Turkey's Turn? April 10-11, 2014 The Fletcher School

Speaker Bios

*****With our agenda and list of participants still evolving, please note that new speakers and participants will be added as they are confirmed*****

Faculty Chairs

Zeynep Bulutgil, Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Malik Mufti, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department, Tufts University

Soli Ozel, Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Istanbul Kadir Has University

Elizabeth Prodromou, Visiting Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Arthur Sculley, Senior Fellow, Council on Emerging Market Enterprises, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Ibrahim Warde, Professor of Islamic Finance, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Keynote Speaker - April 10

Ibrahim Turhan, Chairman & CEO of  Borsa Istanbul

Keynote Speaker - April 11

Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, MIT

Confirmed Speakers Include:

Solen Altop, Business Advisor, Yatas Furniture Company, Kayseri, and Founder, Solen Global Coaching

Republic of Turkey Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT)

Alexander Christie-Miller, Correspondent in Istanbul for The Christian Science Monitor

Nusret Comert, Senior Advanced Leadership Fellow, Harvard University, and Chairman, DAMNUS Energy & Investment

Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Murat Guvenc, Director, Urban Studies Research Center, Istanbul Sehir University

Ambassador James H. Holmes (Ret.), President and CEO, American-Turkish Council

Zamir Iqbal, Head, World Bank Global Center for Islamic Finance, Istanbul

Burak Kararti, Turkish Consul General to Boston

Kemal Kirisci, Director, Center on the United States and Europe's Turkey Project, Brookings Institution

John McCarthy, Chairman, ING Bank Istanbul

Mehmet Ogutcu, Chairman, Global Resources Corporation

Ambassador & The Honorable Francis J. Ricciardone

Cenk Sidar, CEO and President, Sidar Global Advisors

Admiral James Stavridis, USN, Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Gunes Murat Tezcur, Associate Professor of Political Science, Loyola University Chicago

Neslihan Tombul, Board Member, Turcas Petrol A.S., Istanbul

Pinar K. Tremblay, Lecturer, Political Science Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Kadir Üstün, Research Director, SETA Foundation

Haluk Unal, Professor of Finance, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Joshua Walker, Director of Global Programs, APCO Worldwide


With our agenda and list of participants still evolving, please note that new speakers and participants will be added as they are confirmed.



Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu is the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Economic Growth Program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He is also affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Performance, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and Microsoft Research Center.

His research covers a wide range of areas within economics, including political economy, economic development and growth, human capital theory, growth theory, innovation, search theory, network economics and learning.

He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists. He was also awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, given every two years to the best economist in the United States under the age of 40 by the American Economic Association, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Utrecht.

Acemoglu's work has been published in leading scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics.

He is also the coauthor of the the book Why Nations Fail with Harvard University professor James Robinson.

Acemoglu received a BA in economics at the University of York in 1989, an MSc in mathematical economics and econometrics at the London School of Economics in 1990, and a PhD in economics at the London School of Economics in 1992.

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Solen Altop

Solen AltopAfter finishing T.E.D Ankara College in 1992, Solen attended New York University where in 1996 she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Affairs. Upon graduating Solen joined her family founded company, Yatas Group, in Turkey. Solen initiated and grew the Product Research and Development department of the manufacturing division between 1996 and 2000. This initiation introduced new concepts not only to the company but also to the furniture and mattress industry in Turkey. It created an environment where the Yatas engineers could work directly with the design team in order to develop a collection that was creative yet able to be produced in mass quantities. Between 2000 and 2002 Solen managed the Import department where she was responsible for discovering alternative raw material resources outside of Turkey, such as the chemicals used for polyurethane foam. In 2002 Solen moved to Yatas' International sales department where she developed new export markets, including the U.S., the U.A.E., Iran, Hungary, Holland and Denmark. Solen also played an active role in leading Yatas' joint venture company, Valya, with a major French mattress and furniture company. After 12 years with Yatas, Solen took a sabbatical to obtain an M.B.A , which she received in 2009 from the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T., focused primarily on marketing, branding and innovation. After graduating M.I.T., Solen returned to Yatas as V.P. of marketing. Under Solen's lead, during the following two years Yatas completely redesigned the brand architecture, refreshed the logo and introduced two new distribution retail channels, Yatas Bedding and Enza Home. Since 2011 Solen has been involved with Yatas Group as a share holder and a business advisor. She is currently living in New York City with her husband and 3 years old daughter and working as an Executive Co-active Coach.

