THE-ICE Assessment Panel Auditors

THE-ICE Assessment Panel

The independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel was first established in 2005, the Auditors being tasked with assessing the capacity and capability of prospective applicant institutions in meeting THE-ICE Standards of Excellence.

In 2008, THE-ICE recognised the global interest in its activities and the Standards of Excellence and so opened accreditation and membership to international applicants. The independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel has since evolved to include respected academics and leading industry experts with worldwide qualifications and experience, and THE-ICE Standards of Excellence now incorporate evaluation criteria for vocational, higher education, public and/or private institutions from an international perspective.

Professor Brian King

Chair & Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Professor & Head, Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University

Professor King previously held professorships at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2012–2021) before moving to the USA in early 2022. He has undertaken many audits of THE-ICE member institutions and has been involved with the centre since its original establishment.

Educated in Scotland and in Australia (PhD Monash University), Professor King has been involved in tourism and hospitality for over 30 years and has held a range of senior academic roles including being Pro Vice-Chancellor for Industry and Community and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Students. He was also head of Victoria University’s leading School of Hospitality and Tourism for over nine years (1998-2007) with the programmes under his direction winning the Australian Tourism Award for Education and Training on three occasions.

Building on industry experience acquired in airlines, tour operations and hotels, he has held Board memberships of Destination Melbourne, Ocean Spirit Cruises and Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.

His research expertise is in tourism and hospitality marketing with an emphasis on cultural dimensions, emerging Asia-Pacific markets and destinations. He has written several books on tourism marketing, resorts and tourism in the Asia–Pacific region. He has consulted extensively to international agencies on tourism marketing and workforce development and is a frequent media commentator and chair/ facilitator of industry excellence awards.

Professor King is the founder and current Editor-in-Chief of Tourism, Culture and Communication and has been Visiting Professor at universities in Italy, Fiji and the USA. He was the inaugural Chair of THE-ICE from 2008 to 2010, a recipient of the Fellow of THE-ICE Award 2012, an elected fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (IAST) and of the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE).

Professor (FH) Mag. Eva Werner, Hon. Prof.

Deputy Chair & Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Rector Emeritus – QA Expert, Austria

Professor (FH) Mag Eva Werner served as Chair of THE-ICE Board from 2013 – 2018 and remains an Auditor on the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel. Her professional experience comprises, among others, several years of full-time assistantship and teaching at the University of Business Administration Vienna and the Danube University Krems.

From 2005 to 2009, Eva was one of the five “Austrian Bologna Experts”, and as such actively contributed to the implementation of the Bologna process, in Austria and abroad. Her international commitment is highly recognised and was honoured in 2007 with the award of the Honorary Professorship from the Moscow International Business School (MIRBIS). In 2015, Eva was honoured by the President of the Republic of Austria with a national order in recognition of her dedicated work to develop the Austrian University of Applied Sciences Sector and her engagement in internationalisation of the sector.

Eva was in charge of the international relations network of the University from 1998 to 2010. As a result of her dedication and effort to establish an international network for the IMC Krems and anchor internationalisation as one of the institution’s key features, the IMC Krems was awarded the Diploma Supplement Label three times (in 2006, 2010 and 2013), a quality label for excellent performance according to the Bologna structures.

Since January 2010, Professor Werner has been Rector of the IMC Krems, responsible, among others, for the development of degree programmes and quality assurance and quality enhancement of the degree programmes on offer at the IMC Krems. In January 2017, Eva Werner started her third term as rector having been re-elected twice. Since 2008, Eva has been in charge of the International Committee of the Association of the Universities of Applied Sciences, Austria, and as such represents and coordinates the activities of the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences, both on national and international level. Since 2012, Eva has also been a member of the Steering Board of the Association of the Universities of Applied Sciences Austria, a Member of working groups of the Austrian University Conference, a Member of the General Assembly of AQ Austria (the Austrian Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation), a Member of the ECA Expert Panel of the CeQuInt Project (Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation), as well as peer in international quality assurance procedures.

