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Rowan Courtney-O’Connor

Rowan Courtney-O’Connor

President & Managing Director

Board of Directors

Executive Management Group & Academic Board Member

Rowan Courtney-O’Connor is a seasoned leader in both the Higher Education and Business sectors, currently serving as the President and Managing Director of the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS). Taking on this pivotal role in 2024, alongside the Board of Directors, Rowan has been instrumental in reshaping the institution’s strategy and vision.

In 2023, a transformative journey was embarked upon, resulting in the reconstruction of the ICMS Strategic Plan for the fiscal years 2024 to 2026. The vision, aptly articulated as ‘Australia’s Leading Industry Focused University College’, reflects ICMS’s commitment to fostering excellence in education with a distinct industry focus.

The strategic objectives encompass Educational Excellence, Scholarship, Civic Leadership, Student Outcomes, Institutional Experience and Development, Financial Strength, and Global Engagement. At the foundation of this strategic framework lies the overarching purpose of ICMS: Educating students for personal success in their professional lives.

Rowan’s professional journey spans over two decades, marked by diverse leadership roles in operational management within the hospitality industry and strategic development initiatives through management agreements, buyouts, franchising, and asset leasing. His tenure with Colliers International and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries broadened his horizons in property development, including site selection, project management, feasibility studies, regulatory approvals, and land and building acquisitions.

Transitioning to the Higher Education sector over 12 years ago, Rowan’s expertise expanded to encompass strategic planning, marketing and recruitment, international development, campus operations, administration, and facilities development. His ascent within ICMS saw him become a member of the Executive Management Group in 2011, joining the Academic Board in 2016, and attaining a seat on the ICMS Board of Directors in 2024.

A proud alumnus of ICMS, Rowan holds a Diploma in Hospitality Management. His academic journey continued at Macquarie University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, and culminated at Sydney University with an Executive Master of Business Administration. Throughout his educational pursuits, Rowan reinforced the importance of belief in the vision—a principle at the core of ICMS.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Rowan brings a global perspective through international development, having extensively traveled through South East Asia, China, Europe, Russia, and the United States. His keen insights into the needs of international students led to the creation and launch of Aspire Institute and Aspire English in 2013. This initiative reflects ICMS’s commitment to providing students with diverse opportunities and pathways, aligning with the institution’s overarching vision.

As Rowan reflects on his extensive professional journey, he emphasises the enduring importance of a constructive culture. ICMS prioritises the continuous measurement of its culture, ensuring the institution upholds its values and evolves a constructive culture that propels it towards sustained excellence and to achieve its vision as ‘Australia’s Leading Industry Focused University College’.