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Zeynep Bulutgil

H. Zeynep Bulutgil is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. She was a postdoctoral research associate at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University from 2009-2011. Her general research interests include mass ethnic violence, comparative state formation, and civil wars. Her book manuscript, Territorial Conflict and Ethnic Cleansing: Europe and Beyond, develops a theory that explains the conditions under which states decide to deport or exterminate ethnic groups living in their territory. She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 2009.

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Bhaskar Chakravorti

Bhaskar Chakravorti

Bhaskar Chakravorti is the executive director of Fletcher's innovative Institute for Business in the Global Context and Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME) and a professor of practice in International Business. Prior to Fletcher, he was a Partner of McKinsey & Company and a Distinguished Scholar at MIT's Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. He also served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School and the Harvard University Center for the Environment. Over his 20+ year career as consultant and educator, he has advised more than 30 companies in the Fortune 500, policy-makers, investors, and entrepreneurs. His work has spanned multiple geographies: the Americas, EU, Asia, and Africa. At McKinsey, he was a leader of its Innovation and Global Forces practices and he served on the Firm's Knowledge Services Committee that oversees McKinsey Knowledge Centers, a 1,200 member group of researchers and analysts based in China, India, Belgium, and the US, among others. At Harvard, he taught innovation, entrepreneurship management, and new venture formation. Chakravorti's prior appointments include: partner and thought leader at Monitor Group; game theorist and member of the technical staff at Bellcore (formerly Bell Labs); assistant professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and officer of TAS, the executive cadre for the Tata Group. Chakravorti's book, "The Slow Pace of Fast Change: Bringing Innovations to Market in a Connected World," Harvard Business School Press -- selected as one of the Best Business Books of the year by multiple publications and an Amazon.com best-seller on Innovation -- has been influential in many client and policy recommendations. He has published widely in both academic and widely read publications and has been invited to speak before academic, executive, and policy audiences and to the media around the world.

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Alexander Christie-Miller

Alexander Christie-Miller

Alexander Christie-Miller is a freelance journalist, writer, and photographer, based in Istanbul since 2010. He serves as Turkey correspondent for the Times of London, the Christian Science Monitor and Eurasianet.org. His work has also been published in The Atlantic, Der Spiegel, The Middle East Report, and Vice.

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Nusret Comert

Nusret ComertNusret Cömert is a Senior Advanced Leadership Fellow with Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. Previously, he was the Managing Director, Royal Dutch Shell Group's Exploration & Production and Gas & Power activities in Turkey.

Having started his career in 1984, at Shell Company of Turkey at the Samsun Region Directorate, worked his way up through the company. In 1998, he had become the General Manager of Shell EP and Gas Turkey BV, where he was appointed to be the Executive Director in 2002. Cömert then served as Chairman of Shell Energy A.Ş, which was founded by himself.

His responsibilities included business development activities in the fields of natural gas and petroleum exploration and production in Middle East and Middle Asia and supply of natural gas to Turkey and Europe. He was responsible for Middle and Eastern Europe for a period.

After graduating from Çukurova University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cömert completed his graduate education in Management at Istanbul University in 1983. He also received his Leadership Education at IMD Business School in Lausanne in 2006.

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Steven A. Cook

Steven A. Cook

Steven A. Cook is Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Cook is the author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (Oxford University Press, Fall 2011), which won the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's gold medal for best book on the Middle East in 2012, and Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Dr. Cook has published widely in a variety of foreign policy journals, opinion magazines, and newspapers. He currently writes the blog, "From the Potomac to the Euphrates."

