He was born in Isparta Eğirdir in 1956. After completing his secondary education at Buca High School in Izmir, he graduated from Middle East Technical University (METU) Department of Mining Engineering in 1979.
He started his working life as a labour inspector within the Ministry of labour and continued his work until 1982, and then worked in various private sector organizations in the fields of mining, textile and apparel. In 1987, He founded Sun Tekstil A.Ş. with his wife Günseli Ünlütürk and his brother Sabri Ünlütürk. He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Ekoten A.Ş that is one of The Sun Group companies.
Between 1995 and 1998 he served as Chairman of the Board of Aegean Exporters’ Association (EİB) Apparel and Apparel Exporters’ Association and Chairman of the Board of Presidents of the Aegean Exporters’ Union. He has been the founding member of the foundations and associations such as Textile Research and Development Foundation (TARGEV), Family Business Association (TAIDER), Our City Association, which was founded by Historical Kemeraltı Construction Investment Trade A.Ş. (TARKEM), Neighborhood Disaster Volunteers Foundation (MAG), and Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association (TURMEPA).He is also a member of the “Better Judgment “and Greenpeace Association.
Ünlütürk served as a member of the board of directors and vice-chairman of business organizations such as Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSIAD), Turkish Confederation of Enterprise and Business (TÜRKONFED) and The Federation of Industrial Associations (SEDEFED), and the DEIK Foreign Economic Relations Board. He is currently a member of TÜRKONFED and KALDER advisory board and as chairman of EGIAD Advisory Board. He is married and has two children.
Emre Eczacıbaşı completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard University in 2006, and received a Business Administration Diploma degree from Colombia Business School. His career started at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a financial advisor. He was then appointed as Group President for Strategic Marketing and Finance at Eczacıbaşı Holding in 2008. During the period of 2011-2013, he realized microfinance and social entrepreneurship projects in the USA and in 2013-2014 he worked in the strategic marketing department of Yapı Products Group. In January 2015, Eczacıbaşı became the General Manager of the Construction Products Group’s culinary business area and launched İntema Yaşam company.
Born in 1979, Ayça Eroğlu graduated from Koç University, Department of Economics after completing her high school education at Nişantaşı Işık High School. She also completed the Boğaziçi University Executive MBA programme. After working as a financial audit at Ernst & Young in the first years of her career, she started working at HSK in 2004. Between 2004 and 2010, Ayça Eroğlu worked at HSK in different departments such as purchasing, foreign trade, sales, marketing, and finance. Ayça Eroğlu, managed the entire operation process of the Systemair HSK merger between 2010-2012, was appointed as the General Manager in 2012. Ayça Eroğlu continues today as Systemair Turkey General Manager and Board Member. She also is the Executive Committee Member of RVM Systems Turkey, which produces, manufactures, installs and maintains Reverse Vending Machine solutions globally. And the Board Member of Regin Turkey which is a global player in the smart automation technologies industry.
Being the President of the International Competitiveness Commission (URK) since 2015, she is also conducting studies on the increase in Turkey’s exports of the HVAC industry. She also is an Advisory Board member of ISKAV (Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning Research and Education Foundation). Besides sector activities, she is a member of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and the AKUT Sports Club Association Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Young Managers and Businessmen Association (GYİAD) and TÜRKONFED Board of Directors.
Ms. Kayacik is the Business Development Director and Board Member of Odak Group. She holds a BA degree in Economics from Bogazici University and an MBA in Real Estate and Finance from Columbia University in New York.
Ms. Kayacik held positions in L’Oreal and Pepsi Bottling Group. Since 2005 she has been working at Odak Group of Company in various positions. She has worked extensively on financing, developing, leasing and management of Agora Shopping Centers and office development projects within Odak Group portfolio. She also serves as a Board Member at Turkish Industry and Business Association.
Dr. Izel Levi Coskun, born in 1973, graduated from Istanbul University, Business Administration and studied MBA at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Dr. Coskun lectured entrepreneurship classes in Marmara University between 2004 and 2014. He obtained his PhD with his thesis on “Corporate Sustainability” at Marmara University. His professional life started in 1991 and he gained experience in accounting, audit, tax, consultancy and internal audit. Dr. Coskun owns Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Capital Markets Board and Public Oversight Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority licenses. Since 2010, he is the Managing Partner of the accounting, auditing, tax and consulting firm Mazars Turkey and during the last two years he has been working as a Corporate Sustainability Ambassador to spread the sustainability perspective in Mazars and all its stakeholders.
Dr. Izel Levi Coskun harmonized his experience in various sectors with two core values “Sustainability” and “Entrepreneurship”. At the same time, he keeps writing articles about “Sustainability” and “Entrepreneurship” for Harvard Business Review blog and other foremost business mags in Turkey.
