Ashley Irving has been a key figure at the forefront of Cambodia’s leading language provider, ACE Cambodia for over a decade. Under his leadership, ACE Cambodia became the first school outside Europe to win the prestigious PIEoneer Award for Language Educator of the Year in 2021. His leadership extends to roles in the international business community in Cambodia and the Southeast Asia region including 10 years on the board of Auscham Cambodia (including 3 years as President); 5 years on the board of Austcham ASEAN (including 1 year at Chair), a Governor of AmCham, and a board member of the International Business Chamber of Cambodia.
With a background in corporate banking, including serving as Associate Director at Rothschild Bank, Ashley transitioned to the English Language Teaching (ELT) industry, where he has thrived for 20 years, including international experience in Brazil and Argentina. Ashley holds degrees in mathematics, business, and linguistics, along with additional qualifications in ELT. Joining ACE in June 2012 as Principal, he brought a wealth of experience and a passion for language education. His journey from corporate banking to ESL reflects not only a professional transition but also a personal recognition of the vibrant community within the teaching profession.
Addressing the future of English in Cambodia, Ashley emphasises the significance of ASEAN integration. With ASEAN member states opening up to the free movement of goods, labour, and capital, English becomes a crucial medium of communication across the region. Ashley underscores the importance of enhancing English language skills, envisioning a future where Cambodians need proficiency beyond current levels. He highlights ACE’s proactive approach through the Business English Program (BEP), tailored to meet the challenges of ASEAN integration by providing specific vocabulary and language skills within a business context.