stickyimage

https://www.bridgetoturkiye.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/13Years.jpghttps://www.bridgetoturkiye.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2nokta6M.jpghttps://www.bridgetoturkiye.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Banner13.jpghttps://www.bridgetoturkiye.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Banner14.jpg

Executive Committee

Our Executive Committee (in alphabetical order) are as follows:

Ayşe Çağlayan Üstündağ - Vice President (Bethesda, Maryland)


AyseAyseKidAyşe was born in 1974 Berlin, Germany. She completed middle and high school in Antalya Koleji on an academic scholarship. She promised to payback her gratitude by serving her community.

Ayşe is a firm believer in active involvement and civic responsibility. She has served as the president of the Law Club in Marmara University. In 1999 after a major earthquake that claimed more than 15.000 lives she co-founded and had served as the coordinator of the DHL Search and Rescue Team for 4 years. She has been actively involved in fundraising efforts for Bridge To Türkiye Fund scholarship projects since 2010. During her BTF WDC leadership she has launched ‘Girls Excel!!” campaign to raise funds and awareness to empower socioeconomically disadvantaged girls in Turkey through education. She has co-chaired International Women’s Day Celebrations that has become an annual event jointly organized by ATA-D.C. and BTF at the Turkish Embassy.

She graduated from Marmara University School of Law and worked at DHL Istanbul for 7 years. In 2003 she got married and moved to United States. She lives in Maryland, is married to Afşin and has two children, Defne and Sarp.

Emin Pamucak - President (Cary, North Carolina)

Emin Pamucak was born in 1959 in Kütahya, Turkey to immigrant families from Ottoman Turkish towns in Bulgaria and Greece. After receiving his elementary school education in Karadeniz Eregli and Ankara, Emin attended middle school and high school in suburban metropolitan Washington, D.C. He holds BS and MS degrees in engineering from Bogazici University and University of Maryland. Employed by IBM and LENOVO at various corporate capacities since 1984, he has worked at company locations in Minnesota, New York, Connecticut and most recently North Carolina.

A firm believer in “by and for” grassroots civic representation, Emin is involved in community development and advocacy with emphasis in promoting citizen based initiatives and social responsibility. He feels privileged to be a product of two cultures and has been an active member of ATA North Carolina since 1996, serving his community as the President of the Association from 2001 to 2004. He has received Association’s Distinguished Member and Distinguished Leader Awards. In 2004, ATA North Carolina was recognized as ATAA’s Component Association of the Year. In the fall of 2005, Emin was also recognized by the Daughters of Ataturk with a Man of Outstanding Accomplishment Award. He has also served the Turkish-American community as ATAA Vice President for the South Eastern United States from 2004 to 2006.  Emin is a founding member and the President of Bridge to Turkiye Fund. He is also a founding member and the treasurer for Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation.  Emin lives in Cary with his wife Ayse.

Ismail Arslan - Treasurer (High Point, North Carolina)

Ismail Arslan is a native of Turkey (Erzurum – Ispir) and has lived more than half of his life outside his home country. He holds a B.Sc. in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University in CA.
He is currently employed by De Leo Textiles (NJ) as Vice President, Operations and heavily involved with High Point Furniture Market. Ismail is a strong supporter and volunteer of community non-profit organizations. He serves in the BOD’s of ITMA-Showtime, country’s premier fabric market and Piedmont Triad International Visitors Council. He is married and has three children and two grandchildren, lives in High Point, NC since 2001.

Nevin Altunyurt - Secretary (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

NevinNevinKid
Nevin was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. She received a B.S. degree from Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University in 2005, followed with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently she lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and works as an electrical engineer at Ford Motor Company.


Nevin has been introduced to Bridge to Turkiye Fund through her friends at Georgia Tech when she was looking for a trusted way to give back to children in Turkey. She believes that every child deserves to be given a chance to fulfill their dreams and be the individuals they want to be. Their future should not be restricted by what their communities or the geographies they were born to can offer. She believes education is the best tool to achieve this, and she is thrilled to be part of like-minded volunteers in BTF. 

Sibel Karakus, Ph.D. - Vice President (Cambridgeshire, England)

Sibel Karakus worked for various IT companies in engineering/management positions for 14 years. She holds a BSc in Computer Engineering and MSc & PhD in Management and Organizations. Sibel has been involved with non profit organizations and the citizen sector since the August 17 Earthquake of Golcuk in 1999. After arriving in the United States, she has served with the American-Turkish Association of North Carolina as Secretary and Vice President, before moving to suburban Washington, D.C. She prepares articles and moderates internet groups on Turkish and Ottoman culinary culture. Sibel is a founding member and the Vice President of Bridge to Turkiye Fund. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two sons.