Handan’s first social project was in 2010, where as a student she realized that there were not sufficient platforms for students to pursue their interest in the social impact and civil society area. She founded “KUGlobalAid“, a service-learning organization aiming at empowering students and artists, by securing funding from Koç University.
She organized projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia, and Eastern Turkey. For the project “Left Behind in Bosnia,” she established partnerships with Bosnia-Herzegovina’s municipal bodies, Turkish consulates and Emmaus and led a group of 25 students. She also brought in a group of photographers, and provided training to them on collaborations they can establish with the civil society. Later on, her focus shifted from her community of peers to woman. In Erzincan, she established partnerships with municipal bodies and Erzincan University for creating an educational program for female entrepreneurs. The project supported about 40 woman and trained them in branding and marketing.
KUGlobalAid enabled 200 students to get experience in social impact area over a period of 10 years. Majority of KUGlobalAid members have chosen careers in the social impact and civil society space, and the organization got invited to the Clinton Global Initiative in Texas, Austin.
Representing Turkey & Leadership in Turkish American Society
After moving to the United States, Handan got involved in the dynamic political and civil society world in Washington DC. She was an active member of the Turkish American community and launched the Future Leaders Series by establishing collaboration between Georgetown University, Turkish American Coalition, and American Turkish Association of Washington DC, aiming to to empower youth with networking events and speaker series on personal branding and amplifying impact with social media.
She took up the position as a Managing Director at the Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Association in Washington DC, with the goal of supporting the scientific and academic community in the United States. She promoted and represented the Turkish scientific contribution among European stakeholders by ensuring Turkish representation in major conferences and meetings. She presented TASSA’s work to Researchers in Motion, and secured Turkish scientists opportunities to present their work. She worked with EURAXESS and ensured Turkish scientists’ representation in their conferences.
Handan’s work in the United States and her contributions to the Turkish American dispora has been honored with the Young Achiever Award by the American Turkish Association of Washington DC.
Technology and Digital Strategy
From 2017 through 2020, Handan worked for the technology giant Google, ensuring product compliance and safety. She currently runs an online legal project on women’s rights, Kadın Hakları Bilgi Platformu and practices academic realist art.
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