As we are approaching 2020, migration and displacement are still among the most important and cross-cutting issues that impact populations, sectors and efforts towards more resilient and developed societies in multiple scales. In the face of large migrant movements across the world and the resulting challenges and opportunities, Municipal Forum 2019 aims to bring several local development actors around the world together to provide them a platform to showcase and exchange good practices, facilitate city-level partnerships, and contribute to the existing networks of relevant actors in the migration and displacement contexts.
Turkey is currently hosting the largest number of refugees in the world. Hosted by Turkey’s Gaziantep city which hosts 500,000 Syrian under temporary protection, Municipal Forum 2019 particularly focuses on the exchange of experience among Turkish and various other municipalities from different parts of the world. Ahead of the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) that Turkey will co-convene and UNHCR will co-host on 17-18 December 2019 in Geneva, Municipal Forum 2019 also highlights how approaches bridging humanitarian and development responses, such as the New Way of Working, have been put into practice to achieve the goals and objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
As its key outcome, Municipal Forum 2019 presents the 2019 Gaziantep Declaration reflecting, inter alia, good practices on the implementation of globally and regionally agreed principles on local solutions to migration and displacement.
Please find the Declarationhere, Concept Notehere and Best practices from forum co-hosts’ experience in Turkeyhere.
organized in cooperation with
We’ll be announcing new speakers as they confirm their participation.
Below photos are in alphabetical order by last names of speakers
Mayoral Panel 3: Governance as a catalyst: linking national-local level governance and the role of small and intermediary cities Panel Details and SpeakersMain Hall / Selçuklu / Floor -2
11:30 – 13:00
Parallel Session 2.1 – Anchoring success for all: gender equality and youth empowerment Panel Details and SpeakersMain Hall / Selçuklu / Floor -2
Parallel Session 2.2 – Ensuring dignity: local authorities fostering access to basic services such as health and education Panel Details and SpeakersBreakout Room 2 / Çınar / Floor -1
Parallel Session 2.3 – A vision of sustainable & smart cities, circular urban economies, the role of new technologies and the impact of migration and displacement on environment Panel Details and SpeakersBreakout Room 1 / Osmanlı / Floor -2
13:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 15:00
Closing Ceremony SpeakersMain Hall / Selçuklu / Floor -2
Signing Ceremony of Gaziantep Declaration
Divan Hotel Gaziantep
Mücahitler Mh, Sani Konukoğlu Bulvarı
No:92/A 27090 Şehitkamil, Gaziantep Türkiye
+ 90 (342) 999 13 33
All meetings will be held at Divan Hotel meeting facilities.
Fuat Oktay was born in 1964 in Çekerek, Yozgat and studied Management at Çukurova University. Graduating in 1985, he began working at the university as a research assistant.
In 1990, he obtained a master’s degree from Wayne State University in Detroit in business and manufacturing engineering, as well as a PhD in industrial engineering. While in the United States, he specialized in the fields of aviation and automotive engineering.
He served as the head of the Management Department and Deputy Dean at Beykent University. Alongside his academic career, Oktay also served as a consultant and advisor for both state-owned and private businesses, serving in the capacities of general manager, vice president and executive board member for many of them.
Oktay served as deputy general manager responsible for strategic planning and business development, production planning and information technology as well as sales and marketing at Turkish Airlines between 2008 and 2012. He was responsible for many development projects under the Turkish Airlines brand.
Between January 2, 2012 and June 19, 2016, Oktay served as the Head of the Presidency of Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD). Between June 19, 2016 and July 9, 2018, he served as the undersecretary of the Prime Ministry. He was appointed as Vice President on July 9, 2018 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Fuat Oktay speaks English and is married with 3 children.
Academy Director of WALD
Hülya Alper was born in 1966 in Amasya. She graduated from İstanbul University Faculty of Communication, Department of Communication and Advertisement in 1999. She completed her master’s at Yeditepe University, Institute of Social Sciences in 2003. She was awarded Honorary Doctorate by Azerbaijan Baku University for her contributions to the participation of youth to education. Between 1997 and 2000, Ms. Alper worked in TRT and NTV news agencies. Ms. Alper who worked in several projects as Communication and Advertisement Coordination at Yeditepe University also worked as academic in the area of International Marketing. Between 2007 and 2010, She was the Director of Corporate Marketing and Communication in Medical Park Health Group. In 2001, she worked as Corporate Communication Advisor at Beykent University and took various roles in both management and social responsibility projects. Ms. Alper is recently working as Academy Director at WALD and carrying out several projects.
Seher Alacacı Arıner
Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Turkey
Seher Alacacı Arıner has been serving as Assistant Resident Representative responsible for the UNDP Program in Turkey since July 2017. She has been engaged in UN system since 2005 in different capacities. Throughout her career in UN, she had managed a series of Programmes that respond directly to social and political reforms in line with EC accession requirements. The main focus of her work had addressed targeted interventions to support national human rights mechanisms and transparent, accountable and efficient judicial systems for better access to justice. As a development practitioner, who started her career in working in South East Anatolia development projects, Seher Alacacı Arıner has more than 14 years of experience in development work in a variety of capacities, mainly in management, partnership building, resource mobilization, but also including programme and policy design, project implementation, advocacy and research. She has also strongly engaged with international community representatives and national partners in governments as well as loosely defined networks of non-governmental organizations and human rights advocates. She is also an active contributor of the integrated work of UN on human rights, democratization and SDGs. She was graduated from Bilkent University Department of Political Science and Public Administration and has an MA degree on European Integration, focusing on judicial and political ethics.
M. Cemil Arslan
Secretary General, Marmara Municipalities Union
He completed his undergraduate education at the Public Administration Department of Gazi University Faculty of Economics and Social Studies. He took his master’s degree on Marmara University Local Governments and Decentralization Program and Beykent University International Economic and Political Business Administration Program. He completed his Ph.D. in Marmara University Local Government and Decentralization Program. He continued post-doctoral language and finance studies in the UK.
He started his career in Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 1995; he worked as an Auditor, Director of Expenditures, Head of Financial Services Department, member of Executive Committee as well as the Chairman of the Board of Belbim Co., Bimtaş Co., and Istanbul Transportation Co. Since 2014, he has been working as Secretary General of Marmara Municipalities Union.
Programme Director, UCLG
Director of Programmes, United Cities and Local Governments UCLG, since its creation in 2004. Mr. Boussraoui brings about many years of expertise in urban planning, decentralised cooperation, and local governance in international organisations. Director of Programmes in charge of Water, Resilience and migration issues; he is also responsible for institutional relations with Sub Saharan Africa and Arab World Members. He graduated in 1985 from University of Paris XII, in urban planning and urbanism and he obtained his post graduate diploma in Urban Environment from Architecture School of Paris.
Secretary General, UCLG-MEWA / President of the Executive Committee, WALD
Mehmet Duman was born in 1955 in Bergama, Izmir. He graduated from Gazi University Department of English Language in 1980 and English Programme in Gazi University Department of Foreign Languages in 1989. In 1991, Mr. Duman continued studying in UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IIEP) in Paris while pursuing his master’s degree at Gazi University Institute of Social Sciences Department of Public Administration, Politics and Social Sciences. Mr. Duman who started his public career in 1976 at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry continued his career at the Ministry of Education, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Adapazarı Metropolitan Municipality and Prime Minister’s Office with various high-level administrative roles including director, head of department, secretary general and principal consultant. Mr. Duman is still the Vice President of Turkey-Turkmenistan Friendship and Solidarity Association, Member of the Executive Committee of the World Institute of Glocal and City Diplomacy (WIGCD), Deputy President of the Executive Committee at the İstanbul Environmental Protection and Waste Processing Corporation (İSTAÇ), Advisor to the Mayor at İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, President of the Executive Committee at World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD) and Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA). Mr. Duman who speaks English is married and father of two children.
Director, Global Refugee Forum, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Daniel Endres is the Director for the Global Forum for Refugees at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Before his current function, he led the roll-out of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework endorsed by the UN General Assembly in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in 2016. After which he served as Director of the newly created Division of Resilience and Solutions. Furthermore, Mr. Endres has also previously served as Director for UNHCR’s operations in Europe and as Director for External Relations.
