Seren Selvin Korkmaz is co-founder and board member of the IstanPol Institute. She held the position of executive director from January 2018 until November 2023.

Korkmaz is a researcher at Stockholm University’s Institute for Turkish Studies. In 2023, Korkmaz was honored as a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. Her previous appointments include positions as a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C., a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, and a research fellow at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. She works with international and domestic actors as political analyst and advisor on a broad range of issues, trends and developments with a special focus on internal Turkish political dynamics.

A political scientist by training, Korkmaz completed her Ph.D. studies at Stockholm University’s Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and the Institute of Turkish Studies. She has taught at Stockholm University and was as a guest lecturer at prestigious institutions like the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Her research interests span populism, political parties, voter perception, election strategies, opposition in autocratic regimes, transatlantic relations, and Turkey-U.S. relations.

Since 2013, Korkmaz has been actively involved in various academic and non-governmental initiatives, aiming to connect civil society, academia, and public policy through her research and policy recommendations. Up until 2017, she served as the Turkey director for the Political and Social Research Institute of Europe (PS:EUROPE), an institute she co-founded, based in Austria and Turkey. She is currently a member of several working groups on Turkey-EU relations, Turkey – US relations, and the future of democracy.

Korkmaz has published a large number of commentaries, policy papers and academic articles and coordinated various projects on Turkey’s political dynamics. She is a frequent political commentator in both Turkish and international media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Deutsche Welle and the Wall Street Journal. She has delivered invited talks at prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.,  IFRI, ISPI and the Delphi Economic Forum, among others. Korkmaz has organized and participated in meetings with Turkish, European, and U.S. stakeholders to enhance transatlantic relations.