Prior to joining CFR, Dr. Cook was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution (2001–2002) and a Soref research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1995–96).

Dr. Cook holds a BA in international studies from Vassar College, an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and both an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks Arabic and Turkish and reads French.

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Murat Guvenc

Murat GuvencBorn in Ankara in 1953, he is a graduate of the Istanbul St. Joseph French High School and Middle East Technical University Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning. He has been a scholar in the same Department for almost thirty years. He joined Istanbul Bilgi University in 2005 and was assigned as Vice- Rector of the University between 2007 and 2010. He has also been a guest lecturer in Bogazicii University since 2006.

He has publications on urban ecology, industrial geography, Istanbul, and urban sociology. He co-authored a book on the institutional history of Emlak Bankasi 1926-1998 and produced an Atlas on the Electoral Geography of Turkey. He was one of the curators of the Istanbul 1910-2010 exposition sponsored by the Istanbul 2010 Cultural Capital of Europe Agency. Currently he is the director of the Urban Studies Research Center of the Istanbul Sehir University and the History Foundation of Turkey..

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Ambassador James H. Holmes (Ret.)

Ambassador James Holmes (Ret.) is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American–Turkish Council, a bilateral, non–profit organization dedicated to the strengthening of U.S.–Turkish trade, investment, defense and cultural relations, and to the promotion of awareness and understanding of U.S.–Turkish issues.

Ambassador Holmes was elected to the Board of Directors of the American–Turkish Council, and subsequently as President of the American-Turkish Council, in April 2005. The American-Turkish Council, complemented by its companion cultural organization the American Friends of Turkey, has approximately 200 corporate and individual Members in Turkey and the United States. It is the foremost organization for the promotion of commerce, cultural awareness and public–private understanding between Turkey and the United States.

Ambassador Holmes is a 37–year veteran of the United States Foreign Service with overseas experience in Latvia, Turkey, Norway, New Zealand and Pakistan. He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in ANKARA, Turkey from 1992–1995. Subsequently, he was the President’s Coordinator for Assistance to Central and Eastern Europe, Ambassador to Latvia, Special Envoy for the Balkans, founder of the Department of State’s Office of eDiplomacy, and the Department’s Chief Knowledge Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer.

Ambassador Holmes was born in Upstate New York. He was educated at Colgate University, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the National Defense University. He is married to Constance Cooper Holmes. They have two married daughters, and to their great delight, four grandchildren.

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Zamir Iqbal

Zamir Iqbal

Lead Specialist at the Financial Systems Global Practice of the World Bank. He heads the World Bank Global Center for Islamic Finance Development in Istanbul. He has more than 20 years of experience of risk management, capital markets, and asset management at the World Bank Treasury. Islamic finance is his research focus and he has co-authored several books on Islamic finance on the topics of banking risk, financial stability, and risk-sharing. His latest co-edited book, "Economic Development and Islamic Finance" was published by the World Bank in 2013. He earned his Ph. D. in international finance from the George Washington University and serves as Professional faculty at Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University.

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Burak Kararti

Burak KarartiConsul General Burak Karartı was born in Erzincan, Turkey in 1977. He completed his undergraduate degree at Middle East Technical University studying International Relations. He received his Master’s degree from Gazi University in Middle Eastern and African Studies.

He started his career at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999. After his duties at the South Asia, Far East and Pacific Bureau, he served in Ulan Bator, Mongolia between 2002 and 2004. After that, he served at the Turkish Embassy in London from 2004 to 2007.

In 2007, he attended Senior Course 110 at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy.

He served in the Policy Planning Bureau of the Ministry from 2007 to 2008 and in the Human Resources Bureau between 2008 and 2010.