Born in Switzerland, he has spent the majority of his UNHCR career in the field, notably as UNHCR’s representative in Iraq and as Deputy Representative in Afghanistan. In addition, he has worked in Pakistan, Poland, Yemen, Albania as well as in the North Caucasus, the Great Lakes region and West Africa. With a longstanding humanitarian track record, Mr. Endres comes from an international protection background and has extensive experience of managing emergency operations.
Mr. Endres holds a law degree from the University of Munich, Germany.
UNHCR Turkey Deputy Representative
Jean-Marie Garelli is the Deputy Representative for Operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ankara, Turkey since September 2016. He started working with UNHCR in 1994 and since then has been posted to several countries including Mauritania, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Eritrea, Serbia and Chad. From 2006 to 2010 he worked in UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva on the Desk covering Southeast Asia. Between 2011 and 2013, he was seconded to the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in New-York and worked in the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), a United Nations pool fund aimed at providing financial support to respond to emergencies.In September 2013, he was appointed Assistant Representative (Programme) in the UNHCR Representation for Lebanon, in Beirut, where he has been serving until September 2016. He is graduated in Political Science, in Contemporary History and in International Law.
Lado Vlademir Gvilava
Turkey Chief of Mission, IOM
Lado Vlademir Gvilava was born in 1961 in Tbilisi. He took his high school education from the Komarov School of Physics and Mathematics (1976-1978). He graduated from Technical University of Georgia, Faculty of Engineering and Physics with specialization in Semiconductor Physics and Electronic Technology (1978-1982). He completed his PHD studies in Technical Elements of Cybernetic and Control Systems at the Georgian Academy of Science, Institute of Control Systems (1986-1990) and his masters in Humanitarian Operations and Supply Chain Management (MASHOM) at Lugano University (USIA), Switzerland (2013-2014). Prior to his career with IOM, Mr. Gvilava worked as the Head of Research Unit and Chief of Production line in Scientific-Industrial Complex “Mioni” in Tbilisi, Georgia (1983-1993). During his IOM carrer, Mr. Gvilava assumed the roles of Logistician with IOM Georgia (1993-2000), Head of Logistics/Procurement Unit with IOM Kosovo (2000-2002), Head of Logistics/Procurement Unit with IOM Macedonia (2002-2003), Head of Logistics/Procurement Unit with IOM Iraq (2003-2007), Global Logistics Coordinator at the Department of Operations and Emergencies with IOM Iraq (2007-2014) and Head of IOM Iraq Regional Hub (2009-2015). Since 2015, Mr. Gvilava has been the Chief of Mission at IOM Turkey in 2015. He speaks English, Russian and Georgian.
Director, International Cooperation and Partnerships, IOM, Geneva
Jill Helke is the Director of International Cooperation and Partnerships of IOM HQ, Geneva since 2012. Ms. Helke is responsible for establishing partnerships and maintaining liaison with Member States and other migration stakeholders, for being the key IOM reference point on migration law, policy and research, promoting communication and dialogue on international migration. Ms. Helke started her career at HM Diplomatic Service as Desk Officer at Foreign & Commonwealth Office based in London (1978-1981) and undertook various roles as Vice Consul at British Embassy in Beijing PR China (1983-1985), First Secretary at United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in New York (1986-1992) and Head of Chancery and Head of Humanitarian Affairs at United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (1993-1999). In the meantime, she took a full-time language training at Cambridge and in Hong Kong (1981-1983). In 1999, Ms. Helke started working with IOM. During her time with IOM, she performed the duties of Special Assistant to the Director General (1999-2004), Executive Officer/Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of the Director General (2004-2009) and the Chief of Mission in Khartoum at IOM Sudan (2009-2012).
Mayor of the City of Altena
Dr. Andreas Hollstein studied Law and earned his PhD at the University of Bonn. From 1993 until 1995, he worked for the Head of Division at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania. After this, he worked as a Research Assistant of Wolfgang Lohmann MP and in the CDU/CSU fraction in the German Bundestag in the areas of social welfare and the benefits act for asylum seekers. He became Honorary 1st Deputy Mayor of his hometown Altena in 1994. He has been Mayor of the City of Altena since 1999. In 2017, he and the city of Altena were awarded with the first National Integration Prize from Chancellor Angela Merkel. In 2018, he was one of the four regional finalists for the Nansen Refugee Award.
Deputy Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality
General Coordinator of UCLG-MEWA
Salim Korkmaz was born in Adana, Turkey on 4th of July, 1984. After completion of his primary and secondary education in his hometown, he moved to Ankara, Turkey for his undergraduate degree on American Culture and Literature at Hacettepe University. He took up postgraduate courses in Translation Studies at Hacettepe University. He is currently studying under the Local Government, Urban and Environmental Studies MA program in Istanbul University. He started his professional career at Turkish Handball Federation, in the international relations department. He served as the coordinator of International Relations in Turkish Handball Federation until 2010. Between 2010 and 2012, he taught several courses on Translation of EU Texts, International Relations Texts, Press and Media Translation, and Translation of Legal Texts at Cappadocia Vocational Colleague, as a lecturer. He has translated several books from English into Turkish, including Islam and Democracy (2010), Democratic Values in the Muslim World (2012), Roman Myths (2012) and Kamikaze Diaries (2016). Since 2013, he has been working at UCLG-MEWA, following up international development agendas and coordinating relations of the Organization with other international organizations. He is currently the General Coordinator of UCLG-MEWA. Salim Korkmaz has represented his organization before various fora and platforms, including but not limited to UCLG Congresses in Rabat, Morocco (2013) and Bogota, Columbia (2016), World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments in Quito, Ecuador, Habitat III PrepCom meetings in Nairobi, Kenya and Surabaya, Indonesia, Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, and several Policy Forum on Development (PFD) meetings of the European Commission in Brussels, & Ghent, Belgium and Amman, Jordan, Gaborone, Botswana and Kathmandu, Nepal. He has coordinated the Intermediary Cities MEWA Regional Forum in 2017 in Nevşehir, Turkey.
Coordinator of UCLG Intermediary Cities Forum
Firdaous Oussidhoum is the Special Adviser of the UCLG Secretary General, the world institution for Local and Regional Governments advocating for shared values and principles, for the Local Democracy as representative of the citizens. She is also a Member of the UNESCO Chair for Intermediate Cities and World Urbanization. Architect and Urban planner, Firdaous developed her expertise in the Sustainable and Resilient Develop Strategies. After finishing her studies between Grenoble (France) and the Barcelona School of Architecture (Spain), she followed up with a Master in Philosophy of Architecture, and continued completing her doctorate in Philosophy of Architecture in Lyon III University. Practicing Architecture and Urban Planning for 18 years in her office in Tangier (Morocco), Firdaous has been Consulting for Decision Makers and Development institutions, as a Policy Maker for local policies, housing policies and strategic management policies at international level (Africa, Asia and Europe) as a Senior Expert. Always connected to the International fields and challenges, she has been elected in volunteering positions with a Diplomatic and Strategic relevance, first through the professional structures (Secretary General on Regional Council of Architects of Tangier-Morocco from 2005-2008,in charge of International Relations – Member elected of National Council of Architects of Morocco from 2008-2011, Member elected of International Union of Architects from 2008-2014 and Assistant Secretary General of Africa Union of Architects 2008-2011), and after as a Lecturer and speaker at an international level. Firdaous Oussidhoum became Director of International & External Relations at the Africa Union of Architects in November 2011 till August 2015. Taking benefit of her 12 years in International Relations and Cooperation, she has been advising the United Cities and Local Governments especially as the (UCLG)’s Coordinator for the Intermediary Cities Forum, before taking the position of Special Adviser. She has also been a Professor of Philosophy of Architecture, a discipline that allows her to continuously reflect and innovate on the approach of a resilient human development through sustainability and culture : the Planet Resilience is for her directly linked to the daily definition of live of the Human Being in its space, time and policy orientations, where only Dialogue between all spheres can allow Life to continue, and offer a resilient future to the next generations. Firdaous is acting for a new Dialogue towards our planet’s sustainability. In this vision, the key role for her is into both the global institutions _especially United Nations_ and local decision makers and mayors :urban development strategies & governance, are the channel in grounding international recommendations and universal values.
