Ussal Sahbaz is a thought leader on the nexus of innovation and government in Turkey. He is the CEO of EDAM, one of the top-ranked think-tanks in Eastern Europe and Middle East, and an adviser on government affairs to innovative startups including Iyzico, Mutlubiev, Neozeka and Tapu.com
Until July 2018, Ussal been the founding director of GE’s Istanbul Innovation Center, one of the 8 innovation centers established by world’s digital industrial company around the world. Prior to that, he managed the Business 20 and Think 20 engagement groups when Turkey chaired the G20 in 2015. At the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) between 2011-14, he started Turkey’s first innovation policy studies program where clients included Google, Microsoft and Paypal; as well as GARAJ, the first startup accelerator in Ankara.
Ussal started his career as a case officer at Turkish Competition Authority (Antitrust Department of the Government of Turkey) .He has been an adviser to Turkish president’s office, and to the World Bank in Washington D.C. He holds a master’s degree in international development from Harvard University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bilkent University and METU respectively, both in economics