In 2010, he was appointed to the Turkish Embassy in Washington and he participated in the “Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellowship” program of the U.S. Department of State from 2010 to 2011. After the program, he resumed his duties as the Political Counselor at the Embassy in Washington. He then assumed his position as the Consul General in Boston on February 1, 2013.

Consul General Kararti is married with two children.

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Kemal Kirişci

Kemal Kirisci

Kemal Kirişci is the TÜSİAD senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe's Turkey Project at Brookings, with an expertise in Turkish foreign policy and migration studies.

Before joining Brookings, Kirişci was a professor of international relations and held the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. His areas of research interest include EU-Turkish relations, Turkish foreign policy, European integration, asylum, border management, and immigration issues in the European Union, ethnic conflicts, and refugee movements.

His first paper for Brookings is entitled Turkey and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Boosting the Model Partnership with the United States. Kemal Kirişci is the author of several books on Turkey including Turkey and Its Neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition (co-authored with R. Linden et al; Lynne Reinner, 2011), Turkey In World Politics: An Emerging Multi-Regional Power (Co-edited with B. Rubin; Lynne Reinner, 2001) and The Kurdish Question and Turkey: An Example of a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict (co-authored with G. Winrow, Frank Cass; 1997).

Kirişci earned a Ph.D. in international relations from the City University, London, an M.A. in international relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England and a B.A. in finance and management from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Kirişci has also extensively published articles on Turkish foreign policy, EU-Turkish relations and immigration in academic journals.

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John McCarthy

John McCarthyMr. McCarthy holds his BA and MA from Tufts (German). He began his 44 year international banking career at State Street Bank in Munich, where he lived from 1970-1975. He joined American Express Bank in 1976 and until 1990 held executive positions in corporate and investment banking at New York, London, Bahrain, Dubai, Seoul and Istanbul. He joined the Dutch ING Bank in 1991 to establish ING’s operations in Turkey. He currently serves as the chairman of ING Bank Turkey and its asset management, securities brokerage, private pension and life insurance subsidiaries in Turkey, Ireland and Bahrain

Resident in Istanbul since 1984, John has been a board member of the Fulbright Commission for Turkey beginning in 1994 acting as its Chairman since 2007. John was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in April 2013, with the rank of Officer, in the royal Order of Orange-Nassau, for outstanding service to international business and society. John serves on the Tufts International Board of Advisors; the Advisory Board of Boston Private Bank & Trust; and TUSIAD’s Global Economic Relations Committee.

He is married to his wife of 30 years, Aylin; their son, Sinan, graduated from Tufts in 2001 with a degree in International Relations and Economics.

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Malik Mufti

Malik Mufti

Malik Mufti is a Professor of International Relations and Chair of the Political Science department at Tufts University. He teaches courses on international relations as well as the politics of the Middle East.

He received a Ph.D. and an M. A. from Harvard University, an M.A. from Yale University and a B.A. from Middlebury College. He is the author of Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq (1996), and Daring and Caution in Turkish Strategic Culture: Republic at Sea (2009). He has also written shorter pieces on the domestic politics, international relations, and political thought of the Near East, including his latest two journal articles "Jihad as Statecraft: Ibn Khaldun on the Conduct of War and Empire" (History of Political Thought, Autumn 2009), and "The Many-Colored Cloak: Evolving Conceptions of Democracy in Islamic Political Thought" (American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Spring 2010).

His current projects include a study of Ibn Khaldun's concept of asabiyya, and a larger research project on realpolitik in Islamic political thought. He is a recipient of the Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising.

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Mehmet Öğütçü

Mehmet Ogutcu

Mehmet (aged 52) has more than 30 years of successful track-record in government, diplomacy, international organizations (NATO, IEA, OECD), banking, and energy business. He served, inter alia, as a banker, NATO research fellow, Turkish diplomat, advisor to the Prime Minister, on the international staff of the IEA and OECD as principal administrator, British Gas Group Director and Invensys advisor board chairman.