Eva will retire from operational university functions as of April 30th, 2019, but will remain active as expert consultant and auditor for quality assurance agencies and the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research.

Dr Andy Nazarechuk

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Former Senior Vice President of International Relations, Taylor’s University, Malaysia 


Dr Andy Nazarechuk, recently concluded four years with Taylor’s University, Malaysia, as Senior Vice President of International Relations and was also the founding Dean of the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Taylor’s University is one of Malaysia’s oldest, most successful, and reputable private educational institutions, attracting students from around the world. He was responsible for the American Degree Programme at Taylor’s University which currently has over 700 undergraduate students with 50 faculty and staff. Dr Andy used his extensive international experience to help students who seek to further their educational opportunities in the US and Canada. 

Dr Andy Nazarechuk, Past President of APacCHRIE, is a leader in both the academic and the professional worlds of hospitality development. Dr Andy, as he is known to his colleagues and students, serves on several prestigious committees, including the United Nations World Tourism Panel of Tourism Experts, Board Member for the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Centre, and on the Board for the Malaysian American Commission on Educational Exchange. He is an internationally renowned speaker, facilitating workshops, teaching courses, and addressing conferences and conventions for hotel professionals and academics on topics including strategic planning, customer service quality, human resource motivation, education, and hospitality management.

Dr Andy Nazarechuk is also a highly-respected project manager and industry consultant. His collaboration has been sought for international initiatives in countries around the world.  Dr Andy holds both a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Hospitality from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of La Verne, California. His extensive professional background in the hospitality industry includes serving from 1993 to 1999, as Director of the Hospitality Research and Development Center (HRDC), the research and service division of the Harrah Hotel College of UNLV.  Dr Andy also served as the Founding Dean of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s Singapore Campus (2005 – 2011). He designed and developed the resources and programmes for this modern, technologically advanced facility. The programme began with 35 students in 2006 and grew to over 500 students during Dr Andy’s tenure.

Professor Dr Felix Kolbeck

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Faculty of Tourism, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Professor Kolbeck is the Dean of the Munich University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Tourism. Before he came to the University in 2004, Professor Kolbeck had worked for one the largest Tourism Groups worldwide, the TUI AG in Hannover/Germany. He is experienced in tourism management, controlling, accounting and project management.

From 2007 to 2011, he represented the faculty in the transnational research project ClimAlpTour (Climate change and its impact on tourism in the alpine region), funded by the European Union.

As the Dean, he was responsible for the transition of the former ‘diplom’ degree programmes to new bachelor and master courses from 2005 to 2010. Due to this experience, he has been working internationally on programme accreditations for several accreditation companies in the recent years.

Professor Kolbeck is also involved in consultancies, lectures and projects in the area of climate change impacts on tourism.

Professor Kolbeck is a graduate economist (Diplom-Ökonom) and has a PhD in Political Sciences (Topic: Sustainable Management Systems).

Professor Kolbeck’s areas of teaching are:

  • Basics of Business Administration in Tourism
  • Management of Tourism Groups
  • Management Methods
  • Airline Management
  • International Controlling & Accounting
  • Case Studies in the Tourism Industry

Professor Jane Ali-Knight 

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Professor, Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom

Professor Jane Ali-Knight is a Professor in Festival and Event Management at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland and a Visiting Professor at Curtin University, Perth. She is currently leading and developing the festival and event subject group as well as lecturing at Universities internationally and facilitating training and development in the field.  Her core activities fall into three main areas: event and festival related programmes; research and publications and conferences, and professional events.

Professor Ali-Knight has extensive external examiner, validation- and review-panel experience at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate levels for several leading tourism & hospitality institutions in the United Kingdom. She has also won numerous commercial contracts for the delivery of professional development progress in the UK, across the Gulf regions and Singapore.

