Verda Özer is a regular columnist for Milliyet -one of Turkey’s foremost dailies- and a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund. She writes exclusively on foreign affairs, with a specific focus on regional politics.
Verda graduated from Sankt Georg Austrian High School in Istanbul and received her BA in International Relations from Koç University. She obtained her MSc in International Relations from London School of Economics and Political Science as a Chevening Scholar. Her dissertation was titled “NATO’s counter-terrorism activities and a new role for Turkey”.
She pursued her PhD studies at the Defence Academy (DA) of the United Kingdom on ‘the role of strategic communication in the solution of Turkey’s Kurdish question’ where she also worked as a research analyst and was responsible for developing a relationship between the Turkish War Colleges Command and the DA.
In 2011, Verda co-founded Columbia Global Center Turkey which is the research facility of Columbia University in Istanbul and served as Senior Program Manager till 2013. Beforehand she worked for several years as the Personal Assistant of a Labour Party MP at the British Parliament and for a short term of a Conservative MEP at the European Parliament. As her first professional job in 2005, she managed the project ‘Governance and the Military in Turkey’ at the Centre for European Security Studies (CESS) in the Netherlands which was conducted in cooperation with the EU.
Verda is a regular opinion writer for various foreign publications and a frequent guest on TV shows.