Director, Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul; Advisor for Strategic Development to the Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development
İpek Cem Taha is a Turkish entrepreneur, journalist, and an active board member of several local and international organizations. İpek is the Founding Director of Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul since its inception in 2011. The Center is working to build collaborative programs and projects that link Columbia University to Turkey, and the Istanbul Center to the seven other Global Centers worldwide. Her mandates include programming on such issues as education, sustainability, peace and conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, social entrepreneurship, public health as well as work on the history, culture and future of cities, and specifically that of Istanbul.
After graduating from Robert College of Istanbul, İpek received her B.A. degree with Honors in Political Science from Amherst College. She holds an M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and an M.I.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of International and Public Affairs.
In her early career, İpek Cem Taha was an Associate at Bankers Trust Company (Deutsche Bank) in New York, in the International Capital Markets Group. She was a co-founder and partner of Netwise between 1996-2007, an Internet communications company with clients including multinationals and financial institutions. Between 2007-2011, she was working with Melak Yatırım, providing consultancy for multinational private equity funds.
Between 2005-2010, İpek was producing and hosting ‘Global Leaders,’ a television program on NTV networks, consisting of interviews with personalities such as Pele, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, Howard Schultz and Madeleine Albright. Before creating Global Leaders, İpek was for eight years a columnist for daily newspapers, including Milliyet, Yeni Yüzyıl and Sabah.
İpek Cem Taha is a founding board member and active leader in several non-profit organizations in Turkey, including URAK (National Competitiveness Research Institute), KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association) and SAHA, an association that supports Turkish contemporary art internationally. Since 2012, İpek Cem Taha is a Trustee of Robert College of Istanbul. She has also been a board member of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration, and of the International Advisory Council of Columbia University.
Elected an Eisenhower Fellow in 2003, İpek Cem Taha represented Turkey as a young leader in their Multi-Nation Program. She has also been named an Honorary Professor of Public Relations and Communications from the Ionian University in 2012 for her work in the consolidation of friendship, peace and cooperation between Greece and Turkey. İpek recently joined Allianz Turkey’s Advisory Board in 2015.