President & CEO

Ms. Zeynep Gülgün Gündüz

Zeynep is the President & CEO of RET, chair of RET Americas d/b/a RET USA, Inc., Vice Chair of the RET Germany’s Board of Directors, and a Member of the RET International’s Board of Directors.

She has been RET’s Chief Executive officer (CEO) since 2003, launching the re-engineering of RET International, from its original conception of December 2000 and operational launch in May 2001. 

During these last 20 years, and under her leadership, the RET Alliance has grown in annual income and has raised and channeled over USD 250 million from the international community towards vulnerable youth and women. RET continues to expand geographically and thematically by providing humanitarian assistance, development solutions, and peace operations to protect and enable young people and women affected by conflict, violence, disasters, and protracted crises. 

Protection, Capacity Building, Education, Socio-economic Empowerment of women and Development, Peace and Stabilization, became the leading areas of intervention in RET’s commitment. 

Zeynep heads a dynamic, diverse team of 400-1300+ dedicated, passionate professionals from Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, and is responsible for RET operations in 32 countries, over 374 projects and programs, and directly benefiting over 2 million program participants directly, and nearly 20 million beneficiaries.

Zeynep joined the RET in 2003, after 23 years in the private sector, where she worked in senior and executive management of large multinational corporations of the Fortune 500 in the automotive and telecommunications industries. She was primarily responsible for marketing, communications, public relations, advertising, sponsorships, and corporate social responsibility, managing budgets of approximately USD 100 million. Zeynep served on the boards of various philanthropic causes before joining the RET, developing corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and launching a foundation for a leading telecommunications corporation. 

She graduated from New York University, Stern School of Business with an M.B.A. in Marketing and International Business in 1984, and a Bachelor of Science in 1980. Zeynep is originally from Istanbul, raised in New York City, resided in several cities around the world during her career, and currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland.

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