It was important to Ellen and Jerry Gallagher that as their foundation grew it would be diverse geographically, culturally and religiously. The program in Turkey was established in 2005, in part to provide scholarships to students in a largely secular democracy with a high percentage of Muslim citizens.
All of our Scholars attend Boğaziçi University (Bosphorus University), the top ranked University in the country. It is situated on a beautiful campus in Istanbul overlooking the Bosphorus. Istanbul is a bustling city that blends Middle Eastern and European cultures well. To find out more about Boğaziçi, visit their website http://boun.edu.tr/
Elvan Zihnioğlu became Director of the Turkey program in 2008. Educationally, Elvan studied at the Center for Philanthropy - Indiana University, School of Fundraising and NGO Management - Indiana, Lifelong Education Program/Financial Management - Boğaziçi University, B.S. of Science in Marketing and International Business - Drexel University, and the Electronics program with School of Advancement and Vocation Studies - Boğaziçi University.
While working with the Gallagher Foundation, Elvan is also serving as a Vice General Manager at the Boğaziçi University Foundation, Istanbul. Prior to this, she worked as the Coordinator of Business Development in the Fundraising Department of the Boğaziçi University Foundation, the Director of Annual Giving Fundraising Programs at Boğaziçi University, and the Senior Quality Manager and Coordinator for Healthcare Systems Operation at Thomas Jefferson University.
Elvan enjoys interacting with and working directly with the younger generation. She says that it is a daily learning process for her.
Elvan shares her life with her teenage son. She has found that living with a teenager is a really big challenge every day, but she feels blessed.
In her free time, Elvan paints and writes poetry.