OUR LEADERSHIP

International Education Corporation is led by an accomplished team of educators and executives with broad experience in academics, business, and organizational leadership. IEC was founded upon the vision of making post-secondary career training and education accessible in the communities we serve. For 40 years, IEC and its subsidiaries have been driving personal and community transformation by empowering students to make a positive and enduring life change. Student success is at the heart of everything we do, led by a passionate team of executives.

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Fardad Fateri, Ph.D.

Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

Fardad Fateri has been leading IEC since early 2008. Dr. Fateri is part of a select group of chief executives in American higher education with significant experience in the imperative but rare triad of academic, operations, and business verticals. In his more than 25 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Fateri has served as a professor, department chair, dean, regional director, college president, division president, chief academic officer, board director, trustee, CEO, and chairman of several small to large sized non-profit, market funded, and privately held systems of higher education. 

Dr. Fateri has taught for many years both on-ground and online, publishes regularly on various topics, and presents frequently at regional and national conferences. He completed his undergraduate, post-graduate, doctorate and post-doctorate education at University of California Irvine, California State University, Alliant International University, and Harvard University. 

Shoukry Tiab

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Tiab is a senior executive with more than 25 years of experience in operating and expanding businesses and services for the healthcare, education and training sectors. Prior to joining IEC in 2011, he was the Chief Information Officer for Jenny Craig International, a globally-recognized weight management company. His past experience in the education field includes serving  as Chief Information Officer for Alliant International University, where he was responsible for the internal IT support process and services, including student record management systems, education web delivery, eLearning and web-integrated video conferencing. From October 2000 through June 2006, Mr. Tiab  served as the Chief Information Officer for New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. During this time he designed and deployed global education systems, including Online Live and Online Anytime. He also implemented a Learning Management System tracking the training of more than one million students.

Mr. Tiab  holds a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Systems Engineering from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University. 

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Sanjay Sardana

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Sardana is a seasoned operations and finance executive with more than 15 years of experience within the education and healthcare sectors. His experience includes high growth, turnaround, and startup businesses. He has served as IEC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2015. As CFO, Mr. Sardana oversees the accounting, audit & tax, procurement & purchasing, financial planning & analysis, treasury, student finance, real estate, information technology, call center operations, registrar services and other business support functions. Prior to joining IEC, Mr. Sardana held senior leadership positions at Carrington Colleges, DeVry University Online, and Ultimate Medical Academy. 

Before joining post-secondary career education, Mr. Sardana spent five years at The Mentor Network, a billion-dollar diversified managed healthcare services organization as the business director for the eastern United States. During his time at Mentor, he saw the organization grow from $200M to over a $1B in revenue. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Shri Ram College of Commerce from Delhi University in India.

Aaron Mortensen

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Mr. Mortensen is an accomplished attorney with over 15 years of complex litigation and in-house counsel experience. Prior to joining IEC in 2013, Aaron was an attorney at Grant, Genovese & Baratta LLP. In private practice, he oversaw matters that included complex tort, business, and real estate law, trademark and copyright litigation, product liability litigation, insurance coverage and regulation, and writs and appeals.

Aaron has extensive trial and appellate court experience, arguing before the California Courts of Appeal  and is published by the California Supreme Court. He earned his Juris Doctorate degree at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. 

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Joan Yourstone

Vice President of Career Services

Ms. Yourstone is a passionate leader with over 20 years of significant experience in career education, helping students change their lives and build futures they can be proud of. Before joining IEC in 2016, she was an executive at other large, multisite, distributed systems of post-secondary career education. Joan  started her career in higher education serving as Director of Education and she began her long-standing passion for career services as a Career Services Director, developing professional development tools and processes to serve the needs of students and graduates. Joan has expertise and experience with diploma as well as degree-level programs in the career education field. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Joanna Gut-Vargas

Vice President of Finance & Controller

Ms. Gut-Vargas is an experienced finance and accounting executive with more than 15 years of experience within the education and real estate sectors.  Prior to joining IEC in 2016 she worked for Carrington Colleges where she managed accounting and student accounts. Other previous experience includes serving as Accounting Supervisor and an Internal Auditor at Title Resource Group – Realogy Inc division, a real estate service company with over $5 billion in revenue.  She was responsible for all aspects of accounting, managing internal and SOX audits, and due diligence audits of acquisition assets.

