Confirmed Speakers

Below are some of the confirmed guests and speakers at the event 




Natalia Vodianova

ELBI co-founder, philanthropist, campaigner & model

Co-founder of Elbi, the innovative platform that brings together people, brands and charities to make philanthropy easy and rewarding. Natalia strives to break the taboo about menstruation all over the world, in association with UNFPA, the United Nations reproductive health and rights agency. By integrating the Elbi Love Button into the Flo app, the innovative period tracker app focused on women’s well-being, Flo users can fundraise to provide sanitary products to countries like India. She is also Head of Aspiration at PicsArt, aggregating the world’s largest social photo-editing platform & creative community towards charity-related social campaigns.


Dr Natalia Kanem

Executive Director of UNFPA

Dr. Natalia Kanem holds more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of medicine, public and reproductive health, peace, social justice, and philanthropy.



Kathryn Abel

Professor of Psychological Medicine & Reproductive Psychiatry, Director & Founder of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the University of Manchester.

Kathryn is an honorary consultant psychiatrist in resistant schizophrenia and family therapy. Her interests include sex differences in mental illness; maternal condition and its effect on offspring cognitive development; parenting as a mediator of maternal effects and the outcomes of children of parents with mental illness.  She has over 200 publications and has edited several books on women and mental health and holds a prestigious European Research Council Science Fellowship, is a National Institutes of Health Research Senior Investigator and the National Lead for Mental Health for the Clinical Research Network.  

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Adowa Aboah

Activist and model

Named 2017’s Model of The Year by The British Fashion Council, 26-year- old Adwoa Aboah, has undoubtedly come to represent the face of modern beauty, authenticity, and social activism. Aboah is the co-founder of the highly influential and respected forum ‘Gurls Talk’, which acts as an open social platform for young girls and women to discuss an array of topics and experiences in a safe and judgement-free environment. Consequently, Aboah has become a spokesperson for women of all ages around the world who are looking for a community where they feel welcome and accepted for who they are.


Dr. Lina Abirafeh 

Director Institute of Women’s studies, Arab World, Lebanese American University

Dr. Lina Abirafeh is the Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University. Her background is in gender-based violence prevention and response in development and humanitarian contexts. She brings over 20 years’ experience in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and others.

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Sabanci University Corporate Governance Forum

Sevda Alkan is a project manager since 2013 at Sabanci University Corporate Governance Forum where she is responsible for Independent Women Directors Project and Business Against Domestic Violence Project. Sevda received her Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management at Dokuz Eylul University. She worked in various projects for TOG (Community Volunteers Foundation) as a volunteer and for Turkish Airlines as a part time employee during her studies. Upon graduation she continued to work for Turkish Airlines for a year before moving to UK. She completed her master’s degree in Corporate Environmental Management at the University of Surrey in 2013 where she was mainly focused on the issues of sustainability, corporate social responsibility and energy efficiency issues surrounding the climate change mitigation and adaptation.


Alanna Armitage

Director of UNFPA’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Alanna has worked to promote women’s health, development and human rights for the past 25 years. Alanna joined UNFPA in 1992, and has served in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America where she was UNFPA Representative in Brazil, and Country Director for Argentina and Paraguay. Before her current assignment, she was Director of UNFPA’s Geneva office for seven years.

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Jeta Berisha

Project Coordinator Artpolis

Born in 1993 in the municipality of Prishtina. For five years she has been part of television media, and has collaborated with most non-governmental organisations on women's rights in Kosovo (UN Security Council Resolution 1244). While, for three years, her activity as a political activist for women's rights is exercised with much passion and willpower contributing to a better future.


Burak Cakmak

Dean of Fashion, Parsons Uni New York

As dean of fashion at Parson’s School of Design, New York, Burak Cakmak’s agenda includes educating the next generation of fashion creatives about the importance of social responsibility, not just relating to the environment, but to wider political and social issues including feminism and inclusivity.


Mariarosa Cutillo

Chief of the Strategic Partnerships Branch, within the Division of Communications and Strategic Partnerships of UNFPA.

Mariarosa has more than 20 years of professional experience, working for the private sector. Before joining UNFPA, she was the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Benetton Group, as well as President and CEO of Benetton’s UNHATE Foundation. She has served as director of Valore Sociale per l’Impresa Responsabile (a multi stakeholder corporate social responsibility organisation). On issues relating to corporate sustainability, she has served as a legal expert for various Institutions. She has also worked extensively for the international non-governmental organisation Mani Tese.


