Global Support Team

Dr Gerard Kho

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Gerard Kho, the visionary founder of AQUILA, brings to the helm a wealth of leadership experience spanning over 22 years in Australia and ASEAN. His distinguished career is marked by a specialisation in strategic planning, negotiation, and marketing, honed through C-level roles at publicly listed firms on NASDAQ including Property Guru, ELDERS (AUSTRALIA), Sunway Group (MALAYSIA) and Khazanah Nasional Berhad (the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malaysia) where he was instrumental in leading the growth of key strategic investments and transformation exercises. His expertise in corporate governance, cost rationalisation, and capital raising is pivotal in aligning AQUILA’s strategic initiatives.

Dr. Gerard’s profound personal commitment to ‘accessible quality education for all’ serves as the driving force behind his tireless pursuit of AQUILA’s grand vision—to make world-class education accessible for everyone in South East Asia in the coming decade.

Eugene Yeoh

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

With over two decades of experience in education and property sectors, Eugene began his professional journey with the Paramount group, an ASEAN public listed organisation . His previous leadership role as the CEO of Sri KDU, a premier group of private & international schools in Malaysia, underscores his deep understanding of the connection between education and financial stability. In his capacity as the CEO, Eugene led the entire Sri KDU community through the sale of Sri KDU Schools to TPG, a leading global alternative asset manager.

Driven by his deep passion for education and informed by his extensive experience, Eugene conceptualised the vision to instil purpose into every child’s educational journey by guiding students towards a clear sense of ‘Who I Am! – a vision that ultimately gave birth to AQUILA’s mission.

Raymond Tay

Chief Investment Officer

Raymond Tay, brings a wealth of experience in investments and strategic financial partnerships to the organisation. With a dedicated focus on the ASEAN region, he plays a pivotal role in raising capital for our initiatives. Raymond’s impressive background includes key positions at HwangDBS Investment Management, RHB Bank, and his current role as Wealth Planning Director at Phillip Capital Group, a global financial entity headquartered in Singapore and operating in 15 countries.

Raymond’s notable expertise in fund management is instrumental in ensuring adequate financial resources required to power AQUILA’s mission throughout the ASEAN region.

Lau Chin Chiean

Chief Operating Officer

Lau Chin Chiean, boasts more than 20+ years of experience. Prior to joining AQUILA, she headed the Finance Department at a private & international group of schools, within the fold of XCL Education – a prominent South East Asian K-12 education provider. Her career path encompasses a series of impactful roles including as Senior Auditor at Deloitte and in Finance at an international chain of hotels & resorts.

Her expertise in accounting and financial management is pivotal in ensuring AQUILA’s operational efficiency and financial stability. Her ability to navigate the complexities of both the educational and corporate landscape within the ASEAN region makes her an invaluable asset to our leadership team.

Pearly Ng

Executive Principal

Pearly is a seasoned education professional with nearly two decades of expertise in education management, curriculum development, school operations, and academic leadership. Currently serving as an Examiner (Biology) for Cambridge International Examinations, Pearly has left an indelible mark in various roles by consistently demonstrating her commitment to academic excellence and student success.

In her previous role as the Campus Principal in one of Malaysia’s leading schools under XCL Education SEA, Pearly adeptly orchestrated operations, marketing, and academic quality, with a strong focus on innovative curriculum development and strategic alliances. Her keen fiscal acumen significantly fuelled the school’s growth. In her past roles, Pearly showcased strategic prowess by successfully launching and marketing new academic programs, coupled with adept handling of regulatory affairs and program licensing.

Despite her prominent role in education management, Pearly remains an educator at heart, dedicated to imparting innovative teaching techniques. A fervent advocate for problem-based learning, she played a pivotal role in achieving high passing and distinction rates as a Senior Lecturer in a reputable college in Malaysia and a polytechnic in Singapore, facilitating students’ placements in renowned overseas universities.

Pearly’s influence extends beyond the classroom, as she actively participates in educational events, sharing insights on social media and serving as a panellist at various forums.

Pearly’s impactful journey reflects not only her unwavering commitment to shaping the future of education but also her dedication to ensuring that acquired skills and knowledge remain relevant for children at all times.

