Basak Sonmez


Office Location: Istanbul

Phone: +90 212 3506300

Basak Sönmez is a principal at Heidrick & Struggles and heads the firm’s Life Sciences and Financial Services practices in Turkey. She joined the Istanbul office early 2003 and has since been a key contributor to Heidrick & Struggles’ operational growth and development in the country. Having relocated to Italy in 2010, and working exclusively for Turkey, Basak works on local and cross-border assignments out of the firm’s Milan office.

With over eleven years of experience with Heidrick & Struggles, Basak partners with clients to serve their executive search as well as leadership consultancy needs. She has successfully managed numerous executive search projects across a variety of sectors building primary expertise in pharmaceuticals, commercial and investment banking, consulting/professional services and private equity-backed companies. Throughout years, she has helped to build and develop senior leadership teams in commercial, human resources, finance, medical, legal, engineering and technology functional areas and has successfully advised clients on their regional and/or local market president/CEO search-succession needs.

Additionally, as a licensed executive assessor since November 2007, Basak's leadership services assignments include assessment, succession planning, organizational design, talent mapping, talent management, executive on-boarding, and benchmarking projects. She works closely with the firm's Knowledge Management Center in New Delhi, and other international teams particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, CIS and Middle East regions.

Basak has recruited and trained a number of Heidrick & Struggles’ staff over the years and has positioned herself as the coach and mentor of young generation consultants. Having international and cross-border experience living in Italy, she is active in the community and serves as the secretary general of the non-profit Italian Turkish Association.

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Basak worked at the Wall Street Institute as a consultant, managing individual and corporate sales activities.


Basak graduated from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara earning a BA in sociology. She speaks Turkish, English, and Italian fluently.