Zeynep Dereli, managing director of APCO Worldwide’s Istanbul office, is an accomplished and respected leader in Turkish business, media and politics.
Most recently, Ms. Dereli was director of the Atlantic Council’s Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum, an annual initiative that brings business and policy leaders together to discuss Eurasia’s leading economic and energy challenges. She also produced and presented a weekly foreign policy program, “Leaders and Decisions,” on the Turkish nationwide television news channel SKY Turk and CNBC-e.
Ms. Dereli previously served as general coordinator and founding member of the Turkish Policy Forum, a leading Istanbul think tank. She was also founding partner of Glow Communications. Before beginning Glow, she set up Dialogue, Respect and Understanding through Music (DRUM), a nonprofit dedicated to fostering tolerance and understanding between cultures through music.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Dereli worked for Shell Trading and Shipping Company in London in derivatives trading, risk analysis, research and regulatory compliance. She later became a supply financial analyst at Shell Turkey and was a member of the mergers and acquisitions teams for Dundas, Unlu & Co., Istanbul, a boutique investment bank.
Ms. Dereli has been an active voice in politics since the March 2009 Turkish elections, when she won a seat at the county council in Istanbul Sisli Municipality. She also served as a consultant for the minister of culture and tourism.
Currently, Ms. Dereli serves as vice president of the Turkish Ethical Values Foundation and is a founding member of Endeavor Turkey. She also is a senior research fellow at the Foreign Policy Center, a UK-based independent foreign affairs think tank founded by the late former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook which has former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as patron.
Ms. Dereli holds a master’s degree in development economics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Princeton University, with a certificate in Near Eastern studies. She is an advisory council member at SOAS/London Middle East Institute. She was named one of "The Young Society Leaders" in 2012 by The American Turkish Society, which convenes a select, diverse group of the American-Turkish community's most outstanding young leaders.