About

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors has full responsibility for the Institute of Turkish Studies' policies and programs. The Board is composed of distinguished scholars in the field of Turkish Studies and prominent individuals from the private and public sectors in the United States, including former U.S. ambassadors. The Board of Governors meets on a regular basis to review and evaluate the Institute's activities and makes all decisions for its grant program.

Adnan Akant
Fischer, Francis, Trees and Watts, Inc.

Adnan Akant is Chief Investment Officer for Currencies at FFTW, an institutional global bond management firm with over $50 billion in assets. Prior to joining FFTW in 1984, Akant spent six years managing the World Bank's liquidity portfolio and advising the Treasurer on the Bank's multi-currency borrowing program.

Akant holds Ph.D., SB, SM and Engineering Degrees from MIT in electrical engineering and computer science (1972-1977). He also holds an SM in finance from the MIT Sloan School (1978). Adnan Akant is Co-Head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank's FX Committee for the Buy-Side Group. He is also a member of the New York Academy of Science and Sigma Xi.
Prof. Sinan Ciddi
Executive Director

Sinan Ciddi was appointed as the fourth Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, succeeding David C. Cuthell at the end of August 2011. Ciddi was born in Turkey and educated in the United Kingdom, where he gained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in June 2007. He was previously an instructor at Sabancı University between 2004-2008 and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the same institution between 2007-2008. He recently published a book titled Kemalism in Turkish Politics: The Republican People's Party: Secularism and Nationalism (Routledge, January 2009) focusing on the electoral weakness of the Republican People's Party. Between 2008-2011, he established the Turkish Studies program at the University of Florida's Center for European Studies.
Prof. David Cuthell
Columbia University

David Cuthell was the Executive Director of The Institute of Turkish Studies and a visiting Professor at Georgetown University between 2005-2011. He is currently a visiting professor at Columbia University. Cutehell previously directed the Turkish, Middle East and Central Asian Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken New Jersey. Prof.Cuthell has a Ph.D. in history from Columbia as well as an earlier MA in Political Economy and an MBA in International Finance. Prior to returning to Columbia University in 1998 for his doctorate, Prof. Cuthell worked in the capital markets for twenty years in New York and London for Citibank and Morgan Stanley and later was a Managing Director of fixed income trading at Mabon Securities. His research interests include the social and demographic transformation of the 19th century Ottoman Empire as well as the impact of technology on Ottoman and modern Turkish society. He recently contributed to The Creation of Iraq: 1914-1922 (Columbia Press 2004).
Prof. Walter Denny
University of Massachusetts

Walter B. Denny joined the faculty of the UM/A Art History Program in 1970. His primary field of teaching and research is the art and architecture of the Islamic world, in particular the artistic traditions of the Ottoman Turks, Islamic carpets and textiles, Islamic imagery in European art, and issues of economics and patronage in Islamic art. His recent publications include the books Gardens of Paradise: Ottoman Turkish Tiles of the 15th-17th Centuries (İstanbul, 1998); Masterpieces of Anatolian Carpets from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, İstanbul (Bern, 2001); Ipek: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets (London, 2002); and The Classical Tradition in Anatolian Carpets (Washington D.C., 2002). Iznik: La Céramique Turque et l'art Ottoman appeared in 2004 in Paris (Editions Citadelles et Mazenod), followed by English (Thames & Hudson) and German (Hirmer) versions in 2005.

