Design Shows

Rozit Arditi's Rockitt & corkitt tumbler stool collection

Creative direction, management, production, fundraising, and event staffing for the first Turkish design show, Design Istanbul, at New York’s official Design Week, presented by American Turkish Society (ATS) with sponsorship support from Turkish Cultural Foundation. The event marked the first collective exhibit from Turkey at the Wanted Design international fair. The show attracted over 10,000 visitors during its three-day run including 3,000 from the opening night, and over 200 million media impressions.

 New York Design Week 2013: The Highlights.  Wallpaper, 23 May 2013

New York Design Week 2013: The Highlights. Wallpaper, 23 May 2013

Radio coverage of Turkish design show promoting the new generation of Turkish designers during Wanted Design international fair at Design Week NYC, May 28, 2012. Webcast available here


Concert Productions

Production, management, fundraising, and event staffing for multiple community concerts featuring award-winning international artists, presented by The American Turkish Society. Performances included a Tribute Concert for the assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink by Grammy winner Arto Tunçboyacıyan in 2010; an Indie jazz concert by Vienna-based Fatima Spar und die Freedom Fries at Knitting Factory, Brooklyn in 2010; and an earthquake relief concert fundraiser featuring an Anatolian folk group Kardeş Türküler with Grammy winner Arto Tunçboyacıyan in 2011.

Film Events

Photo Credit: Guney Cuceloglu 

Production, management, graphic design, fundraising, and event staffing for 007 Skyfall pre-release screening (in IMAX) held on November 8, 2012 at AMC Loews at Lincoln Center, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Bond film series. Event followed by an after party arranged by Gordon Von Broock at a top night club in New York’s Meatpacking District.

Production, management, photography, and event staffing for Turkish film festivals in New York City from 2009-2013, in addition to the 29-film series entitled “Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema from Turkey,” co-presented by American Turkish Society, The Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2012.  “Space Between” was the first major film program held in the U.S. with a focus on classic and modern Turkish cinema.

The Week Ahead, New York Times, April 27, 2012

Turkish Delights, New Yorker, April 23, 2012


Explore the Vibrant Cinema of Turkey With Our 29-Film Salute!, Film Society, April 24, 2012

'Can' Opens the Space Between -- A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey, Huffington Post, April 4, 2012

Production, catering, and event staffing for the New York premieres of two ATS-presented feature documentaries; Director Aslihan Unaldi's 'Overdrive: Istanbul in the New Millennium,' about Istanbul's human population and transportation problems, produced by EMBARQ, World Resources Institute, and Binnur Karaevli's 'Voices Unveiled'  about struggle for women's equality in Turkey. Both screenings played to full houses at NYIT Auditorium on Broadway at Lincoln Center, and included opening receptions and live post Q&A discussions with the directors/producers.

Gala Events

Production, fundraising, photography, and videography support for American Turkish Society gala dinner events- a special fundraiser held every year to celebrate outstanding leaders in business with over hundreds in attendance and over hundreds of thousands of dollars raised. 

Let’s send a clear message to the world that both America and Turkey are Open for Business.
— Secretary Pritzker, Remarks at American-Turkish Society Gala

Created the concept and layout; arranged interviews; narrated the video on ATS story.


"Intricate Veils" exhibition of design projects by UPenn students, curated by Ferda Kolatan, C24 Gallery - New York 2013

Creative direction, curation and production for 3-D fashion exhibit "MELT" featuring award winning design team, T-Shirt-Issue from Berlin, co-hosted with Gallery R’Pure in New York City (February 2014)

Sweatshirt by The T-Shirt-Issue appears to melt, Dezeen, January 28, 2014

Conceptualization and production for an architecture exhibition showcasing student works from the studio class of architect/UPenn faculty Ferda Kolatan, presented by ATS (February 2013)

Finding a venue and planning & promotion for a photography exhibition curated by Boston – MFA at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul, presented by ATS (November, 2013)

Young Photographers Award Exhibition, Elipsis Gallery - Istanbul 2013

Young Photographers Award: A Fresh Perspective, The Guide Istanbul, November 15, 2013

TasArt Dergi, November 13, 2013

Book Clubs

Together with international author Frances Kazan, revived the American Turkish Society book club with focus on works related to Turkish culture, history, and people.

Street Festivals

Creation of ATS cultural booth, development of display/marketing materials, and vendor management at 92nd Street Y annual street festival. Gave an interview to a local radio station/newspaper.

Supporting Artists & Teachers

Artwork by Erman Ozbasaran, 2012 SVA Summer Resident Artist

Direction, structure and programming for a new teaching grant to foster teaching about Turkey in American classrooms.

Management and direction for the School of Visual Arts Summer Residency scholarship program for artists from Turkey. 

Creative direction, development, and management for an international photography contest generously funded by philanthropist Haluk Soykan. Entitled Young Photographers Award, the innovative program judged by a curatorial team from Boston Museum of Fine Arts supports undergraduate students of photography in Turkey and offers them recognition in the United States.


Professional support for the preparation of the convention program for the 2006 International Studies Association 47th Annual Convention in San Diego, CA; Co-authored (with Rafael Reuveny) the ISA Program Office Handbook, International Studies Association, 2007.


Received a National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) Grant from Commerce Department to conduct research regarding the role of public policy in the start-up decision.  Co-authored a book chapter with David Audretsch, "Determinants of Scientist Entrepreneurship," in  Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research: Disciplinary Perspectives edited by Sharon A. Alvarez, Rajshree Agarwal, Olav Sorenson.