She is currently a board member of BAFA (British Arts and Festivals Association), Without Walls and Hidden Door Arts Festival and is a Fellow of the HEA and Royal Society of the Arts. A recognised academic, she has presented at major international and national conferences and has published widely in the areas of wine tourism, tourism, festival and event marketing and management. She has also edited seminal text books in the area of Festival and Event Management: International Perspectives of Festivals and Events: Paradigms of Analysis (2008); Case Studies in Festival and Event Marketing and Cultural Tourism (2006) and Festival and Event Management: An International Arts and Culture Perspective (2003).

Professor Ali-Knight’s current research interests include accessibility, inclusion and wellbeing in festivals and events, festival and event lifecycles and the growth and development of festivals and events in emerging tourism destinations. She has extensive experience in designing and delivering undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses in tourism and festival and event management both in the UK and overseas.

Dr John Fong

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

President, JF & Associates Global Consultancy

Dr John Fong is the President of JF & Associates Global Consultancy that provides consulting services for the Education industry. His experience is diverse, having lived and worked in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and the USA, where he has specialised in a variety of fields such as Hospitality & Tourism, Business Development, Corporate Communications, International Relations and Law Enforcement.

He is most passionate about Education having been the President & CEO of a University, a Professor at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, a published author and an academic reviewer for journals and textbooks.

Dr Fong is also the Past President of EuroCHRIE (European Council on Hotel Restaurant & Institutional Education), the peak academic body that represents Hospitality and Tourism Educators in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is an Auditor of THE-ICE (The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education) and was previously elected as a Board Director. A sought-after speaker and thought leader, Dr Fong was acknowledged in 2018 by URS International and AsiaOne Magazine as one of Asia’s Best CEOs.  He was also recognised by EduTECH Asia with a Leadership award in 2019.

Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Rajka Presbury

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Adjunct Associate Professor, Torrens University, Australia

Dr Presbury is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Torrens University Australia. She is the supervisor for several Higher Degree Research projects, including Guest experience in luxury accommodation; Leadership in Australian Hotels; Inclusive service in food and beverage; Disaster Management; and Digital experiences by tourists.

She has vast experience as a lecturer, course coordinator of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and extensive professional experience in the hotel sector, spanning over 40 years.

Dr Presbury has written book chapters and journal publications on sustainable development of of Tourism, Inclusive Service delivery, Mentoring and work-integrated learning, peer to peer accommodation, and service quality.

Dr Sarah Rawlinson

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Dr Sarah Rawlinson joined the University of Derby in 1998 after a career in the travel industry specialising in group travel. She was Head of the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism for over 10 years where she worked with international partners in Switzerland, The Netherlands, Botswana, Singapore, and Greece. 

Dr Rawlinson’s professional interests include the development of curriculum models that support vocational learning and provide opportunities for students to learn how to bring theory alive and link it to practical application. She has been involved in developing opportunities for students to gain as much experiential learning as part of their degree to support their professional development and provide students with experiences that support employability and prepare graduates for industry.   

Dr Rawlinson’s research interests include the demands for talented young people in the tourism and hospitality industry, the relationship between industry and higher education, the development of curriculum, work-based learning and the different use of knowledge in the workplace. She is also a reviewer for several academic journals and continues to support PhD students. 

Dr Rawlinson is an Executive Member of the Council for Hospitality Educators; a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; Trustee for the Arkwright Society, an educational charity devoted to the rescue of industrial heritage buildings at Cromford Mill; and a Trustee for the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, a registered charity established to preserve the stunning Crescent buildings in Buxton, UK and to create an inspiring visitor experience. She has also consulted with High Peak Borough Council and with Derbyshire County Council Steering Committee in the UK to advise on a tourism strategy for the county. 