Joanna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration specializing in Accounting from National Luis University in Chicago, an MBA at Keller Graduate School of Management, and a Master of Science degree at Keller Graduate School of Management.

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James York

Vice President of Leadership, Culture & Learning

Mr. York has served in multiple leadership roles during his 30-year career, ranging from Operations Director of Telecommunications and Production Management with AT&T, to North American Director of ISO 9000 Installation Quality Management with Lucent Technologies, Vice President of the Content Management Group at the University of Phoenix, and Chief Operations Officer for InterCoast Colleges. Mr. York joined IEC in 2006 and has served in multiple leadership roles prior to his current position.

 

James co-authored “A Culture of Excellence: The Art, Discipline and Practice of Breakthrough Leadership” with CEO Dr. Fardad Fateri. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business, a Master’s in Organizational Development, and has completed several PhD courses with emphasis on Organizational Leadership.

Kristen Torres

Vice President of Strategic Development

For the last two decades, Ms. Torres has driven excellence in private postsecondary education through a collaborative partnership style dedicated to student outcomes. Prior to joining IEC in 2021, she served in progressive leadership roles for the University of Phoenix Online, and spent 14 years at Pima Medical Institute. Her roles have varied from Admissions Management to Campus Director to Regional Director of Operations overseeing 9 campuses across the US.

 

Ms. Torres has also represented the sector as a board member of the Arizona Private School Association, having served as President and Legislative Chair. Some of her most challenging and rewarding work has been educating elected political leaders regarding the benefits of the sector both at the Arizona State Capitol and in Washington, D.C. Committed to the community, Kristen is a Valley Leadership alumna and has served on several nonprofit boards and advisory councils. In 2015, Kristen was named a top Forty-Under-40 professional by the Phoenix Business Journal. She earned a Bachelor of Arts at Pepperdine University and completed an MBA with emphasis in Global Management at the University of Phoenix.

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Rob Paul

Vice President of Operations

Mr. Paul joined IEC in 2020. He is a 28-year higher education executive, including terms as National President at DeVry University as well as Carrington Colleges Group, and 14 years in progressive leadership roles with University of Phoenix. He is driven by a passionate commitment to student success. Rob earned a Bachelor's degree in English from McDaniel College, a Master's degree in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Rob is a lifelong martial artist, holding a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Ally Vaaler

Vice President of Academic Operations

Ms. Vaaler is an Executive with more than 20 years of experience in the education and training sector. Her career accomplishments include serving in the capacities of Campus President, Dean, Director of Student Management, and Associate Director of Admissions. In 2011 Ally joined IEC as a Campus President and her strong work ethic, and demonstrated focus on student success and outcomes resulted into her promotion to Regional Vice President of Operations. She earned an MBA from American InterContinental University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Phoenix, and she is currently attending the Stanford LEAD program for Executives at Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

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Timothy Moscato

Regional Vice President of Operations, North Florida

Timothy Moscato is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in education and business operations. He joined IEC in March of 2021. Prior to IEC, Mr. Moscato served as the Vice President of Business Operations for Company Relay Resources, where he managed six business units. Other past experience includes serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chancellor of Operations for a network of private colleges with specialized training programs, and serving as the Regional Vice President at a large, multi-location university. Mr. Moscato holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Florida State University, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management.

Christa Jones

Regional Vice President of Operations, Pacific

Ms. Jones joined IEC in 2018. She has served in multiple leadership roles over the past 25+ years in the post-secondary education sector. Prior to joining IEC, she served as Vice President of New Business Development for Alta Colleges, Chief Operating Officer for American Career College and West Coast University, and as Chief Executive Officer for Brookline College. Christa earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University.  Most of all, Christa has a passion for serving students and wants to see each of them succeed.

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