Currently based in London, Mehmet serves as chairman of Global Resources Partnership, an independent non-executive director on the boards of Genel Energy and Yasar Group companies, and a special envoy for The Energy Charter in Brussels for MENA/Eurasia. He also leads the recently created Bosphorus Energy Club, a prestigious exclusive gathering of the top movers and shakers in finance, energy and politics across Turkey, Eurasia, Middle East and Southeast Europe. He advises major energy and finance corporations on investment deals, strategic stakeholder alignment and risk mitigation strategies.

In his early career, Mehmet worked as deputy inspector on the board of Is Bankasi, Turkey’s largest private bank, and undertook projects as NATO Research Fellow and EU’s Jean Monnet Fellow. He was a prominent diplomat, having worked on critical “economic diplomacy” dossiers in Ankara, Beijing, Brussels and Paris, and later as an advisor to the late Turkish Prime Minister, Turgut Ozal.

After quitting the foreign services in 1994, Mehmet joined as a senior staffer at the International Energy Agency heading Eurasia, Asia-Pacific and Latin America programme and the OECD in Paris managing international investment outreach over 12 years. Mehmet was for six years the global director for BG Group Plc. in the UK, managing high-level government engagements and new business development around the world. He also worked as the chairman of the International Advisory Board of Invensys until recently.

Mehmet is a graduate of Turkey’s “Mulkiye”, one of the symbols of the Republican meritocracy, similar to the French École nationale d’administration, London School of Economics (MSc) and College d’Europe (MA), Bruges. He is an occasional lecturer at LSE, Dundee University and Harvard University. As part of The London Speakers Bureau he often speaks at key international and regional conferences around the world and writes in newspapers on future trends, investment/finance, energy/food/water nexus and geopolitical matters.

Mehmet is fluent in Turkish, English, French and Chinese (conversational).

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Soli Ozel

Soli Ozel

Soli Özel is currently a full time Professor at Kadir Has University.  He is also a columnist at Habertürk Daily newspaper. He has been an advisor to the chairperson of TUSIAD for the last 16 years. He is a regular contributor to German Marshall Fund’s web site’s “ON Turkey” series and writes a bimonthly column for Italy’s Espresso magazine.

His writings have been published in international newspapers and academic journals. His latest published work is co-authored with Serhat Guvenc and entitled “NATO and Turkey in the Post-Cold War World: Between Abandonment and Entrapment”

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Elizabeth Prodromou

Elizabeth Prodromou

Elizabeth Prodromou is a Visiting Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School. A retired US diplomat (Vice Chair, US Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2004–2012), she taught international relations at Boston University. Her research interests center on religion and security, democracy, human rights, and religious freedom. A regional expert on Southeastern Europe and the Near East, she has published widely in academic journals, including Harvard International Review, European Journal of Political Research, Social Compass, and Journal of Democracy. She co-edited Thinking Through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars (2008). Currently, she is writing on Orthodox Christian contributions to freedom in politics and human rights.

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The Honorable Francis J. Ricciardone

Francis Ricciardone

Ambassador Ricciardone was appointed by President Obama to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey on January 1, 2011.  His previous Ambassadorial appointments include Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 2005 to 2008, and Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Palau from 2002 to 2005.  Prior to that, Ambassador Ricciardone served as Director of the Department's Task Force on the Coalition Against Terrorism and as a Senior Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service.  From March 1999 until early 2001, he served as the Secretary of State's Special Coordinator for the Transition of Iraq.

Ambassador Ricciardone was born in Boston and graduated from Malden Catholic High School. Upon graduation summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1973, he received a Fulbright Scholarship for teaching and study in Italy. He went to Iran as a teacher in 1976, traveling widely in Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Middle East until he entered the Foreign Service in 1978.

Ambassador Ricciardone's Foreign Service assignments include two tours in Turkey, most recently (1995-1999) as Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d'Affaires; and service in Cairo, Amman, and London. He served in two multinational military deployments: as chief of the Civilian Observer Unit of the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt's Sinai Desert, and as Political Advisor to the U.S. and Turkish commanding generals of Operation Provide Comfort, based in Turkey and operating in Iraq. In Washington, DC, Ambassador Ricciardone has served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and in senior management positions under the Director General of the Foreign Service and of Human Resources. He has won high awards for policy and program management and for political reporting.

