Jump to navigation
Defne (Sadıklar) Arslan is the director of the Atlantic Council Istanbul Summit, and Atlantic Council Turkey office. Mrs. Arslan also serves as the Council's regional representative with a specific focus on Turkey.
Arslan, a reputable economist, joined the US government in the US Embassy Ankara in 1997 as a senior economist responsible for monitoring the International Monetary Fund/World Bank programs during Turkey's economic crisis years, where later she was promoted to chief Turkey economist and senior adviser on Turkey, in US Embassy Ankara. In that position, her vast portfolio included monitoring the Turkish economy, economic developments, and financial markets in Turkey in the context of wider global developments as well as the energy policy and energy markets.
After she added energy sector and energy policy to her responsibilities, as a member of the US government's energy team she worked with key interlocutors on local and regional energy policies including the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, Iraqi energy, southeast Mediterranean, and other regional issues.
Until Arslan was offered the position to serve as the senior economist at US Embassy Ankara, she was the founding coordinator at the Turkish International Cooperation Agency, where she worked as a financial coordinator for technical assistance and investment projects in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.
She started her career as a banker in Istanbul, where she successfully launched the early operations of Koc-American Bank, then a joint venture of American Express and Koc Bank.
Starting her early education in Tokyo, Arslan holds an MBA from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara and an MA in banking and finance from the University College of North Wales. She received a BSc degree in economics (with honors) from METU. She has been awarded with several grants and awards from Turkey, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Japan throughout her career and education.
Arslan speaks fluent English, Turkish, Italian, and some French and Japanese.