Bülent Aras is a Senior Scholar and Coordinator of the Conflict Resolution and Mediation stream at Istanbul Policy Center and Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabancı University. He is also a visiting professor of international relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before joining IPC, Aras worked as director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Center for Strategic Research (SAM), while also serving as chairman at the Diplomacy Academy, between 2010 and 2013. As a leading expert on Turkish foreign policy, Middle Eastern politics, and Central Asia, he has worked as a consultant for numerous organizations, such as Oxford Analytica, Microsoft, and Human Rights Watch. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Black Sea Studies.
Social Media: @arasbulent
Amb. W. Robert Pearson is a retired professional foreign service officer who served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2000 to 2003. He was director general of the U.S. Foreign Service from 2003 to 2006, repositioning the American Foreign Service to meet the new challenges of the 21st century and winning two national awards for his efforts. He served from 2008 to 2014 as president of IREX, an international development NGO based in Washington, spearheading its expansion to reach more than 125 countries worldwide. Ambassador Pearson is currently a non-resident scholar at The Middle East Institute. He focuses on Turkey with particular emphasis on U.S.-Turkey relations.