Mr. Ricciardone speaks Italian, Turkish, Arabic, and French.

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Arthur Sculley

Arthur Sculley

Arthur Sculley is a Senior Fellow at The Fletcher School’s Council on Emerging Markets Enterprises, covering Turkey and Northern Iraq. His focus is on the impact of investment, trade and commerce on Turkey’s foreign policy. He is a former international banker, technology executive, lecturer and consultant to governments and major corporations.

He was a Managing Director at JP Morgan where he spent 25 years until 1995. His jobs included Head of JP Morgan’s Middle East and South Asia Department following Turkey in the 1980s when he got to know Turkey’s Prime Minister, Turgut Ozal. He later was CEO of JP Morgan’s Private Bank.

In the mid 1990s as an entrepreneur, he became a leader in B2B technology for financial services, co-founding and chairing the first known B2B financial services cloud company, IntraLinks (NYSE:IL) in New York in 1996 and later CreditTrade, Ltd in London now part of the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE).

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Cenk Sidar

Cenk SidarCenk Sidar is the founder and CEO of Sidar Global Advisors (SGA), a Washington, DC-based global macro research and strategic advisory firm that has been assisting top financial institutions, governments and multinational corporations investing in emerging/frontier markets since 2009. Sidar successfully developed the firm`s client base, building a broad range of experience assisting Fortune 100 companies, hedge funds, and private equities in their overseas operations and investments. He is a frequent contributor to various outlets including Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, and Hurriyet Daily News and has made television appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg HT, Turkish Radio Television, and Voice of America.

He is a member of Republican People's Party (CHP) and advises the party's leadership on foreign policy and economic issues. As a young social democrat, he has been a prolific contributor to the global and national discussions on revitalizing the left.

Sidar holds an MA degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, a postgraduate degree in European studies from SAIS’s Bologna Center in Italy, and a BA degree in business administration and international relations from the Istanbul Bilgi University. His academic awards include the Bank of Austria Scholarship, the Jean Monnet Scholarship, and the Johns Hopkins Scholarship. In 2012, Sidar has been selected as one of the top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 in the world by the Diplomatic Courier and the Young Foreign Policy Professionals. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Advisory Council, Atlantic Council, Turkish Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV), Atlantik-Brucke e. V., the European Young Leaders Program, the Jean Monnet Program, the Project Interchange Alumni, and the American Academy of Achievement.

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Admiral James Stavridis

Dean James Stavridis

James Stavridis is the 12th leader of The Fletcher School since its founding in 1933. A retired Admiral in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander. He also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009. A Fletcher PhD, he won the Gullion prize as outstanding student and has published five books and over a hundred articles. His focus is on innovation, strategic communication and planning, and creating security through international, interagency, and public/private partnerships in this turbulent 21st century.

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Gunes Murat Tezcur

Gunes Murat Tezcur

Gunes Murat Tezcur (Ph.D. University of Michigan - 2005) is an Associate Professor at the Political Science Department of Loyola University Chicago. His research focuses on themes such as political violence, politics of Islam, judicial activism, and electoral politics. He is the author of Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey: The Paradox of Moderation. His current main research project examines the motivations of ordinary people who take extraordinary risks and join armed groups with a focus on the Kurdish insurgency. His research has been supported by major grants from the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, and currently the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches courses on the Middle East, political violence, democracy, globalization, and politics of energy.

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Neslihan Tombul

Neslihan TombulNeslihan Tombul (“Nesli”) is a senior marketing executive with over 30 years of international management experience. She began her international banking career in 1983 at the Irving Trust Company (now BNY Mellon) holding various senior management positions in New York and Istanbul. She was Country Manager for numerous countries in the Middle East and Central Asia making her a regional specialist in credit marketing, risk management and new business development.

