Born in 1964 in Istanbul, Zeynep Bodur Okyay graduated from the Italian High School in 1985 and earned a degree in management engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1989. She attended Harvard University between 1990 and 1992 and earned a graduate degree in management.
From 1992 to 1993, Zeynep Bodur Okyay worked in various roles, including production, planning, and management, as a management trainee at the Çanakkale Seramik factory in Çan, Çanakkale. In 1995, she was appointed as an Executive Board Member and President of Kale Group's marketing companies. Since July 2007, she has been serving as Kale Group's President and CEO.
Zeynep Bodur Okyay is actively engaged in several NGOs, associations, foundations and chamber boards. Some of her current roles include: General Assembly Presidency of Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO); Vice Presidency of Economic Development Foundation; Board Membership at Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK); Coordinating Presidency of Turkey-EU Business Councils at DEIK; Presidency of Turkey-Italy Business Council at DEIK; Membership at Turkish Business and Industry Association (TUSIAD).
Zeynep Bodur Okyay is also President of the Dr. (h.c.) İbrahim Bodur Kaleseramik Education, Health and Social Welfare Foundation.
Zeynep Bodur Okyay assumed the Presidency of the C20 (Civil 20) Steering Committee during Turkey's G20. She also co-founded the Harvard Alumni Group and supported the establishment of a Turkish language chair at Harvard University.
In 2006, Zeynep Bodur Okyay was awarded the title Cavaliere del Lavoro for her contributions and services to Turkish-Italian relations. In 2014, she was awarded the Official Order of Merit (Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana) of the Republic of Italy. In 2010, Okyay received the 'Turkey in Europe Franco Nobili Award' for her contributions to relations between Turkey and the European Union and the Outstanding Service Award given by the Turkish Grand National Assembly to persons who deliver outstanding services to Turkey on a national and international level, contribute to promoting Turkey, and contribute to social welfare, education, happiness and social development.
Zeynep Bodur Okyay speaks fluent Italian and English. She is married to Osman Okyay, Vice-Chairman and President of Technical Division, Kale Group of Companies, and they have one child.