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Egemen Bagis was first elected to Parliament in 2002 as a deputy of Istanbul. He was first appointed as Minister for EU Affairs (State Minister) and Chief Negotiator on January 2009. He was appointed as Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator in the 61st government on July 6, 2011. Until 2009, Bagis was AK Party’s Vice Chairman in charge of Foreign Affairs. As the Vice Chairman, he had been a member of AK Party’s Central Executive Committee, the highest executive body of the party. Bagis directed the national and international relations of the party, as well as its local organizations, on matters regarding foreign policy. Bagis was the most influential key official of the party for diplomacy and international relations. He directed and coordinated the party’s national and international network as well as local branches on foreign policy matters. He also coordinated the flow of key global developments to the party leadership. Bagis who is also a patron of arts, has contributed to two major projects, “İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture” and “İstanbul 2012 European Capital of Sports”, and served as the founding Chairman of the Advisory Board of these projects. Egemen Bagis has also promoted the establishment of İstanbul Museum of Modern Art and Santral Museum of Art &Industry and is also a founding board member of the museums. Bagis is the founder of the Global Affairs Platform at Istanbul Bilgi University and is the chairman of the advisory committee of the platform. He is also a founding member of the İstanbul Center in Brussels, and currently a member of the Administrative Board of the Center. He was also awarded the Cavaliere, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2006 and Commendatore, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2011. In the 1990’s, Bagis was the President of the Federation of Turkish-American Associations in New York, an umbrella organization. A popular leader, Bagis is the only President in this organizations’ history, who was unanimously re-elected for two terms. He has also served as the Advisory Board member of Turkish Citizens Abroad, a government body based in Ankara. Bagis was born in Bingol, Turkey, in 1970. His family originates from the neighboring Siirt province, where his late father, Abdullah Bagis served as mayor from 1974 to 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Management as well as a Master of Public Administration degree, both from Bernard M. Baruch College of The City University of New York. He is married to Beyhan N. Bagis, and they have two children.