The Atlantic Council has appointed Zeynep Dereli as Director of the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum. In this position, Ms. Dereli will manage and develop the Black Sea Forum, broadening and deepening this Council initiative that made great progress in Bucharest in 2009 and Istanbul in 2010 toward strengthening energy, economic and political dialogue among the Black Sea and adjacent states. Ms. Dereli will also lead the Council’s new office in Istanbul, Turkey, its first full-fledged operation outside the United States that will become a platform for other Council activities and initiatives in the region.

“Zeynep Dereli is an outstanding Turkish professional with extensive experience in the energy business and in leading non-governmental organizations,” said Frederick Kempe, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Council. “We are extremely pleased to have join the Council such a dynamic individual whose outstanding relationships throughout the region will help build cooperation in this critical part of the world.”

Ms. Dereli has most recently served as the founding Executive Director of an Istanbul think tank, the Turkish Policy Forum. She hosts a twice-weekly television program on the SkyTurk network called "Leaders and Decisions.” She is a founding member of Glow Communications, a firm based in Istanbul, and worked for over seven years before that in various capacities for the Shell Trading and Shipping Company in London and Shell Turkey. In politics, she won election in March 2009 to the Sisli district municipal board in Istanbul and served as the advisor to the Turkish culture and tourism minister in that same year. A native of Istanbul, she has received degrees from Princeton University and from SOAS University of London.

The Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum is a business-led initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center that fosters cooperation around the region and ties both among its leaders and between them and counterparts in adjacent regions and in the West. Participants include senior government officials, chief executive officers and other business leaders, and noteworthy figures from civil society, media and other fields. Its agenda focuses on energy, economic growth, integration, and political and other trends in and affecting the region. More information about the Forum can be found at

The Atlantic Council promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting 21st-century global challenges. Led by Senator Chuck Hagel, Chairman, and Fred Kempe, President and CEO, the Atlantic Council embodies a network of world leaders and experts who aim to renew and energize the transatlantic community through non-partisan and cross-national discussions and studies.


Please contact Mary Micevych, Assistant Director of Public Affairs, at or (202) 778-4993 for more information.