Management Team

The Wall Street English Management Team has a unique blend of people who have direct experience working with Wall Street English centers and students in a variety of roles. This experience gives our Management Team a great perspective on the needs of our global staff and most importantly our students.

We are truly a global organisation, with key management based in strategic locations around the world.

David Kedwards

Chief Executive Officer

David Kedwards became CEO of Wall Street Institute when the company was purchased by Pearson Longman LLC in August 2010. David started his career at Wall Street as the Operations Director for the company’s China operations in May 2001, and became the General Manager in China in August 2001. WSE China experienced tremendous growth under David’s guidance. He expanded the company’s presence in several key markets including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and oversaw the opening of over 45 learning centers in nine years.

Prior to joining Wall Street Institute, he worked as the UK Operations Director for KinderCare Learning Centers, the largest private childcare operator in the world. In that role he was responsible for planning and implementing the start-up of KinderCare’s UK business. He was also a founder and General Manager of Bright Horizons Day Nurseries in the UK. He has worked in business development roles for Marriott Hotels, TRW (in the aerospace industry), and Marsh Mclennan (in the insurance industry). David received his MBA from the University of Bradford and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics and Economics from the University of Lancaster, both in the UK. He also holds a Diploma in Marketing Management from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, also in the UK.

Dr. James McGowan

Chief Operating Officer

James McGowan joined WSI in 1992 as a teacher in Madrid, Spain. Since that time, Dr. McGowan has held a variety of roles within the company including Operations Manager for a Spanish franchise organization and National Service Manager in both Italy and Germany. In 2005 he assumed the role of General Manager, WSI Germany. During that time, he also served as the Vice President of European Operations. In late 2010, Dr. McGowan became the Vice President – Operations for WSI. In April 2011, he became the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Wall Street Institute, Dr. McGowan provided consultancy services for Shell UK and for a European Union funded project into mineral exploration in the Iberian peninsula in collaboration with the Spanish Geological Survey. Dr. McGowan has a Bachelor of Science with Honors Degree from Queen´s University, Belfast, Ireland; a Master in Marketing and Commercial Management from ESIC, Valencia, Spain; and a PhD from the University of Southampton, England. He is also a CELTA certified instructor of English as a foreign language. Dr. McGowan has published and presented his own research in international journals and forums.

Peter Eldridge

Finance Director

Peter joined Pearson in 2006 as part of the group control function, working across Pearson’s education, newspaper and consumer publishing businesses. Since 2009 Peter has worked within Pearson’s education business: first as the finance lead for the Global Schools team, then as the Finance Director for Pearson International’s Global Strategy and Business Development division.

He joined Wall Street English in 2012 as Group Finance Director and became the acting CFO in 2013. In that role, Peter led the finance function for Wall Street English’s global business and served as the financial partner to Wall Street’s CEO. His responsibilities spanned strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, accounting and reporting, and financial control and compliance across the WSE group, including oversight of the franchise network.

In 2014 Peter was appointed Finance Director for Pearson English Retail within the Pearson Professional line of business. This expanded role encompasses Wall Street English as well as Pearson English’s other Retail businesses.

Peter is a Chartered Accountant. He holds an MA in Ethics, Politics, and Public Policy. Peter resides in London.

Shelly Shires

Director, Product Development

Shelly joined Wall Street English in 2007 as a founding member of the newly established Product Development team. She played a key role in building formal Project Management procedures into the Wall Street English Product Development process. She has built a world-class team who manage product roadmaps for all new product creation and existing product updates. Shelly has overseen several critical product improvements and new product introductions that have helped drive the Wall Street English transformation, including the critical update to the Wall Street English core product, which is being used by our 190,000 students around the world. The products Shelly and her team develop directly help our students achieve their goals and Change their Future.

Prior to joining Wall Street Shelly held several Project Management and Technical Support roles in organizations including the Baltimore Public Library and Bally’s Total Fitness. Shelly is a certified Project Management Professional and received her PMP Certificate through the Project Management Institute. She holds a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.