Dr Stuart Jauncey

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Dean, College of Business Management – University of Doha for Science and Technology, Qatar

The College of Business Management currently has over 2,000 students supported by more than 50 faculty.  Dr Jauncey was involved in leading the transformation of this institution from a Branch Campus College to a National University.  This involved the development and accreditation of several undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Dr Jauncey is the former Managing Director of Les Roches, Switzerland, and former Dean of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai. Prior to this he was the Head of the School of Hotel and Catering Studies at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, GMIT in Ireland (2001 to 2007), where he founded the West of Ireland Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research in 2002. He also established several new degrees and academic progression routes for all students, enabling them, upon successful completion of basic cookery or other operational programmes, to progress to degree and postgraduate qualifications.

Before joining GMIT, Dr Jauncey was a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University (formerly known as Oxford Polytechnic) since 1990. He was promoted to the position of Undergraduate Programmes Director in 1995, and in 1998 he established the Centre for Environmental Studies in the Hospitality Industry, which became recognised as a centre of excellence for industry focused environmental research. Under his direction, this centre completed many research and consultancy projects including the establishment of a grading system for monitoring hotels’ compliance with environmental guidelines, and a national action plan for dealing with hospitality waste.

Dr Jauncey is a consummate hospitality professional with extensive experience in the field. Unusually, two of his early jobs involved palaces – Blenheim Palace in the United Kingdom and the Emir’s Palace in Kuwait, where he was Operations Manager.

Dr Jauncey has successfully supervised in excess of 35 Master students and two Doctoral candidates. He was the appointed external examiner for hospitality and business programs for numerous institutions and organisations including: the Henley College in Coventry, the Irish National Tourism Certification Body, Colchester Institute, East Anglia Polytechnic University, Thames Valley University, Athlone Institute of Technology, and Shannon Hotel School.

Dr Thomas Bauer

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Thomas Bauer has been involved in the hotel and tourism industry since 1971 and has travelled in some 75 countries on all continents. He has worked in Germany, Japan, Fiji, the United States, Australia and Hong Kong. He holds undergraduate degrees in Business and Tourism from Germany, a Master of Business in Tourism Development (Victoria University) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Monash University).

From 1989 to 1999 Dr Bauer was a tourism academic at Victoria University in Melbourne. From 1999 to 2011 he was Assistant Professor in Tourism in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and during 2018 he served as the Acting Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality at the University of the South Pacific where he is now and Adjunct Professor.

He is one of the leading experts on Antarctic tourism and has travelled to the region on 41 occasions as researcher, historian, naturalist, film maker, expedition guide and Zodiac driver.

Thomas has been a staunch supporter and contributor to THE-ICE from the very beginning of the organisation in 2004. He has carried out site audits for THE-ICE in many countries including Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, China, Dubai, Thailand, Australia and Fiji as well as numerous paper and Zoom audits. He is a Fellow of THE-ICE and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

He is a well-published author of several books, numerous book chapters, refereed articles, as well as refereed conference papers. Dr Bauer has been involved in tourism consultancies for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the Hong Kong Government, and for Provincial governments in mainland China. During 2021 and 2022 he is team leader for a World Bank funded Integrated Tourism Master Plan project in Indonesia.

Professor Tom Baum

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Professor of Tourism Employment, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Tom Baum is professor of Tourism Employment in the Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He recently stood down as Head of the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation and previously served as Head of The Scottish Hotel School at Strathclyde (1998-2004 and 2008-09). Prior to joining Strathclyde, Tom was Professor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management in the University of Buckingham and a senior manager with CERT, the Irish tourism training agency in Dublin. His primary and Master’s degrees are in educational development and he holds two doctorates (PhD and DLitt) from the University of Strathclyde for research in the field of tourism employment. Tom is a past President of EuroCHRIE and 2nd Vice-President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism.

