Advisors

resim

Murat Aktihanoglu is a serial technology entrepreneur.  Most recently, he founded, obtained funding for and sold Centrl, a location-based social network in New York City. He is also the founder of Entrepreneurs Roundtable, an organization which holds monthly meetings connecting investors with promising startups in New York and outside. He is also the author of the book “Building Location-Aware Applications”, published by Manning Publications. Murat holds a Masters degree in Computer Science and a BS in Electrics and Electronics from Bilkent University. He has served as a consultant to many established companies (AT&T, Sony, Logitech, Pioneer, Panasonic) and startups (Improv, Sonicbox, Atair, Plaxo, Manyone, Coollris) at the founding level to establish their engineering infrastructures and software development methodologies, and managed engineering teams at Silicon Graphics in Mountain View and Sony Corporation in Tokyo, Japan. Murat is a frequent speaker at technology and entrepreneurship conferences and panels, such as Mobile Marketing Association Forum, Monaco Media Forum, Ultra Light Startups, Siggraph and New York Entrepreneur Week. He is also the board member of Turkish American Business Forum.

 

resim

Anastasia Ashman is an American expat and a writer/producer of cultural entertainment in Istanbul. Her kaleidescopic productions capitalize on a countercultural upbringing in Berkeley, California, thirteen years of expatriatism (Rome, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul) and a decade in NYC and LA where she evaluated material for literary agents and producers of film, television, and Broadway theatre. Her Bryn Mawr College degree is in Classical and Near Eastern archaeology.The two-time TEDGlobalist is founder of expat+HAREM, the global niche, a community site for identity adventurers. She’s cocreator of Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey, the expatriate literature collection which became a #1 national bestseller in Turkey in 2005, and is endorsed by NBC TV's Today Show, Lonely Planet, Daily Telegraph, New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Studied in seven North American universities, the book’s literary ambassadorship was awarded the 2006 Woman of Distinction by international relations group Daughters of Atatürk. With “curator of global conversations” Janera.com, in 2008 she produced the Near East’s 1st Global Nomad Salon in Istanbul where she’s lived with her Turkish husband since 2003. Anastasia’s been a top-ten Twitterer in Istanbul in 2009 and in July 2010 was named by Forbes.com among the top 20 best women for entrepreneurs to follow.  Her interactive projects include a forensic memoir of friendship and an enhanced ebook based on her Expat Harem tale about bridging her radical West Coast family and traditional Near East in-laws. Also in development: the soap opera life of a Byzantine princess who spurred an emperor to create the architectural wonder of the world, and a graphic novel for iPad based on a screenplay she coauthored.  Anastasia’s writing has appeared worldwide in Asian Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, National Geographic Traveler and Cornucopia, the magazine for connoisseurs of Turkish culture.

 

 

resim

Senay Ataselim  is the Chief Operating Officer of Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF), a transnational foundation that aligns US donors’ philanthropic interests with social needs in Turkey. She joined TPF in its start-up phase, taking an active role in developing the organization’s structure first in her role as a consultant, then as the Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Senay held the position of Executive Director at Turkish-American Business Forum for five years, where later she served as an Advisor to the President of the Board. From 2002 to 2007, Senay served at various levels of the arts and culture organization, Moon and Stars Project, holding the position of the President of the board between 2005 and 2007. In 2005, she was appointed as an Emerging Leaders International Fellow by the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and undertook an extensive study on current trends in philanthropic giving to Turkey. Senay holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration, University of Ankara and an MPA in Public Policy and Non-profit Management, Baruch College. She is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at Graduate Center, CUNY specializing in civil society and philanthropy.

