The Washington Institute has a robust staff with members representing a variety of global backgrounds. It also supports young people with promise as tomorrow’s leaders around the world through scholarships and opportunities to get involved in conversations covering international business, government, and society. To that end, it counts several outstanding young leaders as members of its staff. More about their backgrounds and contributions to the Institute can be found below:
Hakan Ozsancak – Executive Vice President
Hakan oversees the operations, finance and communications of the Washington Institute, providing support to the CEO and Founder. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, he is the son of a diplomat and by the age of ten had lived in Switzerland, Egypt, Germany, and Turkey. He speaks five languages. Having served as Chief Operating Officer of a technology company and executive producer for a major media conglomerate, Hakan has spent 19 years in the communications industry. He has led diverse teams of professionals in a series of news projects around the world and has received several awards for his work. Hakan excels in strategic communications, business development, finance, and strategy. He received his bachelor’s degree in international relations from American University and his executive MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Maati Bouabid- Special Projects Associate
Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco
Born and raised in Morocco, Maati is a recent graduate of The George Washington University. Double majoring in international affairs and economics, Maati chose to work at the Washington Institute for Business, Government, and Society as he was fascinated by the projects the Institute is undertaking and also believed it was a great fit with his fields of study. He has supported the Institute’s Coronavirus Initiative, Global Sports Program, and its Embassy Series, in addition to other initiatives.
Drew Magness- Intern
Drew Magness is a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in International Political Economy and Global Business with a focus on China Studies. Currently, Drew resides in Washington D.C. as a Bill Archer Fellow. Beyond academics, Drew often works in business development with early-stage startups, helping establish market presence. For the past 5 years, as a speech and debate coach, Drew has worked with hundreds of students across the globe to communicate issues of policy and value with incisiveness. On campus, Drew works as the Partnership Director for 180 Degrees Consulting, building relationships with nonprofit clients, establishing partnerships with top consultancies, and helping lead pro-bono consulting teams. Drew loves to read sci-fi, make good coffee, and climb mountains.
Heidi Chu– Intern
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware
Heidi is a sophomore at Georgetown University majoring in Government and minoring in Computer Science. At Georgetown, Heidi is working to develop a background in political science, while strengthening her programming and communication skills in order to develop human centered designs for social good. On campus, Heidi works as an account manager and digital brand manager for the Georgetown Marketing Association and a UX designer for DCivitas, a pro bono non-profit consulting club. Through her internships in global business and experiential branding, Heidi has assisted in designing strategic communications and developing corporate social responsibility policies. The projects she completes at and outside of Georgetown inspire ideas she hopes will make a difference in the communities around her and the world at large.
Katie Rodger – Business Development Associate
Hometown: Marblehead, Massachusetts
Katie Rodger is a recent graduate of Connecticut College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government with a focus on international politics, and a double minor in Economics and Anthropology. In addition to academics, she was an active member of the Varsity Sailing Team. Katie chose to work at the Washington Institute because she is very passionate about the work and projects the Institute does, and it ties together all of her undergraduate fields of study. At the Washington Institute, she is helping with business development activities including research, fundraising and grants.
Yagiz Sullu – Social Science Research Assistant
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Yagiz Sullu is a recent graduate of George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where he earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a focus on international development, law, and organizations. He completed his undergraduate education at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies majoring in International Relations with a focus on Foreign Policy, Security Studies, and Europe. At the Washington Institute, he is researching the latest technology trends as well as managing the Institute’s podcasts, videos, and other social media engagements.
Reagan Putnam –Business Development Intern
Reagan Putnam is a junior at the George Washington University pursuing a double major in Business Administration and International Affairs, with a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. On campus, she is involved with GW Women in Business, the Finance and Investments committee, and the International Affairs Society. In addition to academics, she works with a finance publications startup in New York, where she writes about trends in technology, innovation, and international business. She also volunteers regularly with the National League of Junior Cotillions and the Girl Scouts of America.