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IECA Professionals

Exclusive Parnterships with Selected IECA Professionals

The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is a non-profit professional association founded in 1976. It is one of the largest and most reputable educational consulting associations in the international education industry. Its members, known as independent educational consultants, provide guidance to students in applying for secondary schools, colleges, gap year programs, and other educational projects. On average, each member has visited over 150 universities and spends approximately 20% of their time annually visiting schools to ensure they have the latest knowledge about them. It has been described by Dr. William Fitzsimmons, the Dean of Admissions at Harvard University, as the "Harvard" of the consulting field.

The primary task of IECA educational consultants is to help students find schools that match their educational level, social background, and specific needs. After signing a contract with a student, the consultant works closely with them for one to four years to develop a comprehensive understanding of the student's individual circumstances. Based on this knowledge, the consultant recommends suitable schools, assists in writing impactful recommendation letters, and helps the student gain a competitive advantage during the application process. They also provide services such as interview coaching and arranging campus visits, making every effort to help students achieve admission to their desired schools.

  • Hamilton Gregg

    Senior Educational Consultant

    Since 1986, Hamilton has worked in a variety of schools in varying capacities. Having attended St. Mark’s School, a boarding School in Massachusetts, he is very familiar with boarding school life. After receiving his master degree in education from Harvard University, he has worked in three boarding schools – The Thacher School in California, The Oregon Episcopal School, Portland and the Leysin American School in Switzerland. He has also worked at international schools in Japan and South Korea, as well as the International School of Beijing as well as Harrow International School in China. Hamilton’s primary focus has been on college and university admission to institutions in the US, UK, Canada and other countries. With his experience in boarding schools in the US and overseas, Hamilton also works with families interested in exploring options for boarding school whether Junior and/or High School.

    Deeply involved in college counseling, Hamilton is a long-standing member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). He has served on the Current Trends and Future Issues Committee at of NACAC and as President of IACAC for two consecutive terms.

    Hamilton is a Professional Member of the Independent Education Consultants Association (IECA) and he currently sits on the Board of IECA. Hamilton is bound by a strict code of ethical procedures and practices. This year, Hamilton became an associate member of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).

  • LIoyd Paradiso

    Senior Educational Consultant

    Lloyd Paradiso who is the Admissions Authority has been doing this work for over forty years. It is precisely as a result of his continuous commitment to the highest standards, his tireless pursuit to comprehend the industry in its myriad manifestations and his insistence on treating every client as his number one priority, that the Admissions Authority has been a prominent choice in educational advising, in school, college and graduate program planning for over four decades.

    Mr. Paradiso's education and experience give him a framework by which he can almost instinctively assess and effectively position a candidate in the academic landscape. A product of both public and private schools during his formative years, he holds a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College, a master's degree from Middlebury College and has completed the coursework (and written examinations) for a doctorate in Educational Administration and Psychological Services at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

    Mr. Paradiso's history in the field solidifies and enhances his long-lasting relationships with many admission professionals at a vast array of institutions across the country and around the world. His knowledge, education and creativity have lead to numerous partnerships with global organizations such as Exxon Mobil, Hercules, RCA Ariola, Rockwell, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Glaxo among others. In addition to education consulting, Mr. Paradiso is an in-demand panelist, speaker and presenter. He frequently takes on various topics regarding education and consulting for audiences at educational conferences, workshops and symposia in the U.S. and around the world. He conducts in-depth corporate training seminars for international businesses to better learn and understand American business practices and he will do the same for American clients in international arenas.

    Mr. Paradiso holds membership in the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Pennsylvania Association (PACAC), the Southern Association (SACAC) and the International Association (International ACAC). A founder, past president, Committee Chair and Board member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), he holds the designation of Certified Educational Planner (CEP).

  • Ray Diffley

    Director of Character Development
    Senior Educational Consultant

    Ray began his tenure at Choate Rosemary Hall after graduating from Bowdoin College in 1991 and gaining experience in the business world. At Choate he had a distinguished 23-year career, all in admission and enrollment management. His travels across the world as an admission representative have given him a depth of perspective on education that he cherishes. He also served in multiple roles on Choate’s campus including coaching, dorm advising and several committees from curriculum to residential life. He spent the last 12 years at Choate as Director of Admission and Financial Aid. In Spring 2016 he was honored to win Choate’s Johannes Van Straalen award for distinguished teaching, given by the Choate student council.