Denny has served as a Trustee of The Textile Museum (Washington) and was for three decades Honorary Curator of Carpets and Textiles at the Harvard University Art Museums in Cambridge. In addition to his ITS board membership, Denny serves as Charles Grant Ellis Research Fellow in Oriental Carpets at The Textile Museum. He is active as a lecturer and as a consultant to museums and other institutions in the United States and abroad. He is married to Alice Robbins, a professional musician (Baroque cello and viola da gamba) who is also an instructor in the Five College Early Music Program, and is the father of Matthew, born in 1988. Denny performs as a tenor soloist and chorister with various ensembles, including Da Camera Singers and Arcadia Players, and serves on the Board of Directors of Arcadia Players.
Prof. Edward Erickson
Treasurer
Marine Corps University

Dr. Edward J. Erickson is a Professor of Military History in the Department of War Studies at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He is a retired regular US Army lieutenant colonel and was commissioned in the field artillery. He also qualified as a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Turkey. During his career, he served in artillery and general staff assignments in the United States, Europe and the Middle East (including three tours in Turkey). He is a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. After retiring from active duty, Dr. Erickson worked as a school administrator and high school teacher in his hometown of Norwich, New York before returning to Baghdad, Iraq in 2007 to work as Professor of Political Science at the Ministry of Defense Training and Development College.

Professor Erickson is widely recognized as one of the foremost specialists on the Ottoman Army during the First World War. Among the numerous books and articles he has written are Ordered To Die, A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War; Defeat in Detail, The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913; Ottoman Army Effectiveness in WW1, A Comparative Study; Gallipoli and the Middle East 1914-1918, and Gallipoli, The Ottoman Campaign. He is the co-author, with Dr. Mesut Uyar, of A Military History of the Ottomans, from Osman to Ataturk. Dr. Erickson is a frequent visitor to Turkey and his latest book Ottomans and Armenians, A Study in Counterinsurgency is scheduled for release in 2013 from Palgrave McMillan.
Prof. Carol Lancaster
Georgetown University

Carol Lancaster has been the Dean of the School of Foreign Service since April 2010 after serving as Interim Dean beginning in 2009. Lancaster has published numerous books and articles on the politics of foreign aid, the politics of development, and development in Africa including Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics (University of Chicago Press). Her most recent book is George Bush's Foreign Aid: Transformation or Chaos?, published by the Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C., 2008. She is a professor of politics and was previously the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa. In addition to her membership of the ITS board of governors, Dean Lancaster also serves on the board of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Vital Voices and the Society for International Development and is a trustee of the American University of Afghanistan and Nyumbani. She is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development and currently co-editing a book on the politics of development.
Prof. Heath Lowry
Princeton University

Since 1993 Heath W. Lowry has been the AtatÜrk Professor of Ottoman & Modern Turkish Studies at Princeton University. Prior to that time he was a founding member of the History Department at the Bosphorus University in İstanbul, Turkey (1973-1980), and a Senior Research Associate at Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection in Washington, D.C. (1980-1983). Between 1983 and 1993 he established and directed the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington, D.C. Currently, together with his position at Princeton University, he serves as an Advisor to the Bahçeşehir University Board of Trustees in İstanbul, Turkey.
Prof. Justin McCarthy
University of Louisville

Justin A. McCarthy, who holds the appointment of Distinguished University Scholar, arrived at University of Louisville in 1978 immediately after receiving his Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. He is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar of the Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey and the Middle East. He has published eleven books, most recently The Armenian Rebellion at Van (2006). In 1996 University of Louisville recognized him with the Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity.
Sylvia Önder
Georgetown University

Sylvia Wing Önder is Visiting Associate Professor of Turkish Language and Culture in Georgetown University's Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Division of Eastern Mediterranean Studies, where she has taught since 1998. Her PhD, in Interdisciplinary Turkish Culture, is from The Ohio State University, 1998. She has an MA in Folklore and Folklife (1991) and a BA in International Relations (1986) both from the University of Pennsylvania.

