Appointment of former New Zealand ambassador and establishment of a Vietnam HQ furthering the expansion strategy and growing regional expertise to the international education leader’s global footprint.

Sannam S4 Group, a leading international education services provider, today announced the appointment of the former New Zealand Ambassador Mr. Haike Manning as Executive Director, South East Asia, and through the acquisition of the education business of LightPath Consulting Group, acquires a presence in Vietnam.

Manning’s appointment and the acquisition of LightPath Consulting Group’s education practice bring Sannam S4 Group an established local presence in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam which immediately delivers a range of international education support services to globally ambitious education partners. Manning, in his newly-created role, will bring years of experience in diplomacy and trade negotiations to the job and will lead Sannam S4 Group’s expansion in the high-potential, fast-growing Southeast Asia region.  Manning has been based in Vietnam since 2012.

“Over the last few years, Vietnam has become the hot-ticket in the region for education opportunities from K12 through EdTech and Higher Education, given its strong demographic and economic trends.  We’ve seen an exponential rise in the number of enquiries for market entry, strategy, or operational support in the country, so I am delighted we will now have a strong offering on the ground under Haike’s leadership.  The new Ho Chi Minh City operation complements our South East Asia office in Kuala Lumpur perfectly, offering the ideal combination of a well-connected hub city to serve the wider region, with deep on the ground expertise in the most exciting individual market.” – Michael Bartlett, Sannam S4 Group Managing Director of Education 

“I am tremendously excited to be joining Sannam S4 Group, especially during its current period of rapid and ambitious global expansion,” said Manning. “Their unrivaled expertise in key markets have set an industry standard, as does the energy and dynamism of the company.”

Manning trained as a lawyer before joining the Foreign Service.  Previous offshore assignments included New Delhi as Deputy Chief of Mission for New Zealand, Acting Consul General in Shanghai, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Brazil.

Manning was also a senior trade negotiator for New Zealand at the World Trade Organization and in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. After four years working in that capacity, he was awarded an ambassadorship to Vietnam, a country Manning specifically selected due to its economic potential.

“I could see Vietnam’s compelling growth story,” Manning said, “and the opportunity to really shape New Zealand’s engagement with an emerging Vietnam.”   

During his four years as ambassador Manning saw the potential for strong educational ties between the two countries. At that time, Vietnamese students were opting to study in the US or Australia, so Manning dedicated time messaging and publicising New Zealand’s academic offer.  Vietnamese student numbers to New Zealand grew strongly in the following years.

In an acknowledgment of his efforts to promote education linkages, Manning was awarded the Official Medal for the Cause of Education by the Vietnamese government.

Manning established LightPath in 2017, inspired by a vision of building a bridge between Vietnam and international education opportunities. 

“Human resource development – education – is a critical part of the puzzle for Vietnam in terms of its future development.  There’s an amazing opportunity here to support Vietnam in its growth story through international education, and I’m honoured to play a part in this story,” said Manning. 


Leave a Reply