Our History

Liger founders Trevor and Agnieszka Gile first visited Cambodia in 2002 and fell in love with the country and its people. Coming from humble beginnings in the Seattle area, Trevor recognized that the opportunities he had did not exist for those in the developing world. He believed that the big equalizer would be to provide opportunities for those who could take advantage of them. For Agnieszka, Cambodia reminded her of her home country of Poland with so many years of oppression and World War II genocide. She was determined to give the children of Cambodia this new opportunity.

Encouraged by the idea that the most effective form of aid is a hand up rather than a hand out, The Liger Charitable Foundation was formed with Liger Leadership Academy as its pilot project. In 2009, Trevor and Agnieszka began extensive research and planning to develop the concept of Liger Leadership Academy. Attracting a top-notch team of specialists from all areas of education and non-profit development, they created a new type of organization providing resources and guidance for promising children as a long-term investment to help the entire Cambodian society. The first Liger Leadership Academy was opened in 2012 and today hosts 60 students.

The Liger Timeline

September 12, 2017
Liger Speaks at HundrED Conference

Liger Leadership Academy is selected as part of HundrED’s 100 Global list of inspiring innovations. Our Director of Education, Jeff Holte, is asked to speak as an expert on education at the HundrED conference in Helsinki, Finland and the World Forum for a Responsible Economy in Lille, France.

July 12, 2017
Liger Speaks at CEE Enterprising Minds Conference

Liger Leadership Academy Country Director, Dominic Sharpe, and Director of Education, Jeff Holte, are invited to the CEE Enterprising Minds Conference in Melbourne, Australia, to sit on the panel on “Disruptive Schooling” with co-panelists Professor Richard Elmore, Professor Philippa Pattison and David Price OBE.

March 9, 2017
LLC Becomes the Liger Leadership Academy

The Liger Learning Center is renamed the Liger Leadership Academy. The Liger Charitable Foundation is reclassified as a public charity and begins operating as the Liger Leadership Academy Foundation

December 1, 2016
Liger Hosts Ministry of Education Workshop 

At the request of the Minister of Education, Liger hosts 50 Cambodian Ministry of Education officials and school directors for a workshop lead by Liger students. This workshop was held to share the Liger Learning Model and to explore ways to incorporate aspects into Cambodia government schools.

November 15, 2016
Liger Adopts Measure of Academic Progress Testing

Liger adopts Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) international standardized testing for Language Usage, Reading and Math. MAP is a key tool used by international schools as a trusted indicator of student achievement and growth.

November 9, 2016
Liger Diplomas Recognized by the Cambodian Government

Following our MOU from November 2015, the Cambodian government declares in an official government edict that Liger diplomas are now recognized not only in our MOU but embedded in Cambodian law.

August 2, 2016
The Second Liger Class Arrives   

In August, 60 new students arrive to start their first of six years at Liger.

November 1, 2015
Liger Students' Excellence is Recognized by the Cambodian Government

On November 10, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) is signed. This MOU exempts Liger students from national university qualifying tests and allows Liger International and National Diploma holders direct access to Cambodian University.

January 1, 2015
Expansion of the Liger Campus


In preparation for the arrival of the second cohort of students, The Liger Charitable Foundation purchases a plot of adjacent land for expansion and construction begins.

May 1, 2014
Recruitment of Second Class Begins

January 12, 2014
Liger Adopts WIDA

Liger becomes a member of the International School Consortium for World-class Instructional Design Assessment (WIDA) and begins implementing WIDA as its overall system for measuring English proficiency.

August 13, 2012
The First Liger Class Arrives


The first cohort of 50 students arrives on campus. These students were chosen not only on academic accomplishments but also because they exhibited the characteristics of future change agents and embodied the core values of Liger.

December 1, 2011
Liger Campus Opens


January 7, 2010
Recruitment Process Begins


The Liger recruitment team travels to 203 primary schools across Cambodia to interview 12,000 students, test 4,000 students, and select 50 students to receive a full residential scholarship.

August 13, 2009
Construction of Liger Starts


The Liger Charitable Foundation purchases land on the outskirts of Cambodia`s capital, Phnom Penh. Construction on the state of the art Liger campus begins.

July 24, 2009
The Liger Charitable Foundation Formed


The Liger Charitable Foundation is established with its first and founding project as the Liger Learning Center. The organization’s mission is to invest in the education of a promising few who can become impactful change agents. The sustainable education model is built to be able to be replicated anywhere in the world.

January 1, 2006
Charitable Research and Outreach Begins


Trevor and Agnieszka decide to invest in the youth of developing countries as a method to creating positive and lasting change. Cambodia is selected as the first investment.

January 1, 2002
Trevor And Agnieszka’s First Trip To Cambodia


Our founders, Trevor and Agnieszka Gile, first visit and fall in love with the country and its people.

The Liger Charitable Foundation was founded in July 2009 as a private foundation under 501(c)(3). In May 2017, it received approval from the IRS to be treated as a public charity looking back to January 2012. In August, it applied for a D/B/A as Liger Leadership Academy Foundation.