Selen Ucak is a social impact professional focused on global development, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, particularly in Turkey, Middle East, and Africa. Selen most recently worked with Building Markets, an international development organization, as Lead Researcher/Author of “Another Side to the Story: A Market Assessment of Syrian SMEs in Turkey” and an advisor on the launch of a new program to support entrepreneurs and civil society organizations as a part of the Syria crisis response. Previously, Selen served for eight years as the Executive Director of The American Turkish Society, the preeminent nonprofit dedicated to enhancing economic, educational, and cultural relations between Turkey and the United States, and continues to contribute as a Young Society Leader. She also conducted the feasibility study for Turkish Philanthropy Funds, the first diaspora community foundation for Turkey. Her additional experiences include Co-author of a pioneering study on social entrepreneurship “Balancing Markets and Values;” Program Officer at Tiger Foundation; and Assistant Director/Research Fellow at Jerome Levy Forecasting Center. During her graduate studies, Selen was a teaching assistant and researcher in social entrepreneurship; an organizer of Global Social Venture Competition; and Business Development Intern at Endeavor Global, promoting entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
Selen holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School as the first Tashman Turkish Fellow and a B.A. in Economics International Affairs, summa cum laude, from Colorado College. Bilingual in English and Turkish, she also speaks French and German.