Rana Zincir Celal

Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Rana Zincir Celal leads all aspects of programming for Columbia Global Centers | Turkey.

Rana has been based in Turkey and northern Cyprus since 2002. Since 2009, she worked with the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research to create the Home for Cooperation, a common space in Cyprus's UN Buffer Zone that promotes innovative approaches to intercultural dialogue and history education.  During that time, she led an effort by The Elders, the International Center for Transitional Justice and AHDR to produce educational materials on comparative experiences with enforced disappearance and missing persons. She is also a founding member of the Gender Advisory Team, a coalition of women's organizations generating policy proposals for the integration of gender concerns in the Cyprus peace talks.

From 2005 to 2009, she was Vice-President of Programs at the Chrest Foundation, where she designed and implemented its grant making strategy in the areas of gender equality, communication and dialogue through arts and culture, rural development, and at-risk children in Turkey. Prior to that, she launched programs on social justice philanthropy, cultural policy and cross-border cultural cooperation with a number of NGOs in Turkey, including the Third Sector Foundation of Turkey, Anadolu Kultur and the Christensen Fund.  She also initiated and produced a number of exhibitions, focusing on contested space in the divided capital of Cyprus, notably: “Leaps of Faith: An International Arts Project for the Green Line and the City of Nicosia,” “Untitled Histories,” an archival project on the Turkish Cypriots arts community, “Speaking to One Another,” Cyprus edition with oral history workshops focused on the Armenian community of Cyprus, “Topographies of Memory: From Ermou Street to the Buffer Zone,” with Anita Bakshi, and “Bandabuliya,” an exhibition for the opening of the historic marketplace of Nicosia.

Before moving to Turkey, Rana was based at the Ford Foundation's Economic Development Program in New York and also worked for one of the pioneers of the socially responsible investing movement, Domini Social Investments, as an Investor Services Associate, liaising with institutional investors.

She is dedicated to civil society in Turkey and globally, serving as a Board member with several foundations and civic initiatives: Greenpeace Mediterranean Board of Directors, the European Cultural Foundation's Princess Margriet Award Jury, the Hrant Dink Foundation International Human Rights Award Committee, the Greek Turkish Forum, and Anadolu Kültür Executive Committee.

She holds degrees from Columbia University (BA, Political Science) and the London School of Economics (MSc, Development Studies). She is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, the Everett Public Service Fellowship, and the CUNY Emerging Leaders in International Philanthropy Fellowship.