At Georgetown, she has designed and continues to teach Turkish Language at three levels, culture classes such as "Central Asian Cultures", "Introduction to Turkish Culture," and anthropology classes such as "Anthropology, Colonialism, and Islam", "Medical Anthropology", and "Intro to Cultural Anthropology". Her book, We Have No Microbes Here: Healing Practices in a Turkish Black Sea Village, came out in May of 2007 in the Medical Anthropology Series of Carolina Academic Press. Dr. Önder has taught at Georgetown University's McGhee Program in Alanya, Turkey. This year, she won a federal grant from the Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad, to run the ARIT-BU Fellowship competition for the Intensive Summer Advanced Turkish Language Program at Boğaziçi University in İstanbul.
Amb. Serdar Kılıç
Honorary Chairman of the Board of Governors
Turkey's Ambassador to the United States

Ambassador Serdar Kılıç was appointed Turkey's Ambassador to the United States in April 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was previously Ambassador to Japan between 2012-2014. Amb. Kılıç joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1984. After working as an attaché in the Department of Eastern Europe and Asia, he was posted to Kuwait as Third Secretary between 1987-1989. Following this, he served two years in Los Angeles as the Deputy Consul General. After returning to Turkey, Mr. Kılıç served as First Secretary within the Gulf and Muslim Countries Department until 1993. He was subsequently assigned to the Permanent Delegation of Turkey to NATO as First Secretary and Deputy General Directorate of NATO as Acting Head of Department. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Counselor at Turkey's Permanent Delegation to NATO. Between 2003-2006 he assumed the position of Head of Department for the Balkans and Central Europe desk, and was subsequently named Deputy Director General of NATO, and Euro-Atlantic Security and Defense Affairs from 2006 to 2008. Prior to being appointed as Ambassador to Japan in 2012, he served as the Ambassador to Lebanon between 2008 to 2010, and Secretary General of the National Security Council from 2010 to 2012.
Prof. Jenny White
Boston University

Jenny White is a writer and a social anthropologist. Her first novel, The Sultan's Seal, was published in 2006. It was translated into fourteen languages and is available as a paperback and audiobook. Booklist has named it one of the top ten first novels of 2006 and one of the top ten historical novels of 2006. It was shortlisted for the 2006 Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award. The sequel, The Abyssinian Proof, was published in February 2008 (W.W. Norton) and a third Kamil Pasha novel, The Winter Thief, in 2010.

Jenny White was born in southern Germany and emigrated with her mother to the United States at the age of seven. She studied at Lehman College in the Bronx, part of the City University of New York and later received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. Jenny White now teaches social anthropology at Boston University as a tenured associate professor. She has published two scholarly books on contemporary Turkey. Money Makes Us Relatives, a description of women's labor in urban Turkey in the 1980s, was published in 1994. Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics was published in 2002. It explains the rise of Islamic politics in Turkey in the 1990s and won the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology. Jenny White lives in the Boston area.
Amb. Ross Wilson (retired)
Chairman of the Board Governors
Atlantic Council

Ross Wilson is Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States and a Lecturer in International Affairs at George Washington University. In December 2008, he completed nearly three decades in the U.S. Foreign Service, including six years as American ambassador to Turkey in 2005-2008 and to Azerbaijan in 2000-2003. Elsewhere overseas, he served at the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Prague and was American Consul General in Melbourne, Australia.

In Washington, Ambassador Wilson served as Chief of Staff for Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in 2005. He was Chief U.S. Negotiator for the Free Trade Area of the Americas while on detail to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in 2003-2005. In 1997-2000, Ambassador Wilson served as Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States (of the former Soviet Union). He was Deputy Executive Secretary of the State Department in 1992-1994, managing the policy process for Secretaries of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Warren Christopher, and before that was an aide to State Department Counselor and Undersecretary Zoellick. Early in his career, Ambassador Wilson served in the State Department's offices dealing with the Soviet Union and Egypt. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ambassador Wilson received a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and master's degrees from Columbia University and the U.S. National War College. While in the diplomatic service, he won the President's Meritorious Service Award, as well as numerous Department of State awards and honors. He serves as chairman of the board of the Institute of Turkish Studies and is a member of the Academy of American Diplomacy, the American Foreign Service Association, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR) and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. He is married to Margo Squire, who is a career diplomat with the State Department. They have two sons.

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