Seda Domanic

Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Turkey & President of DMG Publishing Group

Seda graduated from Georgetown University with magna cum laude honor in International Affairs. She holds a M.A. degree in International Economics from SAIS, John Hopkins University and PhD. degree in Political Science from Sabancı University.  After working as a journalist and a communications consultant for various companies and international organisations, she joined Dogus Group as External Affairs Manager in 2006. Since 2009, she has been the founding Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Turkey. In addition to this role, she has become the President of DMG Publishing Group in 2013. Domanic speaks English, Turkish, Italian and French and she is a certified Yoga Instructor.   

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Mehmet Ersoy

Founder and Owner of Etstur

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Founder and Owner of Etstur that has over 25 years of experience in Turkish tourism sector, was born in 1968 in Istanbul and he is married and has two sons. Entering tourism sector through tour organisations that he had been organising while being a student in German High School, Ersoy studied Business Management in English at Istanbul University.

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David S. Evangelista

President and Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia  

David Evangelista is President & Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia, responsible for the growth and development of the movement across 58 nations across Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  David has extensive global experience in the areas of government relations, policy development, global and inclusive development programming in support of marginalised populations. David has served as a guest speaker for the United Nations, the European Union and a number of civil society organisations on issues related to inclusive development, disability, and government relations. 

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Olga Martin Gonzalez

Gender Coordinator of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in Brussels.

In this role, she provides technical advice and support on gender mainstreaming, particularly to the EU Delegations in Western Balkans and Turkey and to HQ. Prior to that, she worked more than 10 years as gender specialist in development and humanitarian settings mostly in West and Southern Africa, with NGOs, Regional and Governmental Institutions and International Organisations.


Dayle Haddon

Model, Writer & Campaigner

Dayle Haddon (born May 26, 1948) is a Canadian model and actress, presently known for promoting anti-aging products manufactured by L'Oréal. Additionally, she is credited as author of Ageless Beauty: A Woman's Guide to Lifelong Beauty and Well-Being.

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Friederike Kärcher

Head of the Media, Culture, Creative Industries, and Sport Division at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Previously, she held various positions across the Ministry’s areas of activity, among them as advisor to Minister Dr. Gerd Müller, as reference person for the G8-Africa partnership and as country manager for cooperation with Kosovo and Serbia. Friederike has worked for BMZ for more than ten years and specialises in bringing innovative topics to the toolbox of development cooperation.


Ozelem Kaymaz

Sportswoman and Miss World Turkey 1992

Ozlem is a prestigious sportswoman first Turkish woman to attend world championship in Sailing at age 16. She was the first Turkish girl on the cover of a foreign magazine (Marie Claire). Then became Miss World Turkey 1992.  Married to Dutchman, had her daughter at 24yrs. had a medical complication with second pregnancy, her son was born with a rare condition, permanent disability - Ozlem is an advocate for inclusion of disability and also the power of sports for inclusion, building empowerment for girls/women.  Ozlem's TED talk in May 2018 got 209,000 views ', unconditional love'.

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Anmar Khalid

International Coordinator in Charge of Y-PEER

Y-PEER is an international network of young people and organisations working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), youth participation and other youth-related issues through a Peer Education approach and interactive methodology in 52 countries around the world.

He believes in the vital role played by youth in shaping our communities and in the motto "nothing for us, as young people, without us".  


Anna Klepchukova

Chief Science officer for Flo Health Inc.

Anna has spent  7 years in Intensive care medicine as a medical doctor and 5 years in Big pharma as a marketer. Now she uses both her expertise in medicine and in marketing to ensure Flo users have an access to a reliable mobile application based on the latest achievements of medicine and science. She specialises in female physiology, endocrine disorders, neurology, menopause therapy, fitness, nutrition. She is a big fan of technologies and is a member of the Google Launchpad Mentor Community.

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Mario possesses a communication engineering degree and has worked for over 15 years in the Telecommunication industry. More than 10 years in Executive International roles, spending time in the UK, USA, Australia and Malaysia. After returning to Germany he founded RESULT and continues to steer the firm as chief executive today.

RESULT Sports has been active since spring 2010 as a platform for the holistic use of digital media and digital transformation in sports and working closely with athletes, clubs, national leagues and federations across Europe and in 2017 launched a digital initiative for Africa – From Africa For Africa.

