Curriculum Vitae

Gonca Sönmez-Poole

 

(978) 502-8863                                                                      14 Russell Street, Watertown, MA 02472

gonca59@gmail.com

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

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  • 30 years of experience in television storytelling and documentary production
  • 20 years of experience in international human rights and minority affairs projects
  • Excellent organizational skills – demonstrated ability to plan, make schedules and logistical arrangements, and meet deadlines
  • Exceptional people skills – ability to interact with people from all walks of life and cross culturally
  • Strong investigative and research skills

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

 

Project Developer:

  • December 2016 – present: Launched the documentary project (in progress) and companion website, “Neighbors in Memory.”
  • September 2012-May 2014: Founded, led and managed TAWA (Turkish-Armenian Women’s Alliance), a voluntary, grassroots group of Armenian and Turkish women who met at regular intervals for the purpose of dialogue and the potential for a shared purpose.
  • July 1999-March 2012: Founded and managed the 501 © nonprofit called Mediation Way, Inc. in Massachusetts. Developed and oversaw the research and implementation of panel discussions, video documentaries and outreach projects with the mission of fostering cross-cultural understanding and to bridging the gap between class, race, ethnicity and nationality.
  • September 2003 – 2006:  Organized and participated in international panels and roundtable discussions on the subject of the Roma for the ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities) Convention at Columbia University.  As participant, presented TV segments on the Roma populations in the U.S.A., Romania and Turkey.
  • 19982007:  Developed, proposed and produced various stories related to human and minority rights for local television.  Highlights include:  “The Defenders,” profiles of average citizens whose example fulfills the mission of the UN Declaration of human rights; and “The Roma,” a first time glimpse at the culture of this particularly insular society.
  • 1999: Conceptualized, proposed and planned a video documentary project sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace. The project, titled “Turkey’s Kurdish dilemma: Behind the Headline News,” involved developing contacts with the Turkish government regarding filming rights and restrictions, and conducting research in Turkey’s embattled Southeast area.

 

Consultant:

 

  • September 2014-Present: Contributed as host/guest lecturer/speaker in community centers, high schools and colleges in and around Boston, speaking to a variety of age groups about the importance of dialogue among groups of people with contested histories.
  • TURKISH ARMENIAN DIALOGUES, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Cambridge/Medford, MA

September 2006 – July 2011: Worked as a member of the third party for the planning and execution of a facilitation workshop between area Turks and Armenians. Duties included contacting and setting up meetings with prospective workshop participants, proposal writing assistance, translations and administrative help with various logistical/organizational aspects of the project.

  • SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE CONSORTIUM, Medford, MA
    June-August 1998: Researched background material and wrote briefs on Greek-Turkish relations for a conflict management project submitted to the Winston Foundation. Conducted research on various issues of conflict between the two countries, as well as the background and politics of possible invitees from the Turkish parliament. 

 

 

TELEVISION/Domestic

Television Producer/Director/Writer:

  • 2009: Urban Nutcracker: Anatomy of a Ballet, Boston, MA

Conceived, wrote and produced an hour documentary detailing and exploring the making of Boston’s multi-ethnic Nutcracker ballet.  The documentary aired in more than half of all public TV stations nationwide in December 2009 and has been rebroadcast annually since.

  • 1992: Inside Turkey,” WWOR-TV, Secaucus, NJ
    One-hour prime-time travelogue special on the country of Turkey, cablecast nationally on the WOR cable super station. 

Television Field Producer/Writer:

  • September-December 2005: “Boomers Media,” Newton, MA.
  • 1986 – 2007: “CHRONICLE” WCVB-TV, Boston, MA
    Researched, wrote and produced hundreds of feature pieces and half-hour packages for the award-winning nightly news magazine. 

College Instructor:

  • 19881989: COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATIONS, EMERSON COLLEGE, Boston, MA

Planned and conducted undergraduate courses in Electronic Field Production.

Television Unit Manager:

  • 1985 – 1987: Chronicle,” WCVB-TV, Needham, MA
    Managed the schedules and production responsibilities of a team of producers and technicians who worked on the nightly news magazine show.  Kept track of the program’s overall budget and the staff’s expense accounts.

 

TELEVISION/International

Consultant:

  • HURRIYET PRODUCTIONS, Istanbul, Turkey
    1992:
    Provided advice and production guidance for the company’s news-magazine shows and investigative news programs.
  • MUNICIPAL RADIO-TV, Istanbul
    1992: Conducted educational workshops in news-magazine and documentary production.
  • SATEL, Istanbul, Turkey
    1993: Worked closely with a staff of Turkish professionals to launch a national newscast.

 

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

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  • The Van Gogh Award for Best Urban documentary, Amsterdam Film Festival 2010: “Urban Nutcracker: Anatomy of a Ballet”
  • Regional EMMY award in Outstanding Television Series/Location: “David Budbill’s Vermont”  (1999)
  • National IRIS award for WCVB-TV/Gonca Sonmez-Poole/producer: “The Brian Cohn Story”  (1995)
  • Additional half-hour “Chronicle” programs cablecast nationally on the Travel Channel and the Arts & Entertainment network  (1986-1991)
  • UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE grant recipient  (1999)

 

EDUCATION

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  • EMERSON COLLEGE, Boston, MA
    Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication  1982
  • BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC COMMUNICATION
    Master of Science in Broadcasting & Film  1984
  • THE FLETCHER SCHOOL OF LAW AND DIPLOMACY, Medford, MA
    Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy 1998
    Fields of study: International human rights with emphasis on minority rights.

 

LANGUAGES

_____________________________________________________________________________________English, Turkish, French