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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).