Who We Are
Some of our members are profiled below:
Asli Bilgin, Practice Area Lead, Slalom Consulting
Asli Bilgin serves as a Practice Area Lead for Slalom Consulting in New York City. Slalom has won Microsoft partner of the year for their work in Cloud Computing. In this capacity, Asli is responsible for shaping the strategy for custom solutions development using on-premise, hybrid and cloud computing platforms. She leads team of developers, project managers, business analysts and software architects to execute the best of breed solutions for large enterprise, as well as small and medium business. Asli leverages her experience evangelizing High Performance Computing, Grid Computing, and Cloud computing to shape this strategy. In her previous role at Microsoft, served as the Web Strategy Director for the Developer & Platform Evangelism team in Middle East & Africa. In this role, Asli drove future vision for software development in the Cloud through hosters, partners, and enterprises.
Asli is a big proponent of women's affinity programs, especially those that focus around workforce development and leadership in the STEM disciplines. She is the founder of WomenBuild and iGive, two programs focused on workforce stimulus, geared at developing professional and pre-professional women who possess an aptitude for science and technology. At Slalom, Asli serves as the New York area diversity lead, focusing on growing female leadership and talent within the consulting disciplines.
She is the author of several books, including Mastering Database Programming with Visual Basic.NET (Sybex), which was translated into over 10 languages and served as university curriculum in key markets. She is the creator of various technical learning series, such as ASP.NET AJAX (Total Training).
Nilüfer Durak, Managing Director, Aon Mergers & Acquisitions Group
Nil is a Managing Director in Aon's Mergers & Acquisitions Group (AMAG) in North America and runs the AMAG team in Boston. Her primary responsibility is to manage a team of project managers who conduct risk and insurance due diligence on the acquisition of a target company by a strategic or financial buyer. Her team is also in charge of post-acquisition (100-day) plans to implement risk management program and operating cost improvements identified during due diligence.
Nil has over 14 years of experience in identifying and treating operational risk exposures and managing complex risk and insurance programs as a former risk manager at GE and a Property & Casualty insurance broker at Sedgwick/Marsh New York. She joined Aon in 2004 and is a 2008 alum of the Aon Catalyst Leadership Program that annually targets 35 high potential leaders in North America across all Aon business units.
Nil completed the Master of Science in Risk Management and Insurance program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a MA degree in Banking and Insurance from Marmara University in Istanbul. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Melek Pulatkonak, Emerging Business Team, Microsoft
Melek Pulatkonak works in the Emerging Business Team at Microsoft in Istanbul. Before that she was the President & COO of Hakia, a semantic search technology company. Most recently, she was the Associate Partner of Star Venture Group (SVG), a venture capital firm with investments in the U.S. and Turkey. Prior to her work at SVG, she was the Advisor to the Chairman of the Istanbul Stock Exchange and a Research Associate at the New York Stock Exchange. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.Sc. degree from London School of Economics and Political Science. In her play time, Melek organizes TEDx events, was an active leader of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club, advised Girls in Tech NY and Entrepreneurs' Roundtable and planned pitching events for the Turkish Founders' Club in New York.
Melek is the Curator of the Turkish Women’ International Network.
R. Müge Yüzüak, Global Business Executive & Freelance Consultant
Müge has extensive corporate experience, which spans over 3 continents and more than 25 countries across the globe with Citigroup and Pepsi Cola International. Müge held many senior roles at Citi. Her last 5 years were completely devoted to generating game changing strategies across the globe working with 42 different countries and in three different businesses in leadership roles. She is a true believer of the power of partnering and creating opportunities by expanding on each others’ learning and experiences.
Müge has won leadership awards and appreciation of her colleagues for her business acumen and willingness to partner. This approach has enabled her to lead revenue generating strategies to achieve outcomes that completely changed the way businesses behaved. Specifically, in her last role as part of Growth Ventures Leadership group she led the transit vertical to expand and commercialize emerging Citi Transit ventures internationally and in North America. She developed comprehensive propositions for municipal transit authorities and customers and prospects who ride public transportation each day, which have generated win-win revenue in implemented markets.
Müge joined Citi in Turkey in 1995 at the start-up of the consumer business before moving to the EMEA regional office in Brussels, Belgium as the regional marketing manager for the credit cards business in 1998, , where she was a team leader to create a platform for successful growth and launches across 14 countries, 3 of which she led. In 2000, Müge transferred to US Cards business where she held various positions including new product management and restructuring of the online acquisitions with a vision for a growth rate of 5MM cards per annum.
As a result of her successes across all start-up, game changing roles she was offered to lead the International Cards Growth Strategy in August 2005. In 2007, Müge became the Chief of Staff of International Global Consumer Group where she worked closely with the senior team to guide critical projects, leverage knowledge across businesses and facilitated the effectiveness of the delivery of the strategic priorities. Before joining Citigroup, Müge has held various positions at Pepsi Cola International starting in 1991 both in Turkey and Eastern Europe where she was a brand manager.
Müge has a BA from University of Istanbul, Faculty of Economics. She has been an active alumni and a volunteer for AFS, international-intercultural programs since 1987 where her passion for better understanding of cultures around the world is nurtured. Müge was selected as a Trustee in January 2008 to serve on the Board of AFS International where she leads the Audit and Risk Committee.