Cheryl Ann Fernando

CEO, Pemimpin Global School Leaders


This inspiring educator works tirelessly to improve Malaysian students’ educational outcomes

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Cheryl Ann Fernando strives to ensure that all Malaysian students, no matter their socio-economic background, have equitable educational opportunities. A former volunteer teacher, Fernando won the nation’s attention with her incredible journey, leading her once non-anglophone class from a rural school in Kedah to become a top qualifier at the district-level choral speaking competition. In 2017, her inspiring story was made into a movie, Adiwiraku (My Superheroes).

She now heads Pemimpin Global School Leaders (GSL), an organisation focused on improving school leadership with the aim to improve student learning outcomes. Fernando is also part of the Ministry of Education’s National Education Policy Review committee.

In 2022, Pemimpin GSL launched the inaugural Malaysia Teacher Prize that aims to identify and celebrate the best educators in the country. The award is the Malaysian edition of the Varkey Foundation's Global Teacher Prize, launched in partnership with YTL Foundation and supported by the Malaysian Education Ministry.

Before Fernando was appointed CEO of Pemimpin GSL, she served as director of education and learning at the non-profit EduNation Malaysia. She also co-founded LitMas with her friend, a literacy programme designed to help students read and write in English.


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Imran Sulaiman

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