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Anne McElvoy

Journalist, Writer, Mother 

Anne McElvoy is Senior Editor at The Economist, responsible for global policy and the expansion of the brand's audio presence.She is a former bureau chief in Berlin, Moscow and the Balkans and an award-winning columnist at the Evening Standard newspaper. Anne also presents BBC TV and Radio shows including Moral Maze, Free Thinking and documentaries on national and foreign affairs. She is an education member at the World Economic Forum and the Royal Opera House in London.

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Anja Rubik

Activist and Model

Anja Rubik is a Polish model, activist, philanthropist, and businesswoman. She is considered to be one of the most internationally successful models of the mid- to late-2000s to today. Rubik is known for her effortless style and for being the muse of Anthony Vaccarello. She currently lives and works in New York.

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Nesime Salioska

Executive Director, NGO ROMA S.O.S., working on reproductive rights of Roma women and girls in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Nesime Salioska is the executive director of the association ROMA S.O.S. which, from its establishment in 2007, has worked for equal opportunities and conditions for achieving social, economic, and cultural interests of Roma with other groups in a multiethnic society.


Dr Tamer Sekin MD

Surgeon, Endo Foundation Co-Founder

Dr. Tamer Seckin is a world-renowned surgeon who specializes in endometriosis surgery. Having had over 30 years of experience in excision surgery, Dr. Seckin is able to treat even the most advanced cases of endometriosis. His patients range from those with ovarian endometriomas to instances of severe deep infiltrating endometriosis of the bowels and other organs. He has dedicated his life to ensure that women suffering from this little-known disease, receive the care and treatment that they deserve.


Prof. Dr. Zeynep Şimşek

Prof. Dr.Zeynep Şimşek has dedicated her professional life to empower women living in rural areas of Turkey. She specifically focused her work on seasonal agricultural workers who were not receiving any other attention. Prof. Dr. Şimşek has been working to empower those women for 15 years.

Currently, she is at Bilgi University, UNFPA Turkey’s partner, and working on refugee women. Prof. Dr. Şimşek is instrumental in developing “health mediator” model which is essential part of UNFPA’s Women and Girls Safe Spaces humanitarian aid program in Turkey.  


Yuriy Sviridov

Marketing & Communications Department Director, FC Shakhtar Donetsk

 Yuriy has managed a variety of projects since 1995. In 2010 Yuriy successfully completed a course in Sports Management and Football Business at Birkbeck University of London. Yuriy Sviridov was appointed Head of FC Shakhtar Marketing and Communications Department in 2010. Since his appointment to the position, Yuri has engaged in dozens of marketing and communication projects in FC Shakhtar. Including all social projects of the club.

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Dr Isatou Touray

Minister, Academic, Campaigner

Isatou Touray is a Gambian politician, activist, and social reformer. A noted campaigner against female genital mutilation, she became the first female Gambian presidential candidate in 2016, before dropping out to endorse Adama Barrow and Coalition 2016.



Head of Company Communications  P&G Turkey and Caucasus

Started her career in P&G as Assistant External Relations Manager and has been responsible for various fields of communication for more than 13 years including Media & Public Relations, Social Media communication, Influencer Communication, Government Relations, Regulatory & Technical communication across all P&G categories/brands.  In 2017, being assigned as the Head of Company Communications P&G Turkey and Caucasus, Mrs. Turgay has been responsible from P&G’s Corporate Reputation & Executive Communication, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship communication.

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Danijela Urosevic

Assistant Minister of Health for EU Integration and International Cooperation

Danijela is medical doctor and a Master of Science in public health, Danijela started her professional career in the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia in 2004. In her 15 year long career, she has been engaged with various health topics, primarily in international health projects. For seven years she was in charge for programming and preparations of projects on the position of a Head of Department for EU Integration and Preparation, Implementation and Monitoring of International Projects. Since August 2017 Danijela has been appointed as Assistant Minister of Health for EU Integration and International Cooperation.


Caroline Wainaina

Business Woman, Advocate, Change Maker 

Carole Wamuyu Wainaina was the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources from October 2014 till April 2017. Prior to this appointment announced on 25 September 2014 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Ms. Wainaina was Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the Executive Committee at Royal Philips in the Netherlands. She is currently working in Casablanca, Morocco as the Chief Operating Officer for Africa50 Infrastructure Fund