Head of the Migration and Sustainable Development Unit, IOM
Cécile Riallant is a senior migration, displacement and development expert with 22 years of experience. She is currently leading the work of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on migration and development as Head of the Migration and Sustainable Development Unit based at headquarters, Geneva. Previously, she was seconded to UNDP in Brussels to manage the UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), the largest global UN programme on migration and development involving seven agencies. She joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2000, after three years of working as a researcher. She has managed for IOM numerous programmes and projects in the field of migration and displacement with geographical scope in the Great Lakes (Africa), Afghanistan, the Balkans and Europe. She was also Deputy Chief of Mission of the IOM Mission in Indonesia, working to support populations internally displaced by the 2004 tsunami and the conflict in North Sumatra. Ms. Riallant led the efforts to develop IOM’s flagship publication, Migration and the 2030 Agenda, and was a contributor to the 2015 World Migration Report on Migrants and Cities and the OECD report Perspectives on Global development 2017. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Migration Policy Practice and of the International Steering Committee of the civil society component of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. She holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Science Po), a Master of Science in European Studies from the University of Strasbourg and a Master of Science in Social Policies from the London School of Economics.
UN Turkey Officer in Charge – OIC
Prior to becoming Officer-in-Charge in Turkey, Mr Rodriguez was UN Resident Coordinator in the United Republic of Tanzania from August 2014. Mr. Rodriguez has served in the UN since 1991 when he began his work with UNDP in Kenya and then served in China and Thailand. Over the course of his career with the UN he has held senior level positions in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia where he was UNDP Country Director. Additionally, he has previously served as Policy Support Coordinator in UNDP Headquarters in New York where he was responsible for the oversight of UNDP’s Global Programme. Mr. Rodriguez has expertise in capacity development, electoral assistance, crisis prevention, humanitarian response and recovery, risk management, environmental management as well as disaster risk reduction. Mr. Rodriguez is originally from Chile but is a citizen of Canada. He has studied in Chile, Canada, India and Australia and holds degrees in several fields related to Development and Development Economics.
Mayor of Deirnbouh, Lebanon / President of UCLG-MEWA / President of Union of Dannieh Municipalities
Mohamad Saadie is the Mayor of Deirnbouh, the President of Union of Dannieh Municipalities and the President of UCLG-MEWA. In addition, Mr. Saadie has been an active member of various international organizations and a lecturer at various universities, institutes and international conferences. His main areas of work focus on the development of culture, women empowerment, participatory approach of youth and civil society. He has also expertise in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda 2030 (NUA). Mr. Saadie has been granted various awards including the National Order of Merit Knight. He holds a master’s degree in local development, law, financial management and insurance.
Deputy Mayor of the City of Kyoto, Japan
Shoichiro Suzuki has been the Deputy Mayor of the City of Kyoto since April 1, 2019. Mr. Suzuki was born in 1972. He graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in 1995. After graduation, Mr. Suzuki started working at the Ministry of Construction (now part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and became First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Republic of Singapore (2005). Following these, Mr. Suzuki took various roles in the public service including the Director of the Tourism and Product Division at the Department of Commerce, Industry and Labor (2008), Director of the Public Relations Division at the General Affairs Department (2010) and Director of Real Estate Market Planning and Coordination, Land Economy and Construction Industries Bureau (2012). Besides, he also worked many years at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as the Director of Urban Planning and Coordination, Urban Policy Division at the City Bureau (2012), Director of City and Regional Administration Policy Planning, General Affairs Division, City Bureau (2013), Director of Accounts Management, Budget and Accounts Division, Minister’s Secretariat (2014), Director of Public-Private-Partnership Policy Division, Policy Bureau (2016) and Director-General, City Planning Bureau, Kyoto City (2017).
Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey
Fatma Şahin has been the Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality since 2014. Ms Şahin is also the President of the United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) and the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB). She was founding member of the Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) Provincial Office in Gaziantep, the President of the JDP Women Branch in 2007, member of the Parliament between 2002 and 2015 and the Minister of Family and Social Policy between 2011 and 2013. During his term in the parliament, Ms Şahin took an active role in the Parliament’s Commissions for Industry, Commerce and Energy and for Harmony with EU, and was President of the Commission for Honor Killings and Investigation of Violence against Children. She is the first woman parliament member and Mayor of Gaziantep and the first women Minister of South-East Anatolia Region of Turkey. Ms Şahin has also an 18-year private sector experience as operation engineer and manager. She is a chemical engineer with a university degree from İstanbul Technical University. Ms Şahin is married and has two children.
Resident Representative, UNDP Turkey Country Office
Mr Claudio Tomasi was appointed as UNDP Resident Representative for Turkey in December 2018. Previous to that, he served as UNDP Country Director for Turkey from July 2016 to November 2018. Before joining the Turkey Country Office, he was UNDP Deputy Representative in Cuba (2012-2016), in Nicaragua (2008-12), and in the Dominican Republic (2003-2007). With UNDP, he also worked in Panama as Assistant Resident Representative (2002) and in India as Governance Programme Officer (2001). Previous to his engagement with UNDP, Claudio Tomasi worked for the European Union and as a United Nation Volunteer (UNV) in India where he started his international career. Mr. Tomasi has collaborated with several NGOs, development research institutes, local based organizations and cooperatives. Claudio Tomasi has 20 years of experience in development work in three continents in a variety of capacities, mainly in management, partnership building, policy advise, programme design, project implementation, advocacy and research. Claudio Tomasi is a sociologist of Italian nationality. He graduated in Sociology and Social Planning at the University of Sociology in Trento (Italy) and holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London (UK). He was also a visiting graduate student at the Department of Political Sciences at CUNY, City University of New York (USA). Mr. Tomasi is currently married and father of two, Fabrizio and Maia.
Deputy Regional Director, UNDP Europe and the CIS
Ms. Agi Veres is the Deputy Regional Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, based inIstanbul. In this role, she leads UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub supporting 17 countries and one territory to deliver on achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals in the region, spanning across Central Asia, the Western CIS and South Caucasus, and the Western Balkans. Ms. Veres previously served as Country Director, then Resident Representative of UNDP in China where she led UNDP’s domestic development programme, as well as UNDP’s engagement with the country on global development cooperation. Ms. Veres has been working for UNDP since 2002 in various capacities at headquarters, regional and country levels. Prior to her appointment in UNDP China, she was the Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Lesotho (2011-2015), and deputy of the Bratislava Regional Centre for Europe and the CIS (2009-2011). Ms Veres also served as Deputy Chief for Policy and Programme in the Bratislava Regional Centre for Europe and the CIS (2006-2008), Corporate Reporting and Business Analysis Team Lead (2005-2006), and ICT Communications Officer at UNDP Headquarters (2002-2005). Prior to joining UNDP, Ms. Veres worked in the private sector as a management consultant for Accenture, as an Organizational Change Management expert in Hungary and New York (1997 to 2002) with specialization in organizational effectiveness, change management and business process reengineering. Ms. Veres is a native of Hungary and has a degree of Master of Sciences in Business Administration from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences (Corvinus University).
Mayor of Zeytinburnu, İstanbul, Turkey
Ömer Arısoy was born in 1974 in Çamlıhemşin, Rize. He completed his primary, elementary and high school education in his hometown. In 1989, he started his college education at Marmara University, Faculty of Communication, College of Press. After three years, in 1992, he quit his education at Marmara University for Law School at İstanbul University. He graduated from Law School in 1997. Following his graduation and a period of working as an independent lawyer, Mr. Arısoy serves as Advisor to the Mayor of Zeytinburnu from 1999 to 2004. Between 2004 and 2014, he worked as Deputy Mayor of Zeytinburnu, responsible for Legal, Cultural, Information Processing, Editorial Office and Human Rights Affairs. He also performed the duties of President of Council and of Tender Committee as well as managed the Zeytinburnu Municipality Culture Publications. From October 2014 to September 2016, Mr. Arısoy worked as the President of the Mass Housing Administration’s Strategy Development Department. Between September 2016 and July 2018, he was the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. On July 21, 2018, Mr. Arısoy was appointed as the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. On November 30, 2018, he quit his role for candidacy for the Mayoral elections. On March 31, 2019, He was elected as the Mayor of Zeytinburnu Municipality. Mr. Arısoy is married and father of two children. He speakers English.