Tom has worked in vocational and higher education for the hospitality and tourism industries for almost 40 years and has been responsible for the development, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of programmes at high school, TVET, undergraduate, Masters and doctorate levels, delivered in over 40 countries around the world. He has taught in colleges and universities as an adjunct in Australia, China, Estonia, Finland, Kenya, Lithuania, Spain and Switzerland. He has been external examiner to programmes and research degrees in over 25 universities and is a Visiting Professor to institutions in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales. In recent years, Tom has been a member and chair of accreditation and validation panels in Estonia, Hong Kong and Ireland.

Tom is extensively published in his core area of research, tourism and hospitality employment but also more widely on themes relating to the industry such as seasonality and small island tourism. He is author of over 10 books and 250 scientific papers in international journals. As a researcher, he is currently involved with two major international projects on urban tourism in Europe (€3m) and tourism in the blue economy (£23m) and, in the past, has held grants in collaboration with colleagues in Africa and Asia.

Emeritus Auditors

Professor Emeritus Merv Hyde, AM

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Professor and Academic Director of the International Projects Group, University of the Sunshine Coast; and Auditor of Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), Australia

Professor Merv Hyde is the Professor and Academic Director of the International Projects Group and an active educator and researcher specialising in child development in the School of Science, Education and Engineering in the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Professor Hyde held a number of senior positions at Griffith University, including that of Chair of the Academic Board and is Professor Emeritus at Griffith.

Professor Hyde has been a University Auditor for 10 years and is currently on the Register of Experts in Higher Education for the Australian Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). He is also a research assessor for the Australian Research Council (ARC), Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and the Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA). He has been a World Bank and AusAID Technical Consultant and has worked in many nations including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway.

His fields of research and teaching expertise are:


  • Inclusive education
  • Internationalisation of the curriculum
  • Child development, learning and cognition


  • Inclusive education
  • Impact evaluation of development education
  • Developmental disability, deafness and hearing loss

In 1994 Professor Hyde was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) by the Governor General for his contributions to education in Australia and Indonesia.

Associate Professor Dr Stephen J Craig-Smith

Auditor, THE-ICE Assessment Panel

Project Chair of Queensland Education Accreditation Council for Hospitality and Tourism and (Retired) Former Head of School of Tourism, University of Queensland, Australia

Inaugural and Immediate Past Chair of THE-ICE Assessment Panel, Associate Professor Stephen Craig-Smith was Head of the School of Tourism at the University of Queensland from 1988 until 2000, and from mid-2010 until his retirement in 2014. He was also Chair of Teaching and Learning, a member of the Queensland Ministerial Advisory Panel to the Minister of Education, and a member of the Hong Kong Accreditation Council.  He was made an Inaugural Fellow of the Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) for services to tourism education in 2008.

A/Professor Craig-Smith was closely involved with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) by his involvement with the Tourism Education Network Asia Pacific Education and Training Institutes in Tourism (APETIT) and was made an Honorary Professor at the Shanghai Institute of Tourism. He was also been awarded the status of Visiting Professor with the University of Victoria, British Columbia and the University of Nottingham in the UK, and a Visiting Academic Fellow with the School of Business and Marketing, Curtin University.

A/Professor Craig-Smith was a member and Project Chair of the Queensland Education Accreditation Council for Hospitality and Tourism and the Director-General’s Nominee on the Wine Industry Development Industry Development Committee with special committee reference to wine tourism.  He also worked extensively in the Pacific Islands with funding from island governments and United Nations ESCAP.

His research interests revolve around many aspects of tourism higher education such as:

  • Tourism education, especially at undergraduate level
  • Tourism development programmes in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China (Academic Advisor)
  • Urban tourism – the use of tourism for economic regeneration
  • Island tourism – Pacific and Caribbean island tourism

A/Professor Craig-Smith has conducted numerous consultancy works such as environmental management and in particular coastal environmental management in the UK, Caribbean and Australia, curriculum development at secondary school level with the Queensland State Government and at university level in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China.

As well as being an Auditor on the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel, A/Professor Craig-Smith was on THE-ICE Board of Directors from 2011 – 2014.