The Team

Meet the team behind Global University Systems.


The senior management team at Global University Systems is comprised individuals who have excelled in academia and industry. They all bring together years of invaluable experience and knowledge,  allowing us to seamlessly blend innovation and entrepreneurship with academic rigour and quality.

Aaron EtingenChief Executive Officer

Aaron Etingen is the CEO of Global University Systems. He leads a team of over 2000 employees, ensuring that innovation, creativity and a strong commitment to high standards are embedded across the group. With a background in the finance and banking sectors and strong management credentials, he led GUS from a small business school with four students to a global organisation with 75,000 students, alumni from over 150 countries and a growing presence worldwide. His leadership is one of the key reasons behind the success of the company.

Professor Maurits van RooijenChief Academic Officer

 Professor Maurits van Rooijen is Rector and Chief Academic Officer (CAO) of GUS and acting rector of GISMA Business School. He was awarded the Constance Meldrum prize for Vision and Leadership from the European Association for International Education (EAIE). 

Rob SowerbyProfessional Courses Director

Rob has taught professional and master's courses in London and internationally for over 20 years, gaining an excellent reputation for his accessible, entertaining and motivational tuition. He has been the director of the Professional School for the past four years.

Elad RachevskyVice President, Corporate Development and Capital Markets

 Elad Rachevsky, is the Vice President of Corporate Development, leading our corporate finance and acquisitions activities, working closely with Valery Kisilevsky, Group Managing Director, and Aaron Etingen, GUS CEO. With more than ten years' of experience in corporate finance, including capital markets and M&A transactions, Elad previously worked in a boutique financial advisory firm and as an investment banker at Citigroup within the Financial Sponsors team. Elad is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Macalester College with a double major in Mathematics and Economics.

Fabrizio GuccioneDeputy CEO

Fabrizio Guccione is the Deputy CEO of GUS. He works with all senior management across the business, focused on continued growth as GUS stengthens its leadership and commercial competencies.

Previously, Fabrizio acted as COO and CEO at Laureate International Universities, operating globally. Prior to that, he worked at Colgate-Palmolive in various senior marketing and sales roles, including VP of Customer Development for Canada and General Manager for Spain.

His  unique experience enables him to lead diverse, multicultural teams driving business results and implementing organizational change.

Fabrizio is fluent in Italian, Spanish and English.



Sitora AzimovaOperations Director

Sitora Azimova is Operations Director and has over 15 years of experience in managing B2B commercial operations, both in the UK and internationally.

Sitora has been with the Group since its foundation and has been instrumental in business transformation, expansion into new markets, and leads the integration of GUS’ shared services.  

Prior to working at GUS, Sitora worked extensively in the field of international executive recruitment.


Professor Andrea NollentVice-Chancellor & CEO, The University of Law

Andrea Nollent was appointed Vice-Chancellor of The University of Law in 2012, becoming CEO in 2016. She previously held academic and senior leadership positions at Sheffield Hallam University and Nottingham Trent University.

Andrea has extensive experience in professional course development across a range of disciplines and has also designed and delivered dual qualifying law degrees and legal professional training.

Other achievements include working as a Visiting Professor of Fundamental Human Rights at the University of Paris-Est.


Valery KisilevskyGroup Managing Director

 With a BA (Hons) in Political Science, Ethics, Law and Economics from the University of Toronto, MSc International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a Graduate Diploma in Law from the College of Law of England and Wales, Valery is now Group Managing Director of GUS. He works closely with Aaron Etingen, GUS’ Founder and Executive Chairman, to develop GUS' creative, driven and energetic corporate culture.

Graeme SimpsonChief Marketing Officer

Graeme Simpson has more than 12 years of experience in digital marketing. He previously aided investment specialists ADVFN, as their Head of Global Marketing, to grow from a UK-only operation to a multinational working across 16 countries. His expertise helps him to manage a marketing budget of £10 million per year at GUS. Such sizeable marketing budgets are just one resource that Graeme and his team can offer to educational institutions seeking to extend their global reach. 

Georges KnellDirector of Market Intelligence, Product Development and Strategy

Georges leads on market intelligence in view of developing new academic courses, strategies and supporting business opportunities across the group. Prior to joining the academic world, Georges held various marketing roles with multinational companies in Europe and worked closely with market research agencies. Georges holds an MBA from London Business School.

Rathakrishnan GovindGlobal Chief Executive Officer, London School of Business and Finance

Rathakrishnan Gobind is the Global CEO of LSBF Global, leading LSBF’s UK and international operations, after having been the Managing Director of the LSBF Singapore campus. Prior to that, he held senior management positions at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, as well as the Really Fun Connection, a documentary production company.  His most distinguished career achievement was with the Singaporean Armed Forces, where he held the position of Senior Special Forces Officer from 1984 to 1998. He was involved in a number of high-profile anti-terrorist operations, as well as humanitarian and rescue missions in various countries.

Cyndi McLeodCEO, Global University Systems Canada

Cyndi McLeod has dedicated her career to building intercultural understanding through international education. From 2009 until 2014, she was Vice-President of Global Advancement and Marketing & Business Development at Royal Roads University, further honing her strategic leadership abilities and expanding her global network.

Cyndi joined Global University Systems as CEO in Canada with the responsibility for the group's expansion and operations in the country, which includes University Canada West, The Language Gallery and the Toronto School of Management.



Professor Carl LygoVice Chancellor & Chief Executive Officer

Carl Lygo, Professor of Law and Barrister, is Chairman at the University of Applied Sciences Europe and Chairman of Global University Systems'  Public Affairs Committee. As well as being the former group CEO of BPP Professional Education Group, he  also founded BPP University & Turner Schools Group and he is Director HE Regulators Ofs& HEFCE.

Professor Lygo was voted one of the Top 50 Most Influential people in UK Higher Education and, Hot 100 lawyers. He won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award  by Education Investor Magazine and Association of Colleges Global Medal Winner.


Gary NarunskyChief of Financial Strategy

Gary Narunsky is the Chief of Financial Strategy for GUS. He serves as Executive Chairman for GUS Canada and heads the GUS Investment Committee.

Gary is a Board Observer of Arden University and serves on its Audit and Remuneration Committees and is also Vice Chairman and Honorary Treasurer of AMBA.Gary was the CFO and is a Partner of Grovepoint, an investment firm which operated as principal investor and investment manager. 

Before Grovepoint, Gary helped found and spent 10 years as the CFO of global education group, Cognita. Prior to that, Gary obtained an MBA from London Business School and was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch.