About Us

Board of Directors

Since ATA-WA is a non-profit organization, a board of directors govern the school. Daily operations led by the head of school.

Ebru Yıldırım

Ebru Yildirim took the Treasurer role for ATA-WA in 2019. She has worked in the field of Accounting and Finance. She has her undergraduate degree from METU Statistics and holds a Master of Finance degree from Seattle University.

Ebru had lived in ten different cities in Turkey before she moved to Seattle, Washington 22 years ago. She loves living in Pacific Northwest and being a part of Turkish community here. She also volunteers for Seattle Turkish Film Festival since 2014 and enjoys participating in TACAWA Turkish Book Club. She finds volunteering for ATA-WA invaluable where Turkish language and culture are taught to next generations.

Ebru lives with her husband and two children in Redmond. They love playing board games, watching movies, cooking together, and visiting Turkey….

Nihat Şengül

Nihat Sengul serves as the Secretary of the ATA-WA board. He worked as a management consultant in Europe and Turkey before joining to Microsoft in Washington 6 years ago. Nihat has a master’s degree in International Relations from Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Nihat loves being a part of the Turkish community in Washington and believes that a strong Turkish community makes both Turkish and American cultures richer and stronger.

Nihat has two children in elementary school and is married to a Seattle native. Nihat and his family love exploring the nature, reading books, and singing Disney movie and Turkish songs.

Sinan Uşşaklı

Sinan joined ATA-WA board of directors in 2020. He believes that: thanks to technology, education can reach a much wider community, much more effectively.

He has been working as a software engineer at Microsoft since 2005. After graduating from Bilkent University with a MSci. Software and Informatics Engineering.

Sinan has 2 children at the primary school age, believes in the importance of the continuity of his children's relationship with Turkish culture and language with the help of ATA-WA's education.

Mustafa Özkeskin - President

Mustafa Ozkeskin grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to Seattle area for the first time in 2001. After a few international assignments, he returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2008. He and his family currently lives in Sammamish, WA. Over the last two decades he has worked in a number of financial leadership roles at Microsoft. He is currently the Vice President of Finance responsible for corporate planning and analysis activities.

Mustafa joined the ATA-WA family 3 years ago and took over the President role in 2019. He believes cultural richness is an integral part of our community and ATA-WA plays an important role in teaching the Turkish language and culture to young generations.

John Ufuk Gökçen

John Ufuk Gokcen is the honorary consul general for Turkey and the founder, past-president, and board member of the American Turkish Academy of Washington State (ATA-WA). John has Organized many inter-community projects to promote peace, friendship and better understanding in the Pacific Northwest region such as the Anzac Day commemoration together with Australian and New Zealand communities, many events and exhibitions with the Jewish and Sephardim communities.

John received distinguished service awards from the Washington State Governor, Consular Association, ATAA, and local Turkish American community as well as the top runner up for the 2014 Washington Ethnic Heritage Council Spirit of Liberty Award. John currently works for the Boeing Company as a senior structures engineering instructor and lives in Seattle