Dr. Izel Levi Coskun is a member of Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD)and at the same time Head of the Steering Committee for TÜSİAD’s entrepreneurship project “These Young People Have the Potential, Union of Chambers of Certified Public Accountants of Turkey, Turkish Internal Auditors’ Association, Turkish Association of Accounting Experts, Endeavor, Keiretsu Forum, Buğday Association for Supporting Ecological Living, Gökçeada Volunteers Association, TAİDER Family Business Association, Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association, Ada Dostları Association and Transparency International Turkey.
Louisa Vinton is Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Republic of Turkey. Vinton is a development professional with more than 30 years of work experience in the region covered by the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia.
Previously she served as UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia from November 2018 to March 2021. Earlier she held the dual roles of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in North Macedonia, from November 2013 to October 2018, and Croatia, from July 2010 to June 2014.
In these roles, she successfully championed UNDP initiatives focused on job creation and self-employment, vocational training, public service delivery, local and regional economic development, social inclusion, gender equality, human rights, flood prevention, nature protection, energy efficiency, climate resilience, and crisis prevention and post-conflict recovery. She led the UN response to the migration crisis of 2015-16 in North Macedonia and spearheaded COVID-19 socio-economic response and recovery efforts in Georgia in 2020-21. She has a strong track record in building partnerships with Government, civil society, the private sector, academia and the international community.
Her first post with UNDP was as Division Chief in the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia in New York, starting in February 2004, where she was responsible for UNDP activities in seven countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. She also led UN coordination on issues related to the legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986.
Before joining UNDP, Louisa worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit for nine years, first as Editor of the weekly newsletter Business Eastern Europe and Editor in Chief of the company’s East European business publishing operations in Vienna, and later as head of the company’s Executive Services unit in New York. She is a champion of effective communications and excels at advocacy and messaging.
Between 1988 and 1994 Louisa worked as a Senior Research Analyst for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., in Munich, specializing in coverage of Polish politics and economics.
She holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in History from the University of Michigan. As well as English, she speaks conversational Croatian, German, Polish and Russian.
Ozan Diren leads Turkey’s first local-capital fruit juice and a one of Turkey’s leading beverage brands, DİMES.
Diren started working for DİMES in university years, taking responsibilities at every level and in every corporate department. Meanwhile he pursued his academic training, graduating from İTÜ as an Industrial Engineer, prior to receiving a post graduate Marketing diploma from the University of Hartford. Later, he completed Finance advanced specialization program at İstanbul University’s Institute of Corporate Economics.
Parallel to the corporate vision and the development competitive environment, Ozan Diren spearheaded the formation of Nobel Pazarlama Ltd. within the DİMES group, and he has become the company’s first General Manager. In 2011, Diren is appointed as DİMES CEO
Apart from TÜRKONFED, Ozan Diren is a Board Member in MEYED and he is involved at ŞÜD, TGDF, TÜSİAD, ASÜD and SETBİR.
Ozan Diren is married and he has three children.
Öner Celebi was born in Zile. He completed his high school education in Zile and later graduated from ITU and received a business administration diploma degree from Anadolu University.
Now, he is the president of the board and CEO of the Omega Group Companies. In this group, there are three companies:
Omega Engineering, providing electrical turnkey projects;
Omega Pano, manufacturing electrical panels;
Proasist, providing electrical, mechanical, technical maintenance and repair services across Turkey.
He was selected as an Endeavor entrepreneur at Sofia International Selection Panel in 2017.
He is a member of TUSIAD, TURKONFED, ETMD, TEDAR, ENDEAVOR, EMO, and ITU-MD.
He contributes as a mentor in some projects such as BORGIP, ISIMI YONETEBILIYORUM, and ITU-MD.
He is married and has one son.
Sahba brings 19 years of experience in the private sector in Silicon Valley, Singapore and at UNDP as Programme Advisor, Team Leader and Programme Manager including as the technical lead for the recently endorsed UNDP private sector strategy. He has significant partnership development and advocacy experience with the private sector working with over 100 companies and business organizations and a track record of operational leadership, innovation and management of 6 global UNDP-led strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives in the area of business and development (the African Financial Markets Initiative, the Commission on the Private Sector and Development, the Growing Inclusive Market Initiative, the Istanbul International Center on the Private Sector in Development and the Business Call to Action Alliance and the Connecting Business Initiative). He has also been the principal author and content manager of 6 major UNDP-led reports in the area of private sector in development including the 2003 African Stock Exchanges Handbook, 2004 Report of the Commission on the Private Sector and Development: Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business for the Poor, 2008 Global Growing Inclusive Markets Report: Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor, 2010 Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative, MDG Report, 2017 Unchartered Waters: Blending Value and Values for Social Impact Through The SDGs.
He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy (USA).
Suren Poghosyan is a Ph.D. economist with over twenty-four years of experience in transition and developing countries on Public Financial Management reforms and bridging policies with budgets. From 2014 Suren has been part of the UNDP team supporting countries in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia to improve their governance and budget systems to address Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. Currently Suren is the SDG Finance Advisor at UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub covering Europe and CIS region. Suren is the principal author of UNDP Guidebook on Budgeting for SDGs.