A "pioneer" in the development of the Turkish banking industry, she launched and developed new business lines including Trade Finance, Asset Management, International Capital Markets and Investor Services in the region and expanded BNY’s market share and revenues by several multiples, firmly establishing the bank as a leading financial institution in the Middle East.

In 2009, Nesli transitioned into the manufacturing sector where she has been a board member at Yasar Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Turkey with a focus on FMCG (food), Coatings and Chemicals, Consumer Paper Products and Tourism followed by board appointments at Prysmian Kablo, a subsidiary of The Prysmian Group, the world's leading industrial cable manufacturer headquartered in Italy and TURCAS, Turkey's leading energy company which has JV arrangements with Royal Dutch Shell, SOCAR of Azerbaijan and RWE of Germany. Expanding outside the Middle East and Central Asia, Nesli is also Advisor to NZTE, the economic development agency of the New Zealand government where she consults leading NZ companies to refine strategies and develop their businesses in Turkey. Most importantly, Nesli greatly values entrepreneurship and its importance to economic development. She works closely with a growing network of technology enabled Turkish start-ups, fundraising, mentoring and investing privately.

Of Persian-Azerbaijani heritage, Nesli was born in Istanbul and was reared and educated in the United States. She holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science from Rutgers University and an M.A. degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Committed to building a strong civil society, Nesli is also an active member of various NGOs including ARIT (American Research Institute in Turkey), YPO-WPO (Istanbul Chapter), and she is a Trustee of TGEV, an education foundation which promotes education in Turkey’s distressed regions. She is a founder of the American Business Forum in Turkey and a member of the International Advisory Board of FSTC, Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization based in the UK. Nesli is fluent in English, Turkish, Azerbaijani and French and she is an avid equestrian.

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Pinar Tremblay

Pinar TremblayPinar Tremblay is a researcher and analyst studying Islam, armed non-state groups, and Turkish foreign policy. She is currently a PhD candidate at UCLA, Department of Political Science and Lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona, Political Science Department. Also a contributor at Al Monitor's Turkey Pulse, her work has been published at different newspapers. She has worked as an administrator over a decade in series of conferences on Mideast security at the UCLA Center for Middle East Development. Previously, she taught at UCLA and Claremont McKenna College.

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Ibrahim Turhan

Ibrahim Turhan

Mr. Ibrahim Turhan was appointed as the Chairman and CEO of the İstanbul Borsası on January 1, 2012.

Mr. Turhan is also a member of the Leaders' Circle as well as the Advisory Board of the Global Economic Symposium organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Prior to his appointment as Chairman and CEO, Mr. Turhan has served in a number of capacities with the Central Bank of Turkey. Mr. Turhan was elected as Board Member by the General Assembly of the Central Bank of Turkey on April 1, 2004. Mr. Turhan was elected as member of the Monetary Policy Committee by the Board on June 7, 2006. He was appointed as Deputy Governor on May 8, 2008.

He also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Contemporary Turkish Studies Chair at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) European Institute until the end of 2011. He has also lectured at various universities in Istanbul and served as Managing Editor and Editor in Chief in sectoral journals published on banking, finance and finance technologies.

Mr. Turhan earned his undergraduate degree in economics and administrative sciences from Boğaziçi University. He then enrolled in the Institute for Banking and Insurance Studies at the Marmara University in Istanbul, where he received his MA degree in International Banking in 1995 and his Ph.D. degree from the same university in 2001.

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Haluk Ünal

Haluk UnalHaluk Ünal is a Professor of Finance, at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, Special Advisor to the Center for Financial Research of the FDIC, and Senior Fellow at the Wharton Financial Institutions Center. He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Financial Services Research.

Mr. Unal holds doctorates in finance from Ohio State and in economics from Istanbul University, where he did his undergraduate work as well. Mr. Unal also earned a MS degree in accounting from Ohio State. He previously taught at the Ohio State University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches corporate finance, management of financial institutions, and fixed income securities courses.

