Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Middle East, Canada, Latin America and Customer & Operations Transformation. Prior to the current appointment Harmeet served as Regional Director for South Asia, North America, UK & Network Shared Services.

Prior to joining IDP, Harmeet held general management, sales, operations & marketing roles with Avon Products across India and Vietnam, VLCC, Lakme Lever and Reckitt & Colman.

Harmeet holds an MBA and BA (Hons) in Mathematics from Delhi University.

Georgia Murphy

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Head of People Experience

Georgia joined IDP Education in April 2009 as the General Manager, People and Culture and is currently Head of People Experience.

Prior to joining the Company, Georgia served in senior human resources management roles where she was responsible for the management of complex, multi-site human resources operations, organisation development, strategic planning and change management.

Georgia holds a Masters in Business from Victoria University of Technology, a Graduate Diploma in Organisation Development from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Applied Science from RMIT.


James Cauchy

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Regional Director, Australasia

James commenced work with IDP Education in January 2008 as Regional Manager Australia and is currently Regional Director, Australasia based in Melbourne, Australia.

James is responsible for IDP Education’s onshore operation in Australia including Student Placement and IELTS. James also manages the Australian and New Zealand client relations functions as well as the web development team for IDP Education websites across its global network of countries. James is also responsible for the operation for IELTS and Student Placement in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Prior to joining the Company, James worked in operational management positions for a number of different brands at major Australian retailer Coles Myer.


Imad Chaoui

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Regional Director, Middle East and Eastern Europe

Imad commenced work with IDP Education in October 2017 as the Regional Director responsible for the company’s Middle East and Eastern Europe operations in 18 countries, he is based in Dubai.

Imad brings to IDP over 20 years of sales, commercial and general management experience from the pharmaceuticals, consumer and medical devices industries.

Before joining IDP, he worked with the Swiss healthcare company Novartis from 2009, leading several of the company’s group subsidiaries. Of these, his most recent role was as General Manager of Alcon, overseeing 13 countries across the Middle East.

Imad holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy form Chatenay-Malabry University Paris XI, and an MBA from Ecole Supérieure des Affaires in partnership with Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris.


Piyush Kumar

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Regional Director, South Asia

Piyush commenced with IDP Education in 2015 as the Country Director for India. During this tenure, Piyush led significant expansion into India, and more recently led the successful market entry into Nepal.

In October 2017, Piyush joined IDP’s Global Leadership Team (GLT) as the Regional Director for South Asia. In his role Piyush is responsible for IDP Education’s offices in six countries: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, South Korea and Mauritius.

Prior to joining IDP, Piyush was in a leadership position at SBI Cards, a joint venture between GE Capital and the State Bank of India, where he led the largest new customer acquisition channel for the business across 45 offices in India.

Piyush holds an MBA from the Symbiosis Centre For Management and Human Resource Development & an Electrical engineering degree from National Institute of Technology.


Simon Emmett

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Chief Executive Officer, IDP Connect

Simon was appointed CEO of Hotcourses Group (now IDP Connect) in 2015 having held a number of senior management roles in the business since joining in 2000.

He joined the IDP global leadership team when Hotcourses Group was acquired by the business in 2017.

Simon is based in London and leads the strategic direction and operational delivery of IDP Connect. He is also responsible for key partnerships, developing people and culture.

He graduated in Economics from the University of Warwick.


Craig Mackey

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Director, Corporate Development

Craig joined IDP Education in 2013.

As the Director of Corporate Development, Craig is involved in all aspects of strategy, M&A and investor relations.

With an investment banking background, Craig brings to IDP a broad perspective on corporate strategy and finance and leads all of the Company’s acquisitions and investments.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from The University of Melbourne and is a member of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Neil Pearson

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Chief Digital Marketing Officer

After 17 years as the Chief Technology Officer with IDP Connect (formerly The Hotcourses Group), Neil Pearson joined IDP Education as the Chief Digital Marketing Officer in 2017.

In his time at IDP Connect, Neil played a key role in moving the company from a print publication to a world-leading online student engagement and course search platform.

Since joining IDP, Neil has spearheaded the delivery of IDP’s ambitious digital strategy, including the launch of a global network of websites, and redefining how IDP connects and engages with our connected community around the world.

Neil holds a Master of Arts (Electronic Media) from Oxford Brookes University and a Bachelor of Fine Art and English from University of Exeter.

Raja Sood

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Regional Director, North Asia and Global Marketing Operations Director

Raja joined IDP Education in December 2010 as the Head Marketing & Australia Destination South Asia and was appointed Regional Director, North Asia and Global Marketing Operations Director in July 2021. 

Prior to his current role, Raja led the Global Marketing Operations and was responsible for IDP offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. 

Raja has over 17 years’ experience in sales, operations and marketing across the business, e-commerce, start-up and auto-hire industries. He worked with Indian multinational company, Berger Paints where he drove high sales growth and built brands for online travel agency Yatra.com and AVIS Rent a Car.

Raja holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Delhi University and an MBA in Finance & Marketing from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management.

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