Page content

Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development

Our Team

Sahba Sobhani, Director

Sahba Sobhani is the Director of UNDP IICPSD. Mr. Sobhani brings 19 years of experience in the private sector in Silicon Valley, Singapore and at UNDP as Programme Advisor, Team Leader and Programme Manager including as the technical lead for the recently endorsed UNDP private sector strategy.

He has significant partnership development and advocacy experience with the private sector working with over 100 companies and business organizations and a track record of operational leadership, innovation and management of 6 global UNDP-led strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives in the area of business and development including the Business Call to Action Initiative, the Connecting Business Initiative and the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business and has been the principal author and content manager of all 5 major UNDP-led reports in the area of private sector in development, Previously, he managed two key UNDP private sector initiatives in the executive office of the former Administrator of UNDP, Mark Malloch Brown, including the Commission on the Private Sector and Development, and the African Financial Markets Initiative. He co-authored Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor, the seminal report of the Private Sector Commission produced at the request of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Mr. Sobhani was the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy (USA).
Gülçin Salıngan, Deputy Director

Gülçin Salıngan is the Deputy Director of UNDP IICPSD. Since 2013, Ms. Salingan, in this capacity, played a leading role in designing Center’s strategy and its operationalization, developing its programs and partnerships.

Ms. Salingan has more than two decades of experience both with private sector and governmental institutions holding different positions in Europe and Middle East. Prior to joining UNDP IICPSD, she ran her consultancy company for 10 years in competitiveness, industrial clusters, entrepreneurship, SME development, regional development and strategic business planning. She started her career in PricewaterhouseCoopers working in Lisbon and Istanbul offices and served as Finance Manager in The Coca Cola Company for the South East Europe Region covering Slovenia, Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria and Romania before establishing her consultancy company. Gülçin completed her BA degree in Bosphorus University in Business Administration in Istanbul, followed by a post graduate study in Westminster University in London and got her master’s degree in Istanbul with a thesis on clusters development. She is holding a Ph.D. degree on industrial clusters and social capital.
Luciana Aguiar, Program Manager, Business Call to Action

Luciana Aguiar is the Program Manager of Business Call to Action Initiative. She holds a PhD degree in Social Sciences (anthropology) from Cornell University. For the last four years, she was the Private Sector in Development and Innovation Specialist for the United Nations Development Program in Brazil where she has developed innovative solutions on inclusive business, finance for development and private social investment. She has acted as a visiting professor at São Paulo University, FGV/EASP and Fundação Dom Cabral. Social Entrepreneur and founding partner of a Benefit company. She was a senior Partner of PlanoCDE, a company that produces and applies value-added knowledge for companies working with the base of the pyramid. PlanoCDE helps companies and organizations to enhance their prescence and social impact on lower income populations, helping to develop products, serves and new business models.

For 15 years, Ms. Aguiar has been developing strategies to serve the people living at base of the socio-economic pyramid for institutions such as IDB, CGAP (World Bank) and national and international foundations. Together with corporations, she worked on knowledge management, impact assessment and innovation projects in the areas of financial inclusion, education, health, technology, mass consumer goods, retail and communication.
Gokhan Dikmener, Technical Specialist

Gokhan Dikmener works as a Technical Specialist for UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), generating ideas and guiding the Center in changing markets to integrate people and reduce poverty. He is an economist by training with a specialization on international development and finance. He has international advisory, policy formulation and research experience on private sector engagement in development. His expertise and research interests include areas such as inclusive market development, impact investing, skills development and social entrepreneurship.

Prior to UNDP, Gokhan Dikmener worked as an economist/trade specialist at the Turkish Ministry of Economy (formerly the Office of the Prime Ministry, Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade) between 2001 and 2010 where he also held technical and advisory positions. He holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).