    In 2004, Ray completed his Master’s degree at Wesleyan University, where he furthered his knowledge in human (or applicant) assessment through his study of psychology and assessment tools, including Dr. Robert Sternberg’s “Successful Intelligence.” Along the way, he gained national recognition for his work in assessment and innovative practices, giving presentations around the country as well as internationally. In 2014 he was honored with The Enrollment Management Association’s Bretnall Award for significant contributions to the admission field.

    Ray has served as Chair of The Enrollment Management Association’s (EMA) Think Tank on the Future of Assessment and Co-Chair of the development of the Character Skills Assessment while implementing unique assessments in the Choate admission process that sought to go beyond GPA and test scores. Ray’s admission passions led him to a seat on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) where he pursued raising the bar on all aspects of the role of an admission professional. In July 2016, Ray formalized his role with AISAP and served as Director of AISAP’s Center for Admission and Enrollment Management Leadership, while also working with families advising and consulting on their preparation and journey to school. In 2016, Ray also helped launch and support the Character Collaborative where he now serves on the Board. In Spring 2019, Ray launched The RD3 Education and Advising Center to serve families, schools and educational partners. With his strong belief that "partnership if the new leadership"  RD3 remains connected to partners who are highly committed to student growth while serving families and schools.

  • Patricia O’Keefe

    Senior Admission Consultant
    Chair of Global Committee at IECA

    Patricia O’Keefe is a native Californian who advises select Chinese and Japanese families on the American collegiate admissions process.  Patricia has worked in education for over 13 years and is a member of IECA, NAFSA & TABS.  After graduating from the University of Southern California (USC) with an MBA, Patricia was selected by the Dean of Admissions and Vice Provost of International Affairs to run the USC Global Office Japan.

    In Japan and Korea, Patricia was in charge of USC recruiting efforts, as well as alumni, corporate and government relations.  Patricia also worked with the USC Global Executive MBA program in Hong Kong and China.  For nearly 20 years Patricia worked in Asia and has traveled to over 52 countries throughout the world.

    Prior to USC and working in education, Patricia worked for the Walt Disney Co. in both Japan and the United States translating documents from Japanese to English.

    Patricia has a passion for foreign languages.  She studied Japanese language and culture at Keio University, Japan in 1994 and passed the highest Japanese Language proficiency exam, (JLPT Level 1) administered by the Japanese Ministry of Education in 2009.

    She studied Mandarin Chinese for two years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and passed HSK level 5 in 2012.  She also studied French at La Sorbonne University in Paris in 2001 just for fun.

    Patricia received her MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business in 2002. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from UCLA in 1989.

    Patricia understands that international students are a vital intellectual and creative addition to American universities.   She understands the vast challenges that foreign students face while studying in America and she vigilantly prepares students accordingly.

  • Ann Rossbach

    Senior Educational Consultant (College & University)
    Former President of IECA

    For over a decade, Ann has worked with a diverse group of students, assisting each in confidently engaging in the college application process. With 15 years of classroom instruction in reading, English and study skills and a master’s in teaching, Ann’s experience lends itself keenly to helping students on their educational journey.

    Ann was also elected to two Boards of Education, serving for 15 years,
12 as president. She is also trained in mediation and English as a Second Language (ESL). She is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA); she has served as IECA's President and now serves on its Foundation and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP). She is a member of NACAC, NJACAC, and SACAC and presents regularly at conferences. Her membership in these groups entitles her to up-to-the minute updates on educational trends and the ability to network with professionals across the globe.

  • Anneke A. Skidmore

    Senior Educational Consultant

    Anneke has devoted her career to boarding school admissions and extended program development. She began her career working with international students at Wilbraham and Monson Academy. Since then, she has worked extensively with both domestic and international markets for the purposes of student recruitment for ten years.

    Anneke has worked in schools in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South, providing her with a breadth of knowledge about the variety of boarding school options for students. Included on that list are the following: Oldfields School - an all girls’ school, just north of Baltimore in Maryland; The Perkiomen School - a co-educational school with a robust ESL program; St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School - a small boarding school in Tennessee, also her alma mater; and at Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, where she was the Dean of Admission and Assistant Director for Summer Session. Most recently, Anneke has been supporting the education team that is building the education ecosystem in the developing city-state of NEOM.

    In addition to her recruitment work, Anneke has contributed to her boarding school environments as a house counselor, advisor, coach, and mentor to her students. Throughout her career, Anneke has worked closely with education partners to ensure that students are placed in the best possible school for their success. Her work with partners, families, and students has been some of her most rewarding and a major reason for her interest in working with students and Shang Nancyfriends.

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