Director, Oxfam Turkey
Meryem Aslan has been the Oxfam Country Director in Turkey since 2013. She has more than 30 years of international experience working with United Nations and civil society organisations, in program coordination, policy design and management positions in a range of countries and fragile states in South and Central Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.
Chairman of the Syrian Businessmen and Entrepreneurs Organization (SIAD)
Khaled Bablli was born in 1966 in Aleppo, Syria. He graduated from University of Aleppo in 1989 as civil engineer. Mr. Bablli is the is the Chairman of the Syrian businessmen and entrepreneurs Organization (SIAD). His work aims to spread the culture of entrepreneurship to Syrian entrepreneurs and provide job opportunities for fresh graduate students through entrepreneurship programs. Besides, Mr. Bablli has also been the Director of Arak Construction since 2013. He is married and father of four children.
Secretary General, TÜRKONFED
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.
Director of Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau
Cai Baodi was born in 1968 in Shanghai, China. He has spent most of his career in the immigration system, and is currently the director of Foreigners’ Visa Department of Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai PSB. He is now responsible for foreigners’ visa and permanent residence application, issues concerning nationality and immigrants’ integration. After years of perseverance and study, He is now an expert in immigration area in Shanghai. Mr. Cai holds a BA in English Literature from Shanghai International Studies University and an LLM degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Director, Chamber of Environmental Engineers (TMMOB)
Mehmet Abdi Bulut
Mayor of Kilis Municipality, Turkey
Mehmet Abdi Bulut was born in 20 Ekim 1967. After completed primary school and high school in Kilis, he studied law at the İstanbul University Faculty of Law. Following his law internship, Mr. Bulut completed his military service in 1991 as sub-lieutenant at Konya School of Personnel of Ministry of National Defense Department of Construction Real Estate. In 1993, he started working as attorney at law. Between 2004 and 2014, Mr. Bulut performed the duty of Mayor for two terms. After five years, he was elected as Mayor for the third time in 2019. Mr. Bulut is married and has three children. He speaks English fluently.
Dalia Rosa Delgado Burbano
Northeast Territorial Coordinator, UNDP Colombia
Dalia Rosa Delgado Burbano is a Sociologist and Social Management Specialist with master’s in educational and Social Development. With experience in the field of development planning, project formulation, public policies, politics and governance, socioeconomic inclusion of migrant population, she has experience and 15 years of work in International Cooperation. She is recently Territorial Coordinator of UNDP in the Northeast area that includes the departments of Norte de Santander, Santander and Arauca.
Mayor of Gebze, Kocaeli
Zinnur Büyükgöz was born in 1964 in Erzurum. He graduated from Primary School of Bakırköy Kocasinan in 1975, Secondary School of Kadıköy İmam Hatip in 1978 and Highschool of Gebze İmam Hatip in 1983. Mr. Büyükgöz graduated from graduated from Yıldız Technical University, Faculty of Architecture as City and Regional Planner in 1987. Between 1987 and 1989, he completed his master’s degree at the same university on the same area. Mr. Büyükgöz served in different parts of the country as city planner since then. He started his political career as Head of Town of Darıca and Member of Gebze Board of Management from Welfare Party and Member of Executive Board of Kocaeli City Branch of Virtue Party. He served in several posts since the foundation of the Justice and Development Party (JDP). Mr. Büyükgöz worked as Technical Deputy Mayor of Gebze Municipality, Alderman at the Gebze Municipality, Alderman at the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality and Member of Board of Zoning between 2004 and 2009. Besides his political roles, he also took active role in various civil society organizations and different platforms. He became a Member of İstanbul, Bursa and Kocaeli Regional Councils for the Conservation of Cultural Property in 2004. Mr. Büyükgöz worked as expert in Turkey’s different Administrative Courts. He took place in several projects and represented our country. Since 2014, he is a Member of Project Advisory Board in the Technopark İstanbul Technology Region. In 2019, he quit his Membership in Regional Councils for the Conservation of Cultural Property due to his candidacy for being the Mayor of Gebze. On 31st of March 2019, Mr. Büyükgöz became the Mayor of Gebze. He is married and has four children.
President, INGEV Foundation
Graduated from METU – Department of Economics and after a short experience of advertising and banking, Vural Çakır took place in the foundation of Zet Research Company. After the merger with ACNielsen in 1993, he became the trading partner and the general manager of the company until the end of 2000. He founded KMG Marketing Services Group in 2001 and acted as president of this group until 2007. In 2007, a partnership was established with Ipsos which is the second largest research company of the world and which has also acquired Synovate in 2011.
He acted as the CEO of Ipsos Turkey and as the member of Ipsos Global Management Council until the end of 2015. After selling all his company shares to Ipsos, he pioneered the establishment of INGEV in order to work in civil society field. Substantially, he continues his works in the field of human development and supports innovative entrepreneurships. Having many articles published in various business magazines, Vural Çakır gave lectures at Bilgi University, Adschool Marketing Communications Master Programme between 2008 – 2013. Also, former president of Turkish Researchers’ Association (TÜAD), in the meantime, Vural Çakır is the author of two books named “Geleceğe Dokunuş” (Touching the Future) and “İş Hayatının – Okulda Öğretilmeyen – 21 Gizli Kuralı” (21 Secret Rules of Business Life – Not Taught at School)
Mehmet Murat Çalık
Mayor of Beylikdüzü, İstanbul, Turkey
Mehmet Murat Çalık was born in 1972, in Maçka, Trabzon. Çalık who is the third child of a mother from Rize and a father from Trabzon completed his primary education in Maçka and his high school education in Trabzon. In 1997, Mr. Çalık graduated from City and Regional Planning Department, Faculty of Architecture of Istanbul Technical University. In 1998, he became a founding partner of a company which operated in the city planning sector. Between 2008 and 2014, Mr. Çalık performed various duties at the management and president levels in the Istanbul Branch of Chamber of City Planners. Mr. Çalık who has made various contributions to Beylikdüzü since 1999 worked as Technical Coordinator and Deputy Mayor at the Beylikdüzü Municipality. Aiming for the sky, advocating for “happiness in the city needs planning” and with the dream of making Beylikdüzü breath of Istanbul, Mr. Çalık won the favor of people and became the Mayor of Beylikdüzü on 31 March 2019. He is Member of several civil society organizations such as Trabzonspor Club, Beylikdüzü Volleyball Specialization Club and West Istanbul Foundation. He is married and father of two children.
Chief Executive Officer, Knox City Council, Australia
Tony is an innovative senior executive with a background that includes executive leadership roles with one of Australia’s largest financial services companies, working in Australia and the United Kingdom, and more recently in Local Government. His finance experience has seen him work in partnership with large corporate businesses through to small enterprises, developing deep commercial acumen. This, overlaid with a strong commitment to community development, has meant his impact in Local Government has been significant, including developing community programs that not only transform community engagement and wellbeing, but also create economic security. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA. A particular strength, skill and passion is building safe, engaging, inclusive and sustainable communities. A dedicated advocate for refugees and the benefits of immigration.
