Senior Associates

Itır Sinem Aykut 

In addition to her professional marketing, sales and strategic Management experience between 1993 and 2005 in MNCs like ALCATEL CABLE, UNILEVER and TURKCELL, Itir Aykut has had Entrepreneurial experience as a partner in her own company, GEMINI Tourism running international meetings and conferences since 2005. Meanwhile, she has established and partnered in various other SMEs such as Tokyo Restaurant (2000), Shark Advertising (2009) and Aykutfoods (2010), which have collectively led her to gain expertise in different sectors pertaining to Turkey’s economic interests. As a part of her social responsibility missions, she has taken on positions in Turkey’s prominent Foreign Economic Relations Board, DEIK, serving in the Mexican/Brazilian and Canadian Business Council’s Boards since 2001. She has been a Board Member of Association des Gourmets en Turquie and a member of Chaine des Rotisseurs as a part of her commitment to the uniting and peace building power of food cultures for the peoples of the world. She has held memberships in other international Associations such as Women Presidents Organisation (WPO), Society of Incentive Travel (SITE), Meetings Professional International (MPI), International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA), Professional Conference Managers Association (PCMA), and Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey (CSR Turkey). She has a special interest in Women’s empowerment and has been a member of KAGIDER, Turkey’s esteemed Women Entrepreneurs Association since 2009. She currently serving in the board as the President of International Relations Strategy Group. She holds BA degree in Business Administration from Bosphorus University and an MSc in International Economic Management for the University of Birmingham. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree at Kadir Has University writing a thesis on the issue area of International Trade as an Instrument of Foreign Policy. She is the mother of two daughters.

Bruce M. Lawlor

Major General (Ret.) Bruce Lawlor is an independent consultant in national security and homeland security matters. He is the former Senior Director for Protection and Prevention, White House Homeland Security Council, the first Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a member of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), and the first Commanding General, Department of Defense Joint Task Force-Civil Support.  MG Lawlor has been a professor at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs, a distinguished service professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology and an adjunct professor at the George Washington University, and the U.S. Army War College.  He is one of five senior White House staffers who wrote the plan to create the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  He has extensive experience in homeland security and national security strategic policy formulation, operational planning, and tactical execution.   

Major General Lawlor is a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Panel Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to facilitate solutions in conflict areas around the world, and a senior advisor to the Tungsten Network.  He has a doctor of science degree in engineering management, a juris doctor degree, and a masters degree in national security studies.  He is a Harvard National Security Fellow and has taught at the U.S. Army War College.  He is an inactive member of the Vermont, Massachusetts and Florida Bar Associations.    

Sibel Sezer

Sibel Sezer is a visionary leader in multidisciplinary not-for-profit international organizations, She has set-up, shaped, and expanded two national offices of international organizations (UNDP, REC) over the past two decades; both of which have done pioneering work in the area of sustainable development. She has pioneered the establishment of numerous program and committees on climate change and sustainable development in Turkey as well as built numerous teams, strengthened and motivated them to ensure effective teamwork and productive work environments. Ms. Sezer is accomplished in fund‐raising, advocacy and lobbying; she has generated over 15 million euros for the not-for-profit environmental sector in Turkey. She has extensive experience in international negotiations, contributed in shaping major development instruments and agreements, both at national and international levels.

Sibel Sezer holds a BA in Economics from the Columbia University, New York, an MBA in Business Administration from Bilkent University, Ankara, and a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Bosphorus University, Istanbul. She currently teaches a graduate level course on Sustainable Development at Kadir Has University. She is a board member of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation since 2012. She was regional director for the Black Sea for the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe between 2004 and 2014. In addition, Sezer was director of the National Program on Environment and Development, UNDP in Ankara from 2001 to 2004. She worked as a lecturer at Middle East Technical University, Bilgi University, and Okan University. She has also worked as an environmental economist between 1996 and 2000 and as an assistant to the Habitat II Coordinator between 1994 and 1996.