Prior to joining UNDP, he has worked with DFID, ADB, WB, OECD, GIZ and UN family organizations supporting programme-based budgeting and other PFM reforms in Europe and CIS region.
Arda Batu completed his high school education at The Browning High School, he then studied Political Science and International Relations at Bosphorus University. He completed his internship at the European Parliament and attained his MA degree from Marmara University European Studies Institute.
Arda Batu’s career began in 2004 at Yeditepe University’s Political Science & International Relations Department where he served as a research assistant. He transitioned to the corporate sector when he joined HB Consultancy Group in 2007 whilst continuing his affiliation with the university as a research assistant and lecturer. His keen interests in government relations and strategic communications led him to Istanbul-based regional corporate communications firm, StratejiCo. He joined Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation on June 2014 where he manages, promotes and advances the Confederation’s strategic interests.
Arda Batu serves as an independent board member at Federal Mogul Izmit Piston, on the executive board of Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), advisory board of Co-opinoin, and the editorial board of Turkish Policy Quarterly.
Melda Çele is the Deputy Secretary General of TÜSİAD responsible for sustainable development, investment environment, entrepreneurship and youth. At the same time she is the Secretary General of Global Compact Türkiye, the Local Network of UN Global Compact – a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN Goals.
Melda Çele is a graduate of Robert College. She continued her education in sociology at Koç University. He holds a Master’s degree in European Integration from the University of Essex.
Hansın Dogan is specialized in advancing the role of the private sector in development. He advocates for inclusive and responsible business policies and developed over 50 public-private partnerships in achievement of social and environmental challenges and SDGs. He’s been a leader and a key contributor in enabling and managing several private sector platforms and policy centers for development, including Global Compact Turkey Network, UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development, Business Call to Action, Connecting Business initiative Turkey, Business for Goals Platform, csrblog.com. Before joining the UNDP, he has been an academic at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, and provided consultancy services to Turkish Prime Ministry, Under-secretariat of Treasury, Turkey and Middle-East Public Administration Institute, Fulbright Commission, Turkish Coal Mining Institute, GTZ and the US Embassy in Ankara. He holds a BA on Management from Ankara University/Turkey and an MA on European Studies from Exeter University/UK.
After graduating from the Department of Business Administration at Los Angeles International University, Nezahat Yıldırım completed the MBA program with a thesis on the Management of Refugee Camps in Turkey’s South at the same institution. Ms. Yıldırım, who received training in leadership, cyber security, advocacy, and international humanitarian law, obtained certificates from Connecticut, Harvard, Ivy Tech College, Kent State, California Berkeley, and Leiden Universities. Also, she received training in Emergency Response Management and Leadership from RedR UK in Jordan.
Throughout her career, Nezahat Yıldırım has played an active role in civil society, international organizations, and public institutions in Turkey, the Middle East and Balkan countries, and the United States. As project leader, regional coordinator and, senior consultant, she took part in AÇEV, UNESCO, UNICEF, European Union, and US Department of Foreign Affairs Labor Office (DoL) and worked as the founder of the EU Project Office in Şanlıurfa. Between 1999 and 2005, she took place as a Football Referee within the Turkish Football Federation. She assumed the position of Volunteer Regional Coordinator in charge of 17 provinces in Make a Wish Turkey between 2010 and 2014. After working as Senior HR Manager and Program Advisor at Concern Worldwide between 2014 and 2017, Ms. Yıldırım assumed Senior Foreign and Government Relations Supervisor at World Vision International. She worked as the Covid19 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness & Recovery – Senior Policy Advisor from March 2020 to April 2021. Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of Policies, Operations, and Collaboration at Fortuna Consulting in Macedonia before joining the Business for Goals Platform. Yıldırım, who carries out academic and philanthropic studies as a member of ARNOVA, continues to provide mentorship support to women entrepreneurs as of August 2021 within the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) – EIC Women Leadership Program.
Working actively for several volunteering and civil society activities since 2005, Ms. Kardeş completed her academical education in the fields of business administration, non-governmental organizations management and international relations. Before joining UNDP, she engaged in professional work in the areas of international lobbying, volunteering, development, labour management, international exchange programme in several agencies such as UNV, Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV), General Secretariat of EXPO 2020 Izmir, and World Learning.
Merve Birdal works as a platform assistant at the Business for Goals Platform. She completed her bachelors degree in political science at Galatasaray University and Sciences Po Rennes. She is currently completing her Master’s degree at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and is interested in sustainability, technology and innovation policies. Before joining the Business for Goals Platform, she worked as an intern at TEPAV (The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey), as well as at UNDP.
Güneş Aksoy works as an intern at the Business for Goals Platform. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University and currently pursues her Master’s Degree in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the same institution. Aksoy, who participated in various volunteer activities during her undergraduate years, is interested in cultural studies, communication, and civil society.