Ussal Şahbaz


Ussal Sahbaz is the director of G20 Studies Center at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), and independent think-tank in Ankara. At this capacity, he leads the content provision for Business 20 and Think Tank 20 outreach groups for Turkey’s G20 presidency in 2015. Since 2010, Ussal Sahbaz has managed programs on technology, entrepreneurship and foreign economic relations at TEPAV. Some of these activities include starting the Global Entrepreneurship Program Turkey, a program of the U.S. State Department; creating GARAJ Entrepreneurship Center, an accelerator program and a meeting space for the entrepreneurial community in Ankara. As the academic adviser to the TOBB Venture Capital Industry Assembly, Ussal played a catalyzing role for government’s new tax incentives to angel investors and a venture capital fund of funds program. Ussal designed and executed the largest EU-financed program to foster business relations between Turkey and Armenia, and organized the first Startup Weekend event ever organized with entrepreneurs of countries of no diplomatic relations in Gyumri, Armenia. Ussal is also at the leadership of the entrepreneurship chapter of the Middle East Commercial Center, initiated by the U.S. Chambers in 2013. Ussal Sahbaz graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master's degree in public administration and international development program in May 2010. He holds a BS degree from the Middle East Technical University (2003) and an MA from Bilkent University (2005), both in economics. He worked as a consultant to the World Bank in Washington D.C. and as a case officer at the Turkish Competition Authority.