Amber Cakar

Amber Cakar

Senior Program Officer
Asia, Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, Syria, Turkey, Youth, Leadership, Education, Civil Society

Amber is a senior program officer for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) and the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program in Tunisia. In this role, she supports both programs' student leadership portfolio, contributing to all aspects of both programs, including administrative and logistical support, and project monitoring and evaluation.

Prior to joining IREX, Amber established the grants and partnerships department for a regional humanitarian and development organization in Turkey and contributed to their programming for ten countries across the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. In that position, Amber also played a critical role in leading advocacy and communications strategies in the immediate aftermath of the February 2023 earthquakes in southeast Turkey and northwest Syria.

Additionally, Amber has taught English in Turkey and the U.S. for five years and was deeply involved in a number of grassroots educational and scholarship initiatives for disadvantaged and refugee populations in Istanbul, including the transformation of a neighborhood donation distribution program to a self-sustaining community center serving hundreds of local families.

Amber holds a master of arts in international relations from Kadir Has University in Istanbul where she defended her thesis on the norm emergence and management of education for Syrians in Turkey from 2013 to 2017.