 

 resim

Asli Karahan-Ay is the Executive Director of UBS Investment Bank in New York. Asli is a leader in the financial services sector with a rare blend of truly global work experience and a demonstrated capability of handling senior relationships with CEOs and board members; Ministers of Finance and financial regulators, working as an investment banker for UBS. Through her years of travelling and working with the business, political and opinion leaders and investors in countries like China, Korea and Turkey, she has become an expert on these emerging markets. Asli is a respected executive at UBS Investment Bank, where she has been working in the London and New York offices since 2003. As a Senior Client Relationship Director and Deputy to UBS Vice-Chairman Senator Phil Gramm, Asli has contributed to UBS success in winning such prestigious and multi-billion dollar mandates like the Telstra follow-on public offering, the largest offering of its type; the Visa IPO, the largest IPO in American history; the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China follow-on offering; the China Merchants Bank IPO and the sale of 20% of Akbank to Citibank, among many others. Previously, Asli spearheaded UBS’ investment banking coverage for Turkey, landing prestigious mandates like Vodafone’s acquisition of Telsim, which substantially expanded UBS’ economic footprint in the country. Asli began her career at Schlumberger International, working in Egypt, India, Venezuela, Trinidad &Tobago, right after she received her engineering degree at the age of 19. She later worked for Procter & Gamble as a Brand Manager in Central and Eastern European region, running a flagship brand with $100m+ revenue line at the age of 25. Asli has an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University. She holds various financial licenses in the United Kingdom and in United States and is a Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst. In 2011, Asli has been honored by the World Economic Forum as one of the Young Global Leaders. The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. Asli speaks Turkish, English and French. She is married and has two sons, Alexander and Adrian. She resides in New York.

 resim

 

 Sunny Bates is the curator of experts, community leaders, and networks. She serves as a strategic consultant for a number of early stage companies. In 2006 she launched Pheeder.com, a mobile social software network. Bates also co-founded Immersion Networks, which advises breakthrough nonprofits on ways to revolutionize the way individuals manage their philanthropic efforts. She currently serves on the advisory boards of several organizations, including the TED conference, Outside In, and Endeavor.org..

 

resim

 Elmira Bayrasli writes and works on global development issues. She is working on a book development that focuses on aid and entrepreneurship.  For the past several years, Elmira was the Vice President for Policy & Outreach at Endeavor, a global non-profit that supports High-Impact Entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Before joining Endeavor, Elmira was the Chief Spokesperson and Director of Press and Public Information at the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. In 1994, she joined Madeleine K. Albright’s team at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, first in New York and then Washington D.C. In 1996 she received a White House Presidential Appointment assigned to the Secretary of State’s office. Upon Richard Holbrooke’s appointment to lead negotiations to break the Cyprus stalemate in 1998, Elmira was invited to join that team. She received her MA from Columbia University in Middle Eastern studies and BA from New York University in political science. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has contributed to several books and publications and is a frequent speaker and commentator about entrepreneurship and development issues. She loves the New York Mets and hates onions. 

 resim

Bill Bradley, former US Senator, is a Managing Director of Allen & Company LLC. From 2001-2004, he acted as chief outside advisor to McKinsey & Company’s nonprofit practice. He was a Senior Advisor and Vice Chairman of the International Council of JP Morgan & Co., Inc. from 1997-1999. During that time, he also worked as an essayist for CBS evening news, a visiting professor at Stanford University, Notre Dame University, and the University of Maryland. Senator Bradley served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 – 1997 representing the state of New Jersey. In 2000, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967 – 1977 during which time they won 2 NBA championships. Senator Bradley holds a BA degree in American History from Princeton University and an MA degree from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has authored five books on American politics, culture, and economy. Currently, Senator Bradley hosts American Voices, a weekly show on Sirius Satellite Radio that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of Americans both famous and unknown.

 resim

Yalkin Demirkaya is the President of Cyber Diligence, Inc. and the Founder of the Computer Crimes Investigation Unit of the New York Police Department. Mr. Demirkaya has twenty years of law enforcement experience as a Detective Investigator as well as a Detective Squad Commander. He possesses twenty-five years of computer experience as a white hat hacker. He is the founder and recently retired Commanding Officer of the Computer Crimes Investigation Unit of New York Police Department. Mr. Demirkaya has been responsible for the formation of policies and investigative procedures in the area of computer crime. One of the world’s leading experts in the field of internal computer crime investigations, Mr. Demirkaya has served as an advisor and presenter for law enforcement as well as the business and academic communities on computer crime investigations. He has been helping hakia design its cyber security system. Mr. Demirkaya currently sits on various boards as an advisor on Cyber Terrorism issues. He has lectured extensively and provided training in the area of computer crime to the law enforcement and business community. He holds a B.S. in Police Science and an M.A. in Criminal Justice.