Mayor of Sultangazi, İstanbul, Turkey
Abdurrahman Dursun was born in 1972 in Adıyaman. He completed his primary, elementary and high school education in his hometown. Mr. Dursun who graduated from Adıyaman İmam Hatip High School completed Law School at İstnabul University in 1996. He married Tuba Büyükaslan. Mr. Dursun is the father of two boys and speaks English fluently. Mr. Dursun started his Professional career in 1997. He worked as legal advisor for various firms and as lawyer independently. Mr. Dursun also performed the duties of the President of Lawyers’ Club of Unity Foundation, President of Adıyaman Foundations Federation and Turkey Swimming Federation Board of Management Member. He also worked in Turkey Football Federation Council of Conflict Resolution. Mr. Dursun started his active political career as Member of City Discipline Council of Ak Parti İstanbul Branch in 2006. He was selected as Member of Board of Management for the AK Parti İstanbul Board of Management in 2009, 2012 and 2015. During this period, he managed duty of the President for Organization, Election Affairs, Political and Legal Affairs and Local Governance Units. Mr. Dursun managed the İstanbul 3rd Region, Election Coordination Center in June 7 and November 1, 2015 General Election. Between 2009 and 2018, he worked as Member of İstanbul Governorate Human Rights Council as the AK Parti City Branch Representative. Mr. Dursun who was elected as the District Head for AK Parti Branch in Sultangazi on March 30, 2018 became the Mayor of Sultangazi at the local elections of March 31, 2019.
Ayşegül Yalçın Eriş
Deputy General Coordinator, The Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD-ASAM)
Ayşegül Yalçın Eriş is Deputy General Coordinator of the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD-ASAM) which was established in 1995 in Ankara as an independent, impartial and non-profit association to assist refugees and asylum seekers living in Turkey. She is also General Secretary and Member of the Refugee Rights Working Group of Union of Turkish Bar Association. She graduated from the Ankara University School of Law. Before starting work with SGDD- ASAM, Ayşegül spent 15 years as a freelance lawyer for companies on intellectual property rights and as well as for the individuals on human rights. She started to work as a lawyer in the Protection Department at SGDD-ASAM and was then appointed as a project coordinator for the projects named ” Education Campus and Integrated Protection For The Syrian Refugees” and “Improve The Protection Mechanisms For Non-Syrian Asylum Seekers And Refugees Through Continuation Of Protection”. As of 2018, she took the role of Deputy General Coordinator for the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD-ASAM). Ayşegül enjoys travelling and getting in touch with different cultures. She is a mother of two aged 13 and 9.
Mayor of Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Šuhret Fazlić was born on 17th April 1961 in Bihac. He graduated from the Political Science Department of the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo in 1985. He holds a master’s degree in human resources management and the title of Certified Human Resources Specialist from the Michigan State University. As part of his residency in the United States, he did internships at the Michigan State Department of the Office of Grait Workplace Development, where he did research in the area of pay models, that is, motivating civil servants, workplace stress issues, and succession in government and small and medium-sized family businesses. So far, he has published two scientific papers in the field of management. During the war 1992 – 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Fazlić was a member of the 5th Corps Command of the BiH Army. He has an extensive work and management experience in private and public companies and international organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Head of the OHR Regional Office, Advisor to the Mayor of Bihac, Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Una Sana Canton, Director of the FBiH Privatization Agency, etc.). In the term of 1998 – 2000 he was a Member of the Assembly of the Una Sana Canton, and in the term of 2000 – 2002 he was a Member of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of BiH. In the 2008 local elections, as well as in 2012, he was elected a municipal councilor in the Bihać Municipal Council. At the local elections in 2016 he was elected the Mayor of Bihac.
Susana Garrido Gandullo
Mayor of Villamanrique de la Condesa, Seville, Spain
Susana Garrido Gandullo is the current mayor of Villamanrique de la Condesa (Province of Seville, Spain) since June 2019. She was previously deputy mayor of the same consistory for 12 years. Specialized in Society, Administration and Politics at the School of High Public Management of Andalusia, and with training in Leadership, Local Politics and Strategic Territorial Planning. Throughout her professional career, she has specialized in economics and the third sector and in international humanitarian law, as well as in International and Municipal Cooperation and Action, having participated in different missions in Palestine, Colombia, and also in European countries. She has a degree in law since 2006 and also has experience in private law and in the field of neurodevelopment.
Mayor of the City of Sombor, Serbia
Ms. Dušanka Golubović was born in Sombor, where she finished elementary school and Gymnasium. She graduated from the Faculty of Law from the University of Belgrade in 2005. After two years of internship in the law office, since 2007, she has been employed in the City Administration of the City of Sombor. She worked in the City Administration as an expert associate in the area of social and health care, Head of the Department for General Affairs in Public Services and Financial Support to the Families with Children, Assistant Mayor and Head of the Department for Social Activities. She was appointed Chief of the City Administration in 2015 and performed these duties until her election for the Mayor of the City of Sombor. She was elected as Mayor on the constitutive session of the Assembly of the City of Sombor on June 8, 2016. In the period from 2016 to the end of 2017, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED). She was elected President of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM) with a two-year mandate in December 2017. Ms. Golubović still performs the duties of Vice-President for the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe.She speaks English and German. Ms. Golubović is married and a mother of two children, Dunja and Luka.
Deputy Mayor of Bağcılar Municipality, İstanbul, Turkey
Kenan Gültürk is a counselor of Bağcılar Municipality Mayor who was born in Sivas, in 1964. After completing secondery and high school in Istanbul, Mr.Gültürk graduated from Faculty of Theology and had a Master Degree on “ Educational Sociology” from Sakarya University Institute of Social Sciences. After working as a manager in private sector, Mr.Gültürk started to work as a teacher in the Ministry of National Education and worked in Trabzon and Sakarya provincial centers. In the beginning of 1997, he became a Deputy Manager in Istanbul Municipality in Provincial Directorate for National Education. In 25th October,1998, he was assigned to Directorate of Archives and in 3th October 1999, he assigned to the Directorate of Social and Touristic Facilities and continued his work in here until the end of 2005. In 2006, he was appointed as the Director of the Directorate of Culture and Social Affairs at Bağcılar Municipality. After the 2014 local elections, he served as Deputy Mayor. Mr.Gültürk is married and has one child.
Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Mehmet Harmancı was born in 1977 in Nicosia and he graduated from the Turkish Maarif College. Harmancı completed the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) International Relations Department. During his university education, he fulfilled active missions in EMU-KOB (EMU Cypriot Students Union). Harmancı completed his master’s degree in EU and Politics in Liverpool from the John Moores University. Harmancı has been actively involved in both Political groups and Civil Society Organizations moreover he has had vast experience with the private sector especially with regards to the management sector. He started his political life in the Social Liberation Party (TKP) where he undertook the responsibility of President of the Youth Section of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDH) and TKP. He worked as the General Director of a private tourism company between the years 2005 – 2008. In 2008 Harmancı was selected for the Young European Leaders programme by the US Embassy in Cyprus. Between June 2013 and September 2013 Harmancı served as the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture. Fulfilling Deputy Secretary General missions, Mehmet Harmancı was then elected as the Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party (TDP). He worked as the Project Manager for the UNDP funded ‘Engage-Do Your Part for Peace’ project for which he completed the required deliverables of the project on behalf of the Management Centre of the Mediterranean. He has also been heavily involved in multicultural environments both as an activist of peace and reconciliation and at an organizational level. Mehmet Harmancıwas elected as the Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality in the elections which took place in June 2014 and he was re-elected in 2018 as the Mayor of Nicosia Turkish Municipality. He is married and has one child.
CEO, The Blended Capital Group
For 25 years Paul Clements-Hunt has been central to break-through developmeents in responsible investment and sustainable finance. In 2011-2012, as a United Nations official he supported Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his work on financial stability and sustainability for the UN Secretary General ahead of the 2012 World Summit on Sustainable Development ( WSSD). While Head of www.unepfi.org from 2000-2012 his team conceived and delivered: the Principles for Responsible Investment (2006); the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2011); and the Natural Capital Declaration (2012). In 2019 the PRI is backed by 2500 investors (AuM USD 80 trillion). Clements-Hunt was a UNPRI Board member for six years (2006-2012).Paul’s career has spanned business, the UN, and the media. He has been embedded in global policy discussions around climate change, biodiversity, and human rights since the early 1990s. After leaving the UN in 2012, he established The Blended Capital Group (TBCG), an advisory and private equity firm focused on deals in frontier economies. Since 2014, TBCG has been working closely with the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) and their participant Funds to help drive their climate related work, such as the One Planet Initiative. Since its inception in 2017, Paul has been Partner in FenElpi Partners, a boutique firm focusing on infrastructure delivery in frontier economies. FenElpi Partners hosted its premier event, Infrastructure Investment Frontiers, in London in 2019. Paul still works closely with the various organisations of the UN, including the Executive Office of the Secretary General, UNDP and UNHCR for moderation of their high level fora. He is also Chair of the International Advisory Committee for SOS Sahel, an NGO focused on food security across North Africa.Clements-Hunt established one of the first environmental strategy and technology consultancies for Southeast Asia while based in Bangkok (1991-1998). During this period he worked to promote greater environmental & social disclosure on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) . In 1994 Paul took his business inside the world’s largest testing, inspection and verification group, the Swiss multinational SGS. From 1998 to 2000 he was the Senior Energy and Environment Policy Manager for the Paris-based global business organisation, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).In the mid-1980s he was a UK-based journalist specialising in environmental business issues.