Rina Thiagu

Head, Commercial

With over 20 years of experience, Rina served as the Head of Marketing & Admissions at a leading K-12 education provider in Malaysia  with over 3000 students, for 15 years. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in shaping and executing comprehensive marketing, admissions, and branding strategies. Her leadership enhanced the brand image, increased student enrollment, and crafted effective sales and marketing approaches across multiple campuses.

Rina made her first significant foray into education through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the global body for professional accountants. As a dedicated professional, she held key roles in senior members’ engagement, research, development, alumni management, and training.

Rina also brings extensive experience in the media industry, which she honed in her early career where she specialised in airtime marketing and communications for 3 major television stations in Malaysia. 

Rina is committed to supporting academic management in the educational sector. Her dedication to driving excellence and innovation continues to make a lasting impact in the realms of education and commercial endeavours.

Sylvia Lam

Manager, Project & Procurement

Sylvia Lam brings over two decades of experience to the forefront of project planning, strategic sourcing, and purchasing negotiation. Her tenure at AQUILA since April 2023 demonstrates her proficiency in orchestrating procurement strategies and managing special projects to streamline operations and foster organisational growth.

Previously, as an Estates Manager with XCL Education, a regional education group in South East Asia, Sylvia managed building works, refurbishments, and the development of asset management plans. She was integral in ensuring school facilities were not only fit for purpose but also operated efficiently.

During her extensive 21-year stint at an XCL member school, Sylvia progressed through various roles, culminating as Purchasing Manager where she streamlined purchasing processes, managed budgets, and built robust vendor relationships. Her project management skills were pivotal in planning and designing space layouts for school sites.

Her adaptability and commitment to excellence in facilities advancement and school expansion projects are testaments to her invaluable contribution to the educational sector.

Valerie Lopez

Assistant Manager, Human Resource & Administration

Valerie Lopez, as the Assistant Manager for Human Resource & Administration at AQUILA, brings a wealth of experience to her role. With a career that spans over 30 years, she has honed her skills in diverse administrative and secretarial capacities. Currently, she supports the human resources and administrative functions at AQUILA, leveraging her extensive background to enhance operational efficiency and staff coordination.

Previously, Valerie has held key positions such as Personal Assistant to top executives at a prominent private & international group of schools in Malaysia , where her responsibilities included operational management and executive support. Her prior tenure as Secretary to the Medical Director at a Specialist Medical Centre equipped her with critical skills in managing medical administrative tasks.

Valerie’s professional approach is characterised by her energy, work ethic, and readiness to take on new challenges. Her excellent command of English and Malay bolsters her effectiveness in her role, making her a pivotal member of the AQUILA team.

alvin-chern-PGS-global-support team

Alvin Chern

Brand & Media Lead

Alvin Chern is a seasoned professional in media planning and strategic brand development. His expertise has been pivotal in elevating AQUILA’s brand across ASEAN. Alvin’s ability to craft and execute comprehensive brand strategies has been demonstrated through successful regional and global campaigns.

In his previous role at a renowned Digital Brand Agency, he managed significant projects for high-profile clients, showcasing his knack for aligning brand narratives with business objectives. His strategic input was also instrumental at an ASEAN education group  contributing to the brand revamp and the launch of innovative educational initiatives.

Alvin’s top-tier skills in project management and branding are integral to propelling AQUILA’s branding efforts, ensuring the organisation’s vision is effectively communicated and resonates with its audience.

Hew Yen Wen


Hew Yen Wen is a proficient accounting and corporate secretarial professional, currently working as an Administrator with the Aquila Foundation, focusing on financial and administrative management. Her career includes roles such as Senior Secretarial Executive at CO MAKER Sdn. Bhd., where she managed daily tasks, handled submissions and documents, and excelled in client and team problem-solving.

In her previous positions at several organisations, Yen Wen was responsible for preparing annual returns and resolutions, showcasing her attention to detail and organisational skills. 

Hew Yen Wen’s educational background includes a Diploma in Accounting and Business, further enhanced by various professional workshops. Her blend of experience, education, and skills makes her an integral part of the Aquila Foundation, contributing significantly to its efficient operation.