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Featured Alumna: Sebnem Udum (IIPES 01)

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photo784Sebnem Udum (IIPES 01) earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in international economics, in 1999 from the Middle East Technical University. She has also earned a master’s degree in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) where she also received a certificate in nonproliferation studies. At MIIS, she served as the president of the Turkish club, and she worked as a research associate in the Middle East section of the Proliferation Research and Assessment Program.

In addition, she earned a master’s degree in international relations from Bilkent University, and she is now working on her PhD. She is also a visiting instruct at the Turkish Military Academy, and she is the assistant to the department Chair for the Bilkent Department of International Relations. Udum is widely published in the fields of Turkish foreign policy and nonproliferation issues.

Udum’s experience at IIPES during the conflict management component had a major impact on her academic and professional research, and the friends that she made in 2001 have become some of her greatest professional contacts.

“My specialization is international security, and IIPES was definitely a unique experience for me: Around 70 bright students coming from my immediate neighborhood having lots to discuss and learn from…The atmosphere added input of an open mind and understanding of one another’s concerns and ideas. The courses, particularly that on conflict resolution have been very helpful both in academic and personal sense during and after the Institute. I made use of the principles in my master’s thesis in reconciling Turkey’s foreign and security policymaking. Moreover, I got to work with some of the friends in the Institute in other professional or academic settings, which provided a sense of community where we could have total confidence and unbreakable friendship.

“I would strongly encourage young leaders to participate in the program to learn and understand each other, as well as acquire the tools to resolve conflicts between them. It is a wonderful opportunity to build the community to work with in the future in giving shape to the policies of one’s own state.”

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