Nuray Karaoğlu was born in 1960. She studied International Relations and Administrative Sciences. Ms. Karaoğlu who has been a member of several civil society organizations was the President of Göztepe Rotary Club between 2002 and 2003. Used to be a Member of KAGİDER, Ms. Karaoğlu became a Member of KA.DER in 2004. Ms. Karaoğlu who is married and the mother of three children is also Member of Board of Management at Nesa Broadcasting and Media Production. She participated in Women Entrepreneurship, inter-organizational communication, Gender Equality trainings and Kota Training, Bahçeşehir University Political Science, Erickson Denge Merkezi NLP Practitioner Certificate Programs. She has been the Chairwoman of KA.DER since 2017. KA.DER is a foundation which works for women to be represented equally in decision making mechanisms and member of various international organizations such as European Women’s Lobby and ECOSOC. The Foundation also takes active role in the Coordination Council of Checks and Balances Network which operates in Turkey and is consisted of almost 300 civil society organizations.
Mayor of Sultanbeyli, İstanbul, Turkey
Hüseyin Keskin was born in 1972 in Erzincan. He completed his college education in Theology and his master’s in management. Mr. Keskin started his political career in Welfare Party’s neighborhood organization and continued with AK Party as Founding Member of Board in Sultanbeyli Branch in 2002. Mr. Keskin who performed the duties of Head of Public Relations, Head of Organization and Head of Political and Legal Affairs. In the Congress which was held in March 4, 2006, he was elected as Head of AK Party Sultanbeyli Branch. Mr. Keskin who kept this post until the next congress was elected as the Mayor of Sultanbeyli for the 2009-2014 period. In 2009, Mr. Keskin was re-nominated by the AK Party for the Mayorship and re-elected as the Mayor of Sultanbeyli. He is married and father of four children.
Mayor of Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey
Muammer Keskin was born in 1954 in Ardahan. He completed his primary and secondary education in Ardahan. Mr.Keskin came to Istanbul for his university education and graduated from the Department of Social Studies at Atatürk Education Institute. After his military service, he worked as a teacher for 3 years. Mr.Keskin started to work at the Directorate of Science Affairs in 1972 during the Mayor of Fahri Atabay. Between 1974-1978, he worked with Istanbul Mayor Ahmet İsvan at the Istanbul Side Asphalt Branch. In the next two years, Mr.Keskin served as Sisli Branch Manager under the CHP Mayor Aytekin Kotil. District President. In 1985, he played an active role in the establishment of the Association of Financial Advisors. Mr. Keskin contributed to the publication of the Social Democratic Change Magazine in the 1990s. Between 1998 and 2006, he was a member of the board of directors of Istanbul Chamber of Independent Accountant and Financial Advisors. Mr.Keskin also has served as the General Secretary of Social, Economic and Political Research Foundation of Turkey (TUSES). He has actively worked in many civil society platforms such as Şişli Democracy Assembly, Özgür Şişli and Özgür İstanbul Platform. Mr.Keskin, who continues to serve civil society as a member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Oncology Foundation, is married to Hülya Keskin and has two children, Derya and Volkan.
Ali Haidar Khalifeh
Mayor of Sarafand Municipality, Lebanon
Ali Haidar Khalifeh is the Mayor of Sarafand Municipality in Lebanon. Mr. Khalifeh is also the Vice President of the Arab Volleyball Federation and Vice President of the Lebanese Volleyball Federation. In addition to his role as Mayor, Mr. Khalifeh is an electrical engineer. He holds a Degree in Political and Administrative Sciences and Diploma in Educational Administration. Mr. Khalifeh also holds two master’s degrees in Planning and Management and Hospital Management.
Ex-Mayor of Peshawar City District Government, Pakistan
Asim Khan has done master’s in business administration from University of Peshawar in 2005. Before joining politics, he started as an entrepreneur and his business experience includes publishing, agriculture, distribution & real estate. He was elected as Mayor of Peshawar in 2014 local government elections. He was the CEO of Mass transit system for the city. He also remained the focal person for mega projects in City District Government of Peshawar. He served as member of different provincial government boards. He is a very active member of the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and served on several party positions. He was also the Provincial President of Mayors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As Peshawar holds the record of hosting the refugees for the longest time and still has a big number of refugees, he played a major role in integrating and facilitating the refugees in the city of Peshawar.
Iris Bjorg Kristjansdottir
Regional Migration and Humanitarian Specialist, UN Women Europe
Iris Bjorg Kristjansdottir Regional Migration and Humanitarian Specialist for UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office has over 16 years of professional experience in field of migration, integration, humanitarian action and refugee resettlement on international, national and local government level, on policy, strategy, advocacy, programme implementation and in liaising with government authorities and relevant stakeholders. With special emphasis on gender responsive approach, Iris has years of experience in engaging stakeholders and actors on the ground, including representatives from the affected population and fostering meaningful engagement and participation. Prior to taking on the role of regional migration and humanitarian specialist, Iris was based in Ankara for over two years where she was building up UN Women Syria response portfolio. UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Head of Policy and Advocacy, Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative
Gordon Noble is Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative. Previously Gordon was Director of Investments and Economy at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and was responsible for investment strategy and stakeholder relations, focusing on issues such as financial system stability, infrastructure, innovation, capital markets and fixed interest markets. Gordon worked for the secretariat of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and founded the Responsible Investment Academy with the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, an online training platform that educates investors on incorporating environmental, social and governance issues into investment processes that is now the PRI Academy. As Managing Director Asia Pacific for Inflection Point Capital Management, a sustainability focused investment management business, Gordon was responsible for client engagement, research and communications. Gordon is a member of UNHCR for Australia’s Program Committee.
Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk City, Ukraine
Ruslan Martsinkiv is the Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk City. He was the Deputy of Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Council (the fifth convocation). Mr. Ruslan moved up from the member of the National Scout Organization of Ukraine to the head of the very establishment, located in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi Regions (2007-2010). He also held the positions of the Assistant Deputy Mayor (2005) and the Chairman of the Standing Commission on Youth, Physical Education, and Sport of Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Council (2006-2010). In 2010, he was elected the Head of the Secretariat of the Ivano-Frankivsk Office of the All-Ukraine Svoboda Party. Since November 2010, he had been both the Secretary and Deputy of Ivano-Frankivsk City Council. In 2012, he became the Member of the Ukrainian Parliament (the seventh convocation) in compliance with the multi-mandate constituency lists of the All-Ukraine Svoboda Party. In addition, he became the Member of the Committee on Construction, Urban Development, Utilities, and Regional Policy. In November 2015, Ruslan Martsinkiv won the local elections and became the Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk City. During the Mayor’s cadence, the city has received the 2018 Europe Prize – awarded annually by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to the city most active in promoting the European ideal. Another accomplishment is that Ivano-Frankivsk has become one of the city-capitals where international blacksmith festivals are traditionally held.
