Director-General, Financial Cooperation and Project Implementation DG for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bülent Özcan earned his degree in international relations from the Middle East Technical University in 1999. He then received his master’s degree in EU Economics from Marmara University’s Institute of European Studies. He was accepted to the Leadership Programme at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He joined the Ministry of EU Affairs in 2001 where he worked as an Assistant Specialist, Specialist and Coordinator, respectively. Since September 2010, he has been serving as the Director-General of Project Implementation at the Ministry of EU Affairs. As part of the EU pre-accession financial assistance provided to Turkey, he is responsible for implementing projects aimed at building the capacity of civil society in Turkey, strengthening the civil society dialogue between Turkey and EU, building the capacity of local governments, particularly governorships, during the EU membership process, and supporting EU expertise in public, university, civil society and private sector organisations. Özcan is the author of three books: EU Pre-Accession Financial Assistance to Turkey, EU Grant Programmes and Assistance to NGOs, and Project Preparation and Implementation.
Board Member, Ashoka Turkey
Altop earned her degree in international relations and development economics from Johns Hopkins University and her master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Altop worked in various companies in the USA, including the World Bank, Electronic Data Systems, IBM Credit Cooperation, Shared Medical Services, MCI and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems. After returning to Turkey, she worked as the founding partner and Secretary General of Endevaor Turkey. Altop is also a Board Member of Ashoka Turkey.
Dorman earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Boğaziçi University, master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and MBA from Harvard Business School. She previously worked in McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, Orange, France Telecom and Acıbadem Healthcare Group. Currently she is the CEO and Board Member of MV Holding and also serves as the Chairwoman of StartersHub and Board Member of KVK, Cardtek, and The LifeCo. Dorman is also a Board Member of the Mind Your Waste Foundation, Endeavor Turkey, and Women on Board Association.
Founder | Mikado Consulting & Future is Brighter (Gelecek Daha Net) Ashoka Fellow
As a social entrepreneur, Serra Titiz has been working in the field of sustainable development since 2003. Working with youth, women and professional groups across a range of NGOs in Turkey, she combined her expertise in civil society fieldwork and management with corporate social investments and sustainability, setting a model for projects that deliver high social impact.
Serra Titiz founded Mikado Consulting, not-for-profit organisation, in 2007. Mikado is a social enterprise that develops models for sustainable development. Mikado’s activities contribute to creating a responsible private sector, developing a sustainable and transparent civil society and changing the society through social innovation. The company’s core mission is to build sustainable structures and create synergy through company-NGO-educational institute-public collaborations in order to maximise social impact.
Founder, TABIT (Agricultural Information and Communication Technologies)
Tülin Akın, launched tarimsalpazarlama.com, Turkey’s first communication and e-learning network and e-commerce media in agriculture, in 2004 when she was a student. Akın created the Farmer’s Club (Çiftçi Kulübü) which provides information and services to 1.4 million farmers and their families and launched the early warning system in agriculture. She also carried out various social responsibility projects to raise water awareness and prevent tractor accidents in rural areas. Akın is an Ashoka Fellow and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2014 by the UN.
Dr. Uygar Özesmi
Founder Good4Trust |
Senior Ashoka Fellow
Civil society activist and Ashoka Senior Fellow. Founder and instigator of Good4Trust.org to create a prosumer economy for ecological and social justice. Chair of the Prosumer Economy Association.
Visiting scholar in the Department of Energy Systems at Kadir Has University and Vice Chairman of the ENIVA Foundation. Between 1989-90, Özesmi worked as an advisor to Adnan Kahveci, State Minister for Environment. He earned his master’s degree from Ohio State University as a Fulbright scholar and went on to earn his doctoral degree from Minnesota University as a MacArthur grantee. He founded the Environmental Engineering Department at Erciyes University and was the founding chairman of Doğa Derneği (Nature Association) which represents BirdLife in Turkey. He then joined the United Nations Development Programme in New York as an Environmental Specialist (2004-2006). He served as the Executive Director of the TEMA Foundation (2006-2008) and Greenpeace Mediterranean (2008-2012). In 2012, Özesmi founded Change.org in Turkey and worked as the Director for the Eastern Europe and Asia region until 2017.
Zeynep Bodur Okyay
Chairman & CEO, Kale Group
Zeynep Bodur Okyay, earned her bachelor’s degree in management engineering from Istanbul University and master’s degree in management from Harvard University. In 1995, Okyay was appointed as Executive Board Member and Chairman of Kale Group’s marketing companies. Since 2007, she has been serving as Kale Group’s Chairman and CEO. Okyay’s other active roles include: President, General Assembly, Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO); Vice Chairman, Economic Development Foundation (IKV); Board Member, Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK); Coordinating Chair, Turkey-EU Business Councils, DEIK; Chair, Turkey-Italy Business Council, DEIK; Member, Turkish Business and Industry Association (TUSIAD). In 2015, Okyay chaired the C20 (Civil 20) Steering Committee during Turkey’s G20 Presidency.
Country Director, Ashoka Turkey
In 2006, Zeynep Meydanoğlu graduated from the Department of Policy and Cultural Studies at McGill University and then started her graduate studies on human rights law at Bilgi University. For six years, Meydanoğlu worked as Programme Director at the Turkish Third Sector Foundation. Since 2012, she has been working as the Country Manager of Ashoka Turkey. Providing volunteer support to the establishment of a number of NGOs such as KAMER (Women’s Centre) and Mor Çatı (Purple Roof), Meydanoğlu is also a member of the Foundation for Civil Society Support.