His current research focuses on executive compensation, corporate bonds, bank mergers, pricing default risk, risk management, and mutual-to-stock conversions in the savings and loan industry. He is published in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Financial Services Research, Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Journal of Banking and Finance, Review of Derivatives Research, and Journal of Financial Economics.

Mr. Unal has been a consultant to the World Bank, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Department of Justice. He is also on the academic council of Standard and Poor’s. Internationally, he delivered invited lectures in Portugal, China, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, and Turkey. He also held executive training for Fannie Mae, Hughes Network Systems, Oracle, SAIC, and Wharton’s Executive Masters in Technology Management program.

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Kadir Üstün

Kadir Ustun

Kadir Ustun is the Research Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington, D.C. He also serves as an Assistant Editor of Insight Turkey, an academic journal published by the SETA Foundation. Mr. Ustun holds a PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in History from Bilkent University. Mr. Ustun has taught courses on history, politics, culture, and art in the Islamic World as well as Western political thought at Columbia University and George Mason University. His research interests include civil-military relations, social and military modernization in the Middle East, US-Turkey relations, and Turkish foreign policy. Mr. Ustun has contributed to various SETA reports and his writings have appeared in various publications such as Insight Turkey, Al Jazeera English, Hurriyet Daily News, and Cairo Review of Global Affairs among others. He is also co-editor of an edited volume – History, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey – published by the SETA Foundation.

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Joshua Walker

Joshua Walker

Dr. Joshua W. Walker, director of global programs, is based in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C., office and specializes in business diplomacy, international affairs and public-private partnerships.

Before joining APCO, Dr. Walker served as an international affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was senior adviser to numerous officials in U.S. federal departments and agencies. He served at the U.S. Department of State in Secretary Kerry’s office of the chief economist and previously served in Secretary Clinton’s Global Partnership Initiative as the senior adviser on the Middle East and North Africa. He has also worked for the U.S. Embassy Ankara, Turkey Desk at the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.

Dr. Walker’s accomplished career has helped him to create deeper connections between the worlds of academia and public policy. Prior to the State Department, Dr. Walker was a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, responsible for its Turkey program and Japan portfolio of the Asia team. He also co-founded the Yale Journal of International Affairs; Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in New York; and the Project on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations at Princeton, in addition to being a Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader and Truman National Security Project fellow.

He has taught at Brandeis University, George Mason University, Harvard Kennedy School, Middle East Technical University, Istanbul Sehir Merkez, Tokyo University, Transatlantic Academy, Princeton University, University of Richmond and Yale University.

Dr. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond, a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University and a Ph.D. in politics and public policy from Princeton University. Raised in Japan, Dr. Walker is a native English speaker and speaks both Japanese and Turkish fluently.

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Ibrahim Warde

Ibrahim Warde

Ibrahim Warde is a consultant and adjunct professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he teaches courses on Islamic Banking and Finance, Business in the Islamic world, Informal and Underground Finance. He has previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management.

He is also a consultant specializing in international finance and a course director for Euromoney Training. He holds an M.B.A. from France's Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Warde’s book Islamic Finance in the Global Economy (Edinburgh University Press 2000 and 2010) is now in its second edition. His other books include The Price of Fear: The Truth Behind the Financial War on Terror (The University of California Press 2007), which has been translated into French (Agone), Italian (Neftasia Editore), Japanese (Sankosha) and Czech (Deus), and was selected by Foreign Affairs as one of the best books of the year about economic, social, and environmental issues, and Islam and Economics (Edinburgh University Press 2014). He is also a writer for Le Monde diplomatique where his articles have been translated into 30 languages.

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Why Turkey Now?

Dean James Stavridis

"The key question is not whether Turkey will play a global role, but rather what is the Turkish role globally."

Admiral James Stavridis, USN
Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO