Arzu Tekir is the Co-Founder, Head of Strategy & Business Development of URBANARBA Smart City Marketing & Communications, Miami-based strategic communication and marketing firm with expertise in smart cities, sustainability, and urban innovations.
She is a business strategist working with the leaders of the cities and organizations to create a positive change. She has eighteen years of work experience in strategic planning, business development, strategic partnership development, and record of raising millions of funding dollars for large-scale public and private sector projects.
As the Executive Director for World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities in Turkey, Arzu and her team partnered with national government and sixteen cities in Turkey and two cities in Africa to improve the quality of lives and to create a positive impact on urban mobility and urban sprawl and urban efficiency. Previously to WRI, Arzu advised companies to develop innovative IT projects in Istanbul. She worked as European Union Projects Coordinator and External Relations Director for IT companies that develop technology solutions for cities, directed the financing of the projects and established strategic partnerships. As the new manager, she rebuilt a management consultancy company which had been inoperative for the previous three years when she started in 2003 and ran it for about two years.
Arzu was an MBA lecturer at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. She earned her master’s degree in econometrics and holds a bachelor's degree in statistics.
She was named as one of the Women of Courage Turkey by Dunya Finance & Business Daily and as one of Top 19 Women in the Environment, Yesilist, Turkey's first green-living, and sustainability platform. She is recognized as one of 10 people to follow on Twitter on urban transportation. Recently, she was selected as a mentee to the Global Ambassadors Program, organized by Vital Voices and Bank of America. She participated in the program in Chicago, in September 2017.
Arzu has been featured in various media outlets including, The Guardian, National Geographic Energy Challenge Blog, Jazeera Magazine, Bloomberg HT TV and NTV-MSNBC. As a sought-after speaker, she gives talks and moderates discussions on innovation in transportation and cities.
She has been writing her first book on advancing women in the workforce and planning to publish it in 2019.