I was born and raised in Turkey. My father was a high school teacher and my mother a homemaker. My childhood was spent in small towns my father was posted as a civil servant. I had a big break after finishing middle school, when I was awarded a full scholarship to attend Robert College (RC), a prestigious private boys school in Istanbul. RC changed my life in three important ways: I learned English, the boarding school experience taught me independence, and I was exposed to a foreign (American) culture.
Following RC I attended the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. My intention was to study business (a new and favorite major in Turkey during the 1960s), so I enrolled in the Faculty of Administrative Sciences. Halfway through college I grew fond of statistics and majored in economics and statistics. Beyond attending college, my four years in Ankara introduced me to the world of work. I worked as part-time research assistant at a consulting company established by Turkey’s first development planners, working on an OECD-funded research project. This led to a consultancy at the OECD headquarters in Paris during the summer of my graduation from METU.
RC had prepared me well for study at METU and METU opened the doors for graduate study in the U.S. I was fortunate to be awarded a Fulbright grant that allowed me to study mathematical statistics at Michigan State University (MSU). While studying statistics I discovered that I was getting deeper and deeper into mathematics and further and further away from my interests in social and public policy issues. After completing my masters in mathematical statistics, I changed direction and enrolled in a graduate program in political science and public policy. While completing my second masters and Ph.D. I worked as a consultant, conducted numerous research projects and was fortunate to meet my life companion (former Melek Eroglu). We were married and had our first child in the U.S.
Upon returning to Turkey I began teaching at Boğaziçi University (successor to my alma mater, the former Robert College) and conducted several nation-wide studies. I loved teaching, but feared for our safety as Turkey was going through a period of unrest and instability. When an opportunity to work at the World Bank arose, we decided to move to Washington, D.C. This opened a new and exciting chapter in my professional life. A new member was added to our family in Washington with the birth of our daughter, and my understanding of the world–and humanity in general–was broadened with numerous World Bank missions to developing countries across the globe.
I was associated with the World Bank continuously for 34 years, 26 of these as staff and the rest as consultant. I devoted 27 of these years to working with the largest international scientific network in the world—the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), whose secretariat was then based at the World Bank. I was the first incumbent of a newly created Management Adviser position, which provided me opportunities for promoting changes to improve the overall health and performance of this global research system and its centers of excellence. I have had a thoroughly fulfilling and enjoyable association with the CGIAR. As a final task for the CGIAR I wrote an institutional history of this research system, which was published by the CGIAR in 2012.
In recent years I was fortunate to serve as consultant to several other World Bank units, including the World Bank Inspection Panel, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Middle East and North Africa. These consultancies were on governance, institutional development and change management. I also had several consultancies with FAO and the European Commission.
At present, I am semi-retired, doing occasional consulting, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
My full CV is available here. Ozgediz Long CV Jan 2018