Elmira Bayrasli

Elmira Bayrasli



Civic Engagement, Identity, and Movements
Global Entrepreneurship and Ecosystems
Gender inequality in foreign policy
Turkish Politics
Global Development


Elmira Bayrasli spearheads WPI’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystems Project. In 2012, Public Affairs commissioned her to write a book about the rise of global enterprises. Tentatively titled “Steve Jobs Lives in Pakistan: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs in the Developing World,” it takes a look at the growth of innovation beyond Silicon Valley; focusing on talented individuals around the world who have overcome insurmountable obstacles to lead high-growth businesses.

Elmira writes about global innovations and entrepreneurship in her weekly column Entreventures on Forbes.com. She also contributes to Reuters, VentureBeat, the Huffington Post, and MIT’s Innovations journal. In 2010, Elmira co-authored a study for Pakistan’s Planning Commission on entrepreneurship, entitled: “Creating a Place for the Future.”

A regular speaker on entrepreneurship and innovation, Elmira has recently traveled to Dubai to speak at the White House’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit; Antalya, Turkey to speak at Startup Weekend; Seattle to speak at Microsoft; and Tokyo as a guest of the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

Over the past several years, Elmira has worked to support start-ups in emerging markets at Endeavor; served as the Chief Spokesperson for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo; and assisted former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; an advisory board member for the Turkish Women’s International Network and Turkish Philanthropy Funds; and a mentor for the Women Innovate Mobile entrepreneur incubator.



M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, Columbia University

B.A. in Political Science and Government, New York University


World Policy Institute; Foreign Policy Interrupted; New America Foundation; New York University; TechCrunch; Forbes

  • Discussed the challenges entrepreneurs face in the developing world and why we won’t see a Pakistani Steve Jobs anytime soon with World Policy On Air, Aug 2012.