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Beki Bahar-Engler

Beki’s AERDF’s Chief Operating Officer, charged with building an effective, agile infrastructure,  a high performing, equitable, inclusive and sustainable organization in service of AERDF’s mission.  She is responsible for strategic planning, finance, people, procurement & investment relations and governance and also serves as Treasurer for the AERDF Board.

Beki has 25+ years of global strategy, operations and board governance experience, and has scaled, expanded and transformed complex, global nonprofits and for-profit companies with operations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and Middle East/Africa. As a mission-focused leader she expands access, elevates the voice of underserved communities and closes equity gaps – unlocking organizational/leadership value and driving impact through programs with significant expertise in DEI.

Previously, Beki served as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Board Secretary of Graduate Management Admission Council, a $100M global association of leading graduate business schools in the U.S., Europe, India and China. She pivoted GMAC from a HQ centered organization to a global model and created a global philosophy/framework with culturally relevant local practices. Beki simplified operations through entity consolidation, changed tax posture and established shared services operations in India in six months. She also led the organization’s COVID-19 response on finance, people and facilities – maintaining strong cash and liquidity focus through investment portfolio, vendor negotiations, cost cutting measures and necessary staff restructuring.

Earlier at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), as SVP of Partnerships & Infrastructure, and inaugural COO, Beki led organizational strategy, setting enterprise goals through data and analytics and built high performing operational functions – including (not limited to) Strategy, Finance, HR, Fundraising, and Technology. She established and led LEE’s complex finance and governance structure of 501c3, 501c4 and 20+ PACs with 20+ states – each with varying IRS, state, and election rules. Beki helped scale LEE from 10K to 40K+ members, $200K to $30M annual revenue and 3 to 160+ FTES, also leading senior executive hiring, compensation, and succession of several VPs. She co-led the DEI strategy, increasing racial diversity from 40 to 58% across all levels, closing gaps in hiring, compensation, and promotion. 

Earlier Beki served as Vice President of Strategy at Teach For America, Director of Strategy at Sprint Nextel, Consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Beki grew up in Turkey and has lived in the US and Europe and is passionate about bringing a global, diverse stakeholder mindset into both the business and the boardroom.