Founder & Director, SAWA for Development and Aid
Dr. Rouba Mhaissen is a Syrian-Lebanese economist, community mobiliser, and development practitioner who works on development issues particularly forced migration and the Syrian refugee crisis. She is an activist, public speaker and is engaged in workshops trainings and facilitating. Mhaissen received her BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut, her MSc in International Development from the London School of Economics, and an MPhil/PhD in Gender and Economic Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She holds two degrees in Exponential technologies from Singularity University (Silicon Valley). She has taught at SOAS, University of London and at the American University of Beirut. She is the Founder and Director of Sawa for Development and Aid (a Civil Society Organisation that supports Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the internally displaced in Syria, focusing on protection, education, capacity building, skills and advocacy; and Sawa Foundation UK (founded in 2016), that supports forced migrants in Europe and the Middle East. Mhaissen is the recipient of numerous awards relating to her work; of which Queen Elizabeth Award (2011), the FCO Marsh Award for Peacemaking and Peacekeeping (2016), The Agha Khan Pluralism Honorable Mention (2017), The AUB Most Distinguished Alumni Award (2017), the Forbes 30Under30 list for Policy and Law (2017), the Vital Voices Global leadership Award for Human Rights (2019), and the Rafto Award for Human Rights (2019)
Mayor of Urla, İzmir, Turkey
Burak Oğuz was born in 1972. He completed his primary education in Urla İskele Primary School and his secondary education in Urla High School. After graduating from the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Dokuz Eylül University, he received his MA degree in the Department of Finance of the same university and his thesis on the Financial Structure of Free Zones Dok. He still continues her PhD work in her dissertation phase. Burak OĞUZ started his professional career in the tax, accounting and finance departments of companies with international capital. In 2003, he became a Certified Public Accountant. Burak OĞUZ, who continues her career in her own company, is also an Independent Auditor from Public Oversight Authority. Burak OĞUZ is fluent in English. He is married and has two children.
Mayor of Karesi Municipality, Balıkesir, Turkey
Dinçer Orkan was born in Hisariçi Neighborhood of Karesi in Balıkesir. Mr. Orkan studied Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Uludağ University and Management at the Anatolian University. Mr. Orkan who started his career at the private sector continued his business life as a freelance contractor. He performed various duties in public services including the first place Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality Council Member, Karesi Commission of Reconstruction Member, Metropolitan Plan Budget Commission Member, Metropolitan Municipality Sports Club Deputy President Responsible for Disabled Basketball Players, President of the Commission for Social Services, Disabled and Public Relations, Metropolitan Committee Member, Acting Mayor of Metropolitan Municipality and Marmara Union of Municipalities Council Member. In addition, he took several roles within the Justice and Development Party including the Provincial Head of the Party in Balıkesir Central District and in general Balıkesir. Mr. Orkan was also the candidate for nomination for the Parliament Membership from Balıkesir. He is married and father of two children.
Antonio Rodríguez Osuna
Mayor of Mérida, Extremadura, Spain
Antonio Rodríguez Osuna has been the Mayor of Mérida since 2015. Mr. Osuna was born in Mérida on March 6, 1975. He has a master’s in business administration and Management, executive MBA from the ITAE Business School and a Diploma in Physical Education (Badajoz School of Education) from the University of Extremadura. He is married. During his career, Mr. Osuna was Councillor of the City of Mérida by the PSOE (1999-2004), Chief of Staff of the Minister of Industry, Energy and Environment of the Junta de Extremadura (2007-2011), Advisor to the Vice President (2004-2007) and Parliamentary for the PSOE in the Assembly (2011-2015) serving as the Energy, Environment and Sports Spokesman. Besides his public sector experience, having been entrepreneur in the hospitality sector, Mr. Osuna owned a restaurant in Cáceres until May 2018 and currently has it in Mérida. He worked as a waiter for two years, lighting technician, tent installer, leisure and leisure monitor, sports monitor for two years in the beach service of the City of Vélez-Málaga and monitor complementary training activities in Extremadura. In addition, from a young age, Mr. Osuna has been very involved in youth and political union activism since it is part of his way of understanding his personal commitment to improve the society in which he lives and fights for equality. Mr. Osuna presented himself as a candidate of the PSOE to the municipal elections of May 2015, and since June 13, 2015, he is the Mayor of Mérida which he wants to be a reference city of values at national and international level. Transparency, Equality, solidarity, diversity, social inclusion and sustainable development are some of the most important principles which Mr. Osuna wants to include and share with citizens.
National Project Coordinator, SKL International RESLOG-Turkey Project
M. Sinan Özden graduated from Middle East Technical University, Department of City and Regional Planning in 1995. He has a master degree from Sweden Blekinge Institute of Technology and degree of specialization from Israel Development Studies Center on Rural Region Development. Sinan took part in Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration’s resettlement projects and coordinated GIZ’s projects and programmes in Turkey. In 2006, he joined İstanbul Metropolitan Planning Center’s (IMP) planners team preparing İstanbul Environmental Plans and worked on the interactions between İstanbul and Marmara Region. Sinan took an effective role in the preparation of Environmental Plans in Thrace Region. He played part in establishment of the Department of Environmental Management under Marmara Municipalities Union. Sinan developed methods to improve the participation of local governments within the context of Support to Local Governance Project (LAR-2) and worked with city councils. He worked with UMT on Local Diplomacy and Sister City relations. While working as the Key Expert at TULIP Project, Sinan developed ‘’Ermazon’’ training based on status simulation and role playing. Training was applied in cooperation with 13 governorship staff. Sinan developed Local Environmental Action Plan together with REC (Regional Environment Center). He prepared Aksaray Local Environmental Action Plan and provided support for Trabzon Local Environmental Action Plan preparation. Sinan worked as the Senior Expert in internationally and EU funded projects carried out by UNDP, GIZ (GTZ), KfW, SALAR, VNG, REC and provided consultancy to Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the municipalities. His focus started turning towards migration and development following the Syrian migration crisis when he became involved in ICMPD’s Support the Implementation of Development Sensitive Migration Policies (SIDEM) and the Project on Asylum Capacity Building in Turkey (ASCAP). M. Sinan Özden developed the Turkish component for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions’ (SALAR) Resilience of Local Governance in the Face of Migration (RESLOG) project, and is currently National Project Manager for RESLOG, which is being implemented with the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, Çukurova Municipalities Union and Marmara Municipalities Union.
Researcher in Anthropology
Şenay Özden is trained in sociology and cultural anthropology and her work focuses on migration and the impact of local governance structures and civil society actors on refugee communities. With a specialization in qualitative research methods, she has conducted extensive qualitative research on urban refugees in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon for the past 15 years. Between 2003-2009, she has conducted fieldwork on Palestinian refugee camp dynamics and Iraqi refugee communities in Syria. She has taught at various universities in Damascus and Istanbul. She has worked as a research-informed consultant for various national and international organizations and research companies. She is one of the founders of Hamisch Syrian Cultural Center in Istanbul. She is currently working on her book on narratives of state, uprising and displacement by Syrian women in Turkey and Lebanon.
Mayor of Vitosha, Sofia, Bulgaria
Teodor Petkov has been the Mayor of Vitosha since 2015. Mr. Petkov has been re-elected for the Mayor’s post in October 2019. He is an engineer. He is married and father of one daughter.
Assistant Mayor of Pirot City, Serbia
Bojan Randjelovic was born on February 17, 1971 in Pirot. Prior to his involvement in local government, he worked at the Pirot General Hospital, and since June 2016 he has served as Assistant Mayor for non-business activities in the fields of health care, sports, religious communities, gender equality and tourism.
Since the end of 2016, he has cooperated with UN agencies: UNDP, WHO, IOM on coordinating the management challenges of the migrant crisis. The City of Pirot, together with the City of Vranje and the Municipality of Sid participated in the development of the Local Action Plan for Action in the Migrant Crisis, with a focus on the psycho-social and health management component of the migrant crisis. Bojan Randjelovic cooperates with IOM in front of the Pirot City Administration in solving communal problems in the Migrant Reception Center “Fourth kilometer” near Pirot.
Journalist and TRT World News Anchor
Maria is a journalist and news anchor at TRT World in Istanbul. She also presents the channel’s flagship news programme ‘News Hour with Maria Ramos’. Her recent work includes hosting the Turkish local, Presidential and Parliamentary elections, becoming the first person to use Augmented Reality at TRT World. Maria has spent most her career in the Middle East, Africa and Europe reporting for the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Le Monde and Bahrain TV. Fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, she also speaks Arabic and is learning Turkish. In the business world, she worked as an advisor to the CEO of Formula E and founded her own international media consultancy for European blue chip companies. Maria graduated from King’s College London.