 resim

Nilufer Durak is a Managing Director in Aon's Mergers & Acquisitions Group (AMAG) in North America and runs the AMAG team in Boston. Her primary responsibility is to manage a team of project managers who conduct risk and insurance due diligence on the acquisition of a target company by a strategic or financial buyer. Her team is also in charge of post-acquisition (100-day) plans to implement risk management program and operating cost improvements identified during due diligence. Nil has over 14 years of experience in identifying and treating operational risk exposures and managing complex risk and insurance programs as a former risk manager at GE and a Property & Casualty insurance broker at Sedgwick/Marsh New York. She joined Aon in 2004 and is a 2008 alum of the Aon Catalyst Leadership Program that annually targets 35 high potential leaders in North America. across all Aon business units. Nil completed the Master of Science in Risk Management and Insurance program at the University of Wisconcin-Madison. She earned a MA degree in Banking and Insurance from Marmara University in Istanbul. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey.

 resim

Ayla Goksel is CEO of the Mother Child Education Foundation, a Turkish NGO working in early childhood, female literacy and parent training. ACEV has provided education services for over 610,000 individuals and trained 6500 teachers and volunteers. ACEV’s programs are also implemented in nine other countries in the Middle East and Europe. She is also CEO of Hüsnü M. Özyegin Foundation, a foundation that has provided financial aid for over 10,000 students, constructed and donated 65 schools, dormitories and social facilities, undertaken cultural restoration projects and founded Özyegin University. Goksel is a Trustee of Ozyegin University and serves on the Boards of the Education Reform Initiative and TOHUM Foundation for Autism. She was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008, Senior Fellow of the Synergos Institute in 2010 and WISE Laureate in 2010 . She holds a BSc from University of Bath, MSc from London School of Economics and has conducted fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University.

 

 resim

Tess Mateo recently launched CXCATALYSTS after seven years of managing the external relationships of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global CEO. CXCATALYSTS and its networks spark innovative partnerships that help companies to profitably reach underserved markets, and help governments and multilateral institutions to achieve their development goals. Tess is able to draw on her two decades of restructuring, turnaround and start-up experience advising senior executives of Fortune 500 and emerging companies. In addition, Tess successfully launched Gralni Group, a real estate venture; IncentOne, a technology company delivering online incentive programs; and Colorworx, an innovator in novelty underwear. Tess is also a strategic advisor to the Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), the World Bank’s Private Sector Leaders Forum, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the Global Summit of Women. Tess has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School. Other activities include serving on the boards of the American Composers Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and the Inner City Scholarship Fund. She is married with three children.

 

Neslihan Tombul is a senior credit marketing specialist with over 25 years of international management experience. She joined the Irving Trust Company (now BNY Mellon) in 1983 and held various senior management positions in New York and Istanbul. She was Country Manager for numerous countries in the Middle East (including Israel) and Central Asia where she gained expertise as a regional specialist in credit marketing, risk management, business development. Ms. Tombul is currently a Member of the Board of Directors at Yasar Holding, one of the leading industrial conglomerates in Turkey, and a Managing Director at 212VC. The Yasar group has interests in Food Manufacturing, Coatings and Chemicals, Paper Products and Tourism. In the late 70’s and 80’s, Ms. Tombul developed meaningful expertise in bespoke menswear and luxury retail merchandising through her family business and while working at Bloomingdales. She has used this experience to develop and promote Turkish and foreign lifestyle brands in Turkey and South Africa. Born in Turkey, Ms. Tombul was reared and educated in the United States. She graduated with a B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science with High Honors from Rutgers University and she attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University over the period 1981-1983 where she studied Economic Development in pursuit of a MALD degree. Committed to building a strong civil society, Ms. Tombul is a member and officer of the Young President’s Organization (Istanbul Chapter), a member of the European Advisory Group at the Fletcher School and a member of the Board of Trustees at TGEV and CEV, both of which are education foundations which support education in Turkey’s distressed regions. She is an avid equestrian.