International Advisory Board 

International Advisory Board 

Melikşah UTKU

Mr. Utku was born in Ankara in 1968. He received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Boğaziçi University in 1990. He took his MA from London School of Economics between 1990-1992 and earned his Ph.D. in Economic Development from Marmara University between l996-1998. He started to work as a consultant to the General Director at Albaraka Türk. After serving as the chief economist for Albaraka Türk for two years, Utku wrote an economy column for The Yeni Şafak Newspaper from 1996 to December 2009. Starting as the Vice President CIO in 2009 and continuing his career at Albaraka Türk as the CFO responsible for Financial Affairs, Budget and Financial Reporting and Corporate Communication, Utku served as the executive board member of İstanbul stock exchanges between 2013 and 2016. He has been serving as the President of Albaraka Türk since October 2016.

Prof. Dr. Ir. J.G. (Hans) WISSEMA

Dr. J.G. (Hans) Wissema (1942) is a management consultant, author, entrepreneur. international speaker and professor emeritus at TU Delft in the Netherlands. After a short career in a research institute and AkzoNobel. he became a management consultant, starting his own firm some years later. He was a non-executive director of several companies, acted as interim manager and was a member of the editorial boards of Long Range Planning, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management and a number of Dutch management publications. His current consultancy work is on university management and The New Learning. 


NATSUDA is Professor at College of International Management, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. He obtained his Ph.D in Economics from University of Sydney, Australia and his MA in International Development Studies from University of Bradford, UK. His research interests include industrial development, rural development and political economy in Asia and Central Europe. He published papers in many journals including Review of International Political Economy and European Journal of Development Research. He serves as a senior associate editor of PSU Research Review (Emerald Publishing) and an editorial board member of International Journal of Development Issues (Emerald Publishing).

Waqar SYED

Waqar Syed is Head of US Institutional Research at AltaCorp Capital (USA). He joined AltaCorp from Goldman Sachs where he ran the firm’s US oilfield Services research practice. Mr. Syed's thirty-year career in energy and finance started with Schlumberger in the Middle East. He later provided Investment Research at major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. He has also worked for small private investment banks that he helped grow and were later sold to major institutions like Merrill Lynch and Macquarie Capital. He has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering & Technology. Lahore, Pakistan and an MBA from Yale University. USA. 

Prof.Dr. Franco MOSCONI

Mr. Mosconi is the Jean Monnet Professor of Industrial Economics at the University of Parma and the European College of Parma. He was previously Research assistant and Lecturer at the University of Bologna (1988-1986), and Economic Advisor at the Italian Prime Minister's Office (Rome, 1996-1998). After graduating in Economics and Business from the University of Bologna (Laurea Magna cum laude) he went on to specialise at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is an applied economist whose areas of interest covers European Industrial Policy; SMEs, industrial districts and clusters; the 'Emilian Model'. His latest book is The New European İndustrial Policy, Global competitiveness and the manufacturing renaissance [Routledge, 2015],


Representative of Ecuador to the World Trade Organization and other Economic Organizations in Geneva since August 2017. He chaired the Committee of Trade and Development at the WTO in 2018. Former Minister of International Trade and Minister of Urban Development, he was also head of Ecuador’s Development Bank BEDE, senior executive at the Development Bank of Latin America CAF (Caracas. Venezuela) and Ambassador to Portugal.

He obtained Master’s Degrees in Economics at the University of Oregon (USA) and in Latin American Studies-Economic History at the London School of Economics (UK). He has also pursued graduate studies in history (Ecuador) and urban issues (Portugal). He is Professor on leave from Universidad Hemisferios (Ecuador).


Currently. Mr. Demirhan serves as Vice President Banking of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank responsible for managing a wide range of financing activities of the Bank, which are mainly project financing, loans, trade financing, equity investments, credit lines and various types of guarantees provided to the member countries. He took up his duties on July 17, 2018.

Haşan Demirhan started his professional career in the banking sector in 1987 as Internal Auditor at Etibank in Ankara, Turkey. In 1997 he became General Manager at the Kalkinma Investment and Securities Company in İstanbul. Mr. Demirhan joined the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Jeddah in 1999 as Senior Internal Auditor and made his career at the Treasury Department to become Director of the Department in 2009, overseeing IsDB’s extensive funding, investment, financial management and corresponding banking relationships. In 2016 he took the duties of Director for Financial Policies and Planning Analytics responsible for Bank’s liquidity, credit rating exercises, balance sheet Management, strategic financial planning and financial policies development. Mr. Demirhan was a member of IsDB’s Committees on Assets and Liabilities, Investment. and Risk Management, and represented IsDB on the Supervisory Board of Bosna Bank International in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mr. Demirhan graduated from the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences of the Hacettepe University in Ankara and holds an MBA degree in Banking Administration from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Additionally, he is at the final stage of writing-up his dissertation to complete his Ph.D in the field of finance in the Ankara University Faculty of Political Science.

Mr. Demirhan is a Turkish national, born in 1964. He speaks Turkish, English, and Arabic. He is married and has three children.


Banu Onaral is H. H. Sun Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA (PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.) She served as the founding director of the school from 1997 until 2014. In this capacity, Dr. Onaral led the translational research initiative for rapid commercialization of biomedical technologies developed at Drexel University. The program has been awarded the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership Endowment in 2011. She currently serves as the Senior Presidential Advisor for 'Global Innovation Partnerships' at Drexel University and leads the development of the Global Innovation Partnership endowment created under her name.

Her academic focus both in research and teaching is centered on information engineering with special emphasis on complex systems, biomedical signal processing in ultrasound and functional optical brain imaging. She has led major research and development projects and founded several laboratories including the CONOUER (Cognitive Neuroengineering and Ouantitative Experimental Research) Collaborative.

Throughout her career, she actively forged international academic and translational research partnerships with universities as well as science and technoparks, primarily in China and Turkey. She has been recognized by the Turkish University-Industry Collaboration Platform (USIMP) Accomplishment Award in 2014 and as one of the 30 Most Influential Turkish American Women in USA by TeamOfAmerica in 2015.

She is the recipient of a number of academic excellence awards and honors. She is a fellow of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a Founding Fellow of American İnstitute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Among her many national and international professional responsibilities, she served as President of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS),the largest member-based biomedical engineering society in the world.