Eren Ozmen

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Eren Ozmen[1]
Born1958/1959 (age 60–61)[2]
Izmir, Turkey
ResidenceReno, Nevada, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Nevada, Reno (MBA)
Known forOwner and President of Sierra Nevada Corporation, Dream Chaser mini space shuttle
Net worthUS$1.46 billion (April 2018)[2]
Spouse(s)Fatih Ozmen

Eren Ozmen (born 1958/1959) is a billionaire Turkish-American businesswoman, and the owner and president of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). Best known publicly for the Dream Chaser spacecraft selected by NASA to move cargo to and from the International Space Station,[3] SNC was called one of the world's ten most innovative companies in space under her leadership.[4] Eren Ozmen and her husband, Fatih Ozmen, are the sole owners of SNC.

Early life and education[edit]

In the early 1980s, Eren Ozmen came to the US from Turkey to pursue higher education. In 1985, she earned an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno and in 1988, she joined SNC.


Eren Ozmen and her husband Fatih Ozmen acquired Sierra Nevada Corporation in 1994.[5] Since then, SNC has acquired 19 companies in 34 locations in 19 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey, and has grown to include a workforce of over 3,000 personnel.[6]

Eren Ozmen is the woman behind the American-made Dream Chaser, a more versatile version of earlier space shuttles. SNC is working with NASA to use the Dream Chaser to resupply the International Space Station and with the United Nations to launch a space mission in 2021 to give developing countries the opportunity to conduct experiments in space.[3] Dubbed by NASA as the next generation in reusable space vehicles, Dream Chaser is setting the spaceplane stage with a focus to fly and travel frequently, land on (most) runways, and operate economically.[7]

Eren Ozmen has prioritized maintaining a healthy work-life balance by promoting family-friendly policies within the corporate culture. In 1991 she established an on-site daycare for employees.[8]


In 2017, Eren and Fatih Ozmen launched Ozmen Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital fund headquartered in Reno. The $5 million fund aims to invest in young and dynamic local startups and cultivate the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.[9] Because of her relentless focus on innovation, SNC was featured in the cover story of the May 2017 edition of Popular Science "The Future of Space Travel."[10]


In 2014, Eren and Fatih Ozmen donated $5 million to the University of Nevada, Reno to create a permanent center for entrepreneurship at the university’s college of business. The Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship supports and enhances the university’s entrepreneurial programs in order to stimulate the creation of new business ventures.[11]

In May 2016, the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship launched a Women's Initiative aimed at connecting innovative female entrepreneurs with leaders and established professionals and business owners in the community. It also highlights female business achievements in and around the community.[12]

In late 2016, in honor of Fatih’s 35th anniversary, SNC announced an investment of $1.5 million in a planned aerospace gallery at Wings Over the Rockies’ expansion site at Centennial Airport. The new Exploration of Flight center will feature a new wing to be called the Ozmen Black Sky Space Gallery and aims to develop future aviators and aerospace professionals through growing educational outreach initiatives and a future aerospace charter school. Actor/pilot Harrison Ford made the surprise announcement to more than 1,000 SNC employees and guests at SNC’s year-end event in Denver.[13]

"I have great humility and gratitude for the opportunities America has afforded me and my family," Ozmen said in an interview with Share America, adding that she wants to "help other young people realize their potential."[3]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  • "Meet the woman behind this spaceship" — (Aug 2017)[14]
  • "America’s Richest Self-Made Women" — Forbes (May 2017)[15]
  • Aviation Entrepreneurs of the Year[16]
  • Living Legends of Aviation[16]
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York, "Great Immigrants, Great