Onur Bülbül
Ph.D., Founder & President

Onur has served as a commercial diplomat at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C., advisor to the Turkish Minister of Economy and a free trade agreement (FTA) negotiator and foreign trade specialist for Turkey.

As a diplomat, Onur advised Turkish and American companies on the best strategies to meet their product and sector specific needs in Turkish and American markets. He has also led dialogues with the U.S. and Turkish government agencies, chambers, trade associations, private companies, international organizations, universities as well as non-profits. In fulfilling this job, he excelled in researching and identifying potential business opportunities, reaching out to relevant stakeholders as well as establishing and strengthening relationships via trade shows and exclusive matchmaking events. Onur also has expertise in identifying the right investment partners, articulately presenting them potential opportunities and specific government incentives as well as providing them with evidence-based advice, solutions to problems, and communicating their requests with relevant authorities. Onur is extremely competent in using a variety of outreach strategies and tactics. He maintains a rich portfolio of stakeholders in both Turkey and the U.S.

Before his duty in Washington, D.C., Onur has served as advisor to the Turkish Minister of Economy focusing on market and product diversification in trade in goods and services, encouraging entrepreneurship, increasing firm productivity and private sector development via innovation and capacity building. He has also conducted effective policy dialogues via building and fostering relationships with senior officials both public and private across boundaries.

As an expert on trade policy, Onur has worked as a free trade agreement negotiator for Turkey where he generated extensive knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of Turkish industry. He has worked in bilateral FTA negotiations with countries in various regions including Chile, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Ukraine, Canada, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. In this post Onur has been influential in finding creative proposals for market access, generate country specific solutions on two-way trade and key linkages among sectors. He also took active responsibility in advocating and representing Turkish commercial interests at the European Commission as well as other international platforms.

Onur holds a BSc. in International Relations from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey, M.A. in European Competition Law from Sussex University, and a Ph.D. in International Political Economy from METU. He is the recipient of Jean Monnet Scholarship grant from the EU, Order of Bernardo O’Higgins from the Republic of Chile, and is a published author on topics such as trade policy, competition policy, Turkey-U.S. and Turkey-E.U. relations, etc. His articles appear at the Brookings Institution, Newsweek magazine, Global Trade and Customs Journal, Diplomatic Courier, etc.

Ipek Aydın Madelain
CPA & Partner at Aydın Audit

İpek is Certified Public Accountant and partner at Aydin Audit, founded in 1981, a top ranked audit and consulting company in Istanbul Turkey. İpek is the US representative of Aydin Audit in Washington DC since 2013. She serves as CPA and the contact person for both American companies and individuals investing in Turkey and MENA market and also for Turkish companies investing in USA.

İpek is specialized in audit, accountancy, tax, legal & advisory services, mergers & acquisitions. She is highly experienced in working with US and European companies, providing her clients tailor-made financial, legal and accounting advisory and a deep knowledge of the Turkish markets and Turkish legal framework for investing companies.

Before her duty in Washington DC, İpek has worked, from 2011 to 2013, as financial auditor at Audit Conseil Holding, in Paris France. She worked with French companies as well as other European and American companies investing in France. She managed her own portfolio of European and American clients and served them in their audit, accounting and legal processes.

Previously, she worked as auditor in Public companies in France and in Turkey.

İpek holds a BSc. in Economics from Galatasaray University in Turkey, Master degree in Financial Audit from the Paris School of Management in France.

Jessica Brown

Jessica is a strategy, policy and innovation professional with ten years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

She has served clients ranging from the State Department, the Department of Justice, private equity clients, social entrepreneurs and the World Bank on topics including international training assistance, public diplomacy, organizational change, innovative financing and business case development. She has significant experience working in multi-stakeholder and multi-national environments, including a year in a joint program management office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and supporting three different engagements with the World Bank including a project funded by five international development agencies and the Gates Foundation. She conducted research on global labor markets and staffing industries in Turkey and India, and developed a business case for market entry strategies.

Jessica currently works at the XPRIZE Foundation, where she's helping to use innovative financing approaches to incentivize global internet adoption. She is passionate about the power of budding entrepreneurs and social enterprises to create inclusive development opportunities from the ground-up.

She received her master's degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and an International-Organizations MBA from the University of Geneva and is a StartingBloc fellow.

Duygu Erdemgil

Duygu was most recently associate director of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She was responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs that promote U.S. business opportunities and investment in Turkey. She worked closely with Chamber member companies and business and government leaders to advance and broaden commercial relationships between both countries.

Prior to that position, Duygu was associate director for Europe & Eurasia at the Chamber. She worked on a variety of programmatic portfolios, including the EU, Caucuses, and Central Asia.

Duygu went to the Chamber in August 2007 from the Cato Institute, where she was a government affairs associate. She focused on educating members of Congress on domestic and international free market principles. Earlier in her career, Duygu worked on Capitol Hill for the Joint Economic Committee as a research assistant.

She earned her bachelor's degree in government and international politics and her master's degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University. Duygu is fluent in Turkish and English.