Representative, Tomorrow’s Women Committee
Gayed Sened is a member Tomorrow’s Women Committee in Gaziantep. Tomorrow’s Women Committee, an independent initiative of Syrian Women living in Gaziantep, which has been active for 4 years, has been the representative of Syrian Women on refugee women’s rights and social cohesion. Due to the war occurred in her country, Ms. Sened sought asylum in Turkey 3.5 years ago, and therefore she could not finish her study in Psychology. During her presence in Turkey, Ms. Sened has experienced both Temporary Shelter and life in cities. Ms. Sened, mother of 3 children, is also conducting awareness-raising activities on refugee and women’s rights at Tomorrow’s Women Committee for the future of Syrian women and children. Ms. Sened aims to heal by touching the lives of other women and girls, not only for herself. Ms. Sened, aiming to be a strong woman, sees giving power to other women as one of her goals. Ms. Sened, the representative of the Tomorrow’s Women Committee, continues to work to ensure the voice of women in all areas.
President of Japan Center for Conflict Prevention / Director, JCCP M Co., Ltd.
Ms. Seya is the President of Japan Center for Conflict Prevention (JCCP), an NGO specialised in peacebuilding, capacity building and gender mainstreaming, currently operating in Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Turkey. In her previous carrier, she worked in post-conflict countries in Africa, Asia and Middle East including Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda etc as United Nations Peacekeeping mission, diplomat and NGO. She is specialised in Security Sector Reform, Community Security, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of ex-combatants (DDR), Confidence Building, Capacity building. She worked also as an Election Observers in Indonesia, Rwanda and Afghanistan. She has been a lecturer / facilitator for the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in Kenya, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in Ghana, UN/African Union peacekeeping missions and Japanese Ministry of Defense / Foreign Affairs / Finance. She was also a Research Fellow on Peacebuilding at Hiroshima University. She obtained BA in Policy Studies from Chuo University and then MA in Conflict Resolution from Bradford University. The Honors and Awards she received include; Edward Lynn Award Fund (UK, 2000), Akino Yutaka Research Fellowship (Japan, 2000), UN21 Award (United Nations, 2003), Nikkei Woman of the Year 2012 (Japan), AVON Award 2012 (Japan), International Leaders Programme (UK, 2015) etc.
Mayor of Şahinbey Municipality, Gaziantep, Turkey
Mehmet Tahmazoğlu was born in 1959 in Şahinbey, Gaziantep. Mr. Tahmazoğlu studied in Şehreküstü Ahmet Çelebi Primary School and Atatürk High School in Gaziantep. He graduated from Erzurum Atatürk University Faculty of Management in 1982 and acquired two master’s in Management at Gaziantep University Faculty of Social Sciences and in Political Science and International Relations at Hasan Kalyoncu University Faculty of Social Sciences. Mr. Tahmazoğlu who completed his military service as reserve officer between 1983 and 1984 started his professional career as certified accountant in 1984. After having involved in trade, he continued working as certified accountant. Mr. Tahmazoğlu who have taken place in various civil society organizations in different roles between 1984 and 2009. He started his political career as Member of Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) Founding Executive Board in Gaziantep. After having worked as Deputy Head of JDP’s Gaziantep Office and Head of Political and Legal Affairs, in 2007, Mr. Tahmazoğu became a candidate for parliament from JDP at the 8th place. He was elected as the Mayor of Şahinbey Municipality in 2009 and re-elected in 2014 and 2019 consecutively. Mr. Tahmazoğlu has also been Member of Executive Committee of Union of Turkish World Municipalities since 2014. He is married and father of seven children.
Project Manager, Syria Crisis Resilience and Response Programme, UNDP Turkey
With more than 16 years of experience, out of which 7 years in UNDP, Sertaç Turhal’s focus was environment, local development and resilience. With UNDP Turkey, he is currently working as Project Manager of Turkey Resilience Project, Municipal Service Delivery Component. The Project aims give infrastructure and technical support Municipalities which is heavily affected by large number of refugees.
Harold Logie Tucker
Mayor of Bo, Southern Sierra Leone
Harold Logie Tucker is currently the Mayor of Bo City, Southern Sierra Leone. He is also currently serving his second five years term. Mr.Tucker was involved in grassroots youth empowerment and entrepreneurship which graduated him into a community politician belonging to the Sierra Leone People’s Party. He served in senior project management positions in both local and international organisations for over 15 years before setting up his own Local Non- Governmental Organisation with interventions in Child and maternal issues, telemedicine, youth development, women’s development and empowerment and financial services training as a professional business coach. He was nominated to represent all local NGO’S on the World Bank projects approval committee, a fund managed by the National Commission for Resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation after the end of the eleven years war in Sierra Leone. He studied Geography and Linguistics and several post graduate interventions in Project Development and management, Community Psychosocial development, Leadership Trainings for Chief Executives in the private sector. He taught for one year as an outstanding teacher at Saint Andrews Secondary school Bo City and pursued Business and fish farming. He was honoured best Mayor’s award for 2016 and 2017 among 19 chairpersons and Mayors in Sierra Leone. His Council has constantly won the best Council of the year. He has presented professional papers in leadership and development in institutions of higher learning in and out of Sierra Leone. His Council is in collaboration with Lamington and Warwick Cities in UK for waste Management research and implementation. He is 49 years old and married with four children.
Chairperson of the Board, Gaziantep Chamber of Industry
Adnan Ünverdi was born in 1962 in Gaziantep. He graduated from middle school and high school in Gaziantep. In 1983, he completed the Department of Business at Cukurova University’s Economics and Administrative Sciences Faculty.
He started his career in 1986 with cotton trade. He and his team achieved the production of first plastic door and window with the brand of Plaspen Plastic Co. Ldt. In 1990. He continued the production of plastic doors and windows since 2006 with his company named Ünplast. Since 2006, he has been continuing the production with chemical blend granules.
Between the years 1997-1999, He became a Board Member of Gaziantep Young Businessmen Association. Between 2004-2009, he served as Accounting Member of Gaziantep Free Trade Zone. Since 1999, Mr. Ünverdi has been serving in the Gaziantep Chamber of Industry where he performed the duties of Board Member and Accounting Member and he recently works as the Chairperson of the Board. Mr. Ünverdi is also a Member of Council at The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and Gaziantep Tennis Club.
Head of Planning and Evaluation Unit, Andalusian Agency for International Development Cooperation
Carmen Vélez is the Head of the Planning and Evaluation Unit of the Andalusian Agency for International Development Cooperationsince 2008. She also teaches economy at the University of Seville. Specialized in evaluation, before jointed the Agency, she carried out several evaluation work for both the European Union and the Spanish Central Administration, the regional government of Andalusia and various Local Administrations (Town Halls, Associations and Provincials), related to various programs, projects and initiatives. Among them, it is worth noting the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Equal Iniciative in Andalusia and the direct participation in the elaboration of three evaluation handbooks: “Managing Evaluation Handbook for the Spanish International Cooperation Policy”, “Guide for the Evaluation of Public Policies” and “Planning and Evaluation Guide for Local Development Agents ” He also has extensive experience in the organization and delivery of courses and seminars on Monitoring and Evaluation in Spain and Latin America.
Carlos Mascarell Vilar
Policy Officer Governance and Citizenship, Council of European Municipalities and Regions
Born in 1987 in Barcelona, Spain, Carlos Vilar is an advocacy, projects & urban affairs professional. As a political scientist with M.A in European Affairs and International Studies, he has 8+ years of experience in public affairs, consultancy and integrated urban development, and engagements with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to influence policy and legislation through research, advocacy, project management and city-to-city cooperation. Currently working at the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, as the Policy and Projects Coordinator on Migration and Integration, Carlos is a Member of the Jury of the European Youth Capital since 2014. He provides advice on EU decision-making and knowledge exchange working in the fields of migration and integration, local governance, smart cities, territorial reforms, decentralization, multilevel governance, better regulation and citizenship. He contributes to various media outlets, such as opinion articles for El País or Agenda Pública (El País), political analyst with France 24. He was also a collaborator with the Smart City World Expo Congress to select speakers and award winners for the 2019 edition.