Taught a required, undergraduate class "National and International Policy (V160)" at Indiana University- Bloomington and Ivy Tech Community College; and taught and developed the "Leadership and Public Policy (V473) " elective course at Kelley School of Business. V160 Syllabus, V473 Syllabus

Networking Events

Production, venue and staff management for cocktail receptions, holiday parties, networking and social events throughout New York City to bring together alumni, friends and family of TED Ankara College. Successfully co-founded and volunteering as head of TED USA -  TED High School Alumni Association in New York City.

Catering Services

Photo Credit: Alihan Polat

Website design/layout/content, engaging Facebook content, and catering services for hobby-based home based baking business, Dee’s Delite.


During the time Dee Kayalar Polat was the Program Director of The American Turkish Society I was the event consultant who coordinated their annual fundraising gala. After working with Dee for more four years I couldn’t be more pleased to write her a recommendation.

Dee has more energy and commitment than anyone I’ve ever worked with. During the years we worked together Dee was running a dizzying array of programs of her own but was always available to jump in handle the aspects of the gala that needed her expertise.

Dee makes it point to know everyone, from CEOs and foreign ministers to the support and mailroom staff. She always makes everyone feel as if what they are doing or need at any moment is the most important thing on her plate. She consistently comes up with creative solutions to problems but also manages to find a way to make everyone feel as if they were a part of the process and the decision.

Any organization would be lucky to have Dee. She’s a tireless and generous manager.
— Kristin Holcomb (artist, educator, event planner)
In my work I occasionally look to my clients for time- and person-sensitive logistics and art direction. With a deft hand and professional candor, Dee has managed and navigated my interaction with and photography of distinguished figures across multiple locations for three years. I trust and recommend Dee Kayalar Polat wholly to successfully produce and direct for clients to significant scales.
— Beowulf Sheehan (photographer)
Dee is an extremely cultured, sophisticated, intelligent, and hard-working professional. As a member of the Young Society Leaders and a frequent participant at ATS events, I have firsthand knowledge of the quality of Dee’s work. In all her efforts, she created highly interesting and stimulating events on both social and professional levels. She is extremely detailed-oriented and focused on all facets of the events, including promoting them for maximum coverage and attendance. She handles herself with grace and kindness and always has a smile on her face. I would wholeheartedly recommend Dee to any employer; in fact, she would be an invaluable asset to any employer.
— Leila Zubi (Partner at Zubi Rosner, LLP)
It has been a great pleasure to work with Dee. Her professionalism, energy and passion to make things happen were inspiring to me.
— Claire Pijoulat (Co-founder, Wanted Design)
I met Doğa when she was program director at The American Turkish Society. As a grant recipient of the Moon and Stars Project, the cultural division of The American Turkish Society, I can say that Doğa was always prompt and made the whole process from the application to the final delivery of the project I received funding for extremely smooth.

With her networking skills, Doğa has also contributed to the growth and reputation of the Young Photographer Award, a showcase for young photographers in Turkey. Doğa, who was the coordinator of the Award, worked hard to involve as many universities as possible and to exhibit the selected images at prestigious venues in Istanbul.

Doğa is determined to make a difference wherever she works and has the drive and skills to keep embarking on new endeavors. I wish her well.
— Delizia Flaccavento (documentary photographer)
I worked with Dee last year in preparation of Wanted design exhibition during ICFF and she did a perfect organization; I believe she is very professional, passionate and extremely dedicated to the project she is involved. She has terrific organization skills; it has been a pleasure to work with her.
— Defne Koz (Partner, Koz Susani Design)
Dee is a professional in the truest sense of the word. She is a brilliant event manager with a wide skill set. She is smart, enthusiastic, insightful, creative, efficient, resourceful and solution-oriented. We had the pleasure of working with her twice so far. First during the 2013 “Wanted Design” exhibition, and second for our first solo show “Melt” at Gallery R’Pure in 2014, which Dee helped make happen. Both times it was an absolute pleasure, Dee earns our highest recommendation.
— Hande Akcayli (Founder of The-T-Shirt-Issue and Mashallah)
Dee and I worked together at least four times when our organizations co-hosted events. Dee responded quickly to emails and calls and always made sure to get requests and information to the appropriate person at the ATS. Dee is always pleasant and does what it takes to get the job done. She will be an asset to any organization!
— Linda Veraska (Program Officer for Turkey at SUNY)
Dee is someone who manages to attend every detail while also being totally available to those who are working with her on a given project. On the several occasions that I worked with her while volunteering on programs sponsored by the American Turkish Society, I was impressed with how professional and personable she was to deal with. It is not easy to efficiently recruit, debrief, and deploy a group of volunteers on behalf of an important event, and Dee is really good at organizing the work load and assigning the right person to the right task. More importantly, she is very effective at building team spirit among the staff and making sure that everyone has the information that they need to do a good job. I am confident that Dee would be a valuable addition to any team, and am delighted to be able to recommend her.
— Patricia Bellucci (Program Manager, Fordham University)
Ms. Kayalar worked with me in New York during my last year there as my personal assistant when I was the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations. I was very satisfied with her work. She is a hard working person who can carry huge work load. She is bright, dedicated, adaptable, trustworthy and decent. I would highly recommend her. It was a pleasure to work with her.
— Baki Ilkin, Ambassador (rt)
Doğa is organized, thoughtful, and a go-getter who would make a great addition to any team. She and I worked together to prepare the convention program for International Studies Association’s 26th Annual Convention. Doğa was responsible for maintaining the conference database & email, generating program letters and convention statistics, putting together panels, contacting participants, and making sure the logistics of the event were in place. She worked overtime voluntarily for over a year, and her dedication, bright mind, and hard work were instrumental in the success of the program. We later worked together to prepare the book manual for the annual meetings of the ISA, which is still being used as a guide in running the conference. Well-known to her professors for her uplifting spirit, Doğa brings creative and unlimited energy to anything she is passionate about. I would highly recommend Doğa for any position.
— Rafael Reuveny (Professor, Indiana University)