Case Study: World Education Services

The mission of World Education Services (WES) is to foster the integration of persons educated in foreign countries into academic and professional settings.  Founded in 1974, WES evaluates the academic credentials of international students and immigrants who plan to continue their studies or work in the U.S. or Canada. The organization evaluates over 50,000 sets of credentials annually.

Its customers are mainly educational institutions and employers.  Its customized database, the Automated International Credential Evaluation System, contains information on the education systems of over 200 countries; 45,000 foreign schools; and 1,500 grading systems.  WES’ International Grade Point Average Calculator is an online program that converts grades from other countries into the 4.0 GPA that is typical in the United States.  World Education Services also conducts and publishes extensive research on trends in higher education from a global perspective.


World Education Services appeared to possess the potential to become dominant in the field of international credential evaluation, but to succeed, the organization needed to recruit key staff and board members with particular technological and international-business expertise.  WES’ Executive Director, acting on the recommendation of its Board Chairman who was familiar with other NESC engagements, contacted Senior Vice President Paul Barrett.  Over the last several years, Paul has performed multiple searches for this client. He particularly focuses on finding candidates with the skills needed to fulfill its strategic growth plans while at the same time being culturally compatible with the organization.


The first assignment was for a Chief Marketing Officer, followed by searches for a Chief Information Systems and Technology Officer, a Director of Finance and Administration, two C-level board members with experience in marketing and managing businesses in Asia, plus a Director of Human Resources with global expertise.  Given the nature of WES, these searches were truly global in scope.  Each was an “above and beyond” candidate with knowledge and expertise beyond normal compensation ranges.

World Education Services has been achieving its strategic objectives.  WES is significantly upgrading its proprietary technology, has roughly doubled its revenues to about $15 million annually and become the clear recognized leader in its market.


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