No5 Barrister Emma Edhem CC, Common Councilman of the City of London Corporation is the first representative of the Corporation to be shortlisted from over 100 government leaders this year for the 4th Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. She is also the first Chairman of a Chamber of Commerce to be on the shortlist. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest levels in areas of policy, social and business overall. Ms Edhem is nominated for her work in changing and aligning Chambers of Commerce and Industry to become leading facilitators of bilateral trade and investment and setting up new initiatives to help drive young entrepreneurs and professionals towards economic and social development.

A barrister of over 22 years and Deputy Head of International Law at No5 Chambers, one of the biggest barristers chambers in the UK, Ms Edhem was elected as the first female Chairman of the Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TBCCI) in November 2012. In her Chairmanship, as one of the principal facilitators and commentators for bilateral business between Turkey and the UK, the TBCCI has become a leading platform and driving force for business expansion between the two countries and aligned itself more closely with the positive trend of UK-Turkish bilateral relations. This is witnessed by its new initiatives and platforms for trade and investment facilitation services and increased number of TBCCI organised major conferences, forums, networking and sectoral events in Turkey and the UK. In acknowledgement of the TBCCI’s role and progress, during Ms Edhem’s tenure as Chairman, new global institutions have become members of the TBCCI helping to further drive business between the two countries. Under her direct Chairmanship, Ms Edhem has been approached by a number of other countries, including Hungary, to help raise their Chambers of Commerce and Industry to functioning levels and further in improving and leading trade missions to other countries from the UK.

In addition to Ms Edhem’s role with various Chambers of Commerce, she also recognised the real need to mentor and encourage young entrepreneurs to help them gain confidence in business, and consequently founded “The Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals Platform” in September 2015. Upon setting up the Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals Platform, Ms Edhem was determined to tap into the wealth of talent in the City and set up the Young City Financiers Platform. Both initiatives provide platforms for young entrepreneurs, professionals and City Financiers to learn from real life business experience, gain awareness of small business creation and ethical finance. Her vision brings the two groups to the forefront in economic and social development of bilateral relations.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals in positions of power, who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others like them to follow suit. Grassroot Diplomat winners go beyond their job descriptions and those shortlisted for the award should be proud to be recognised this far.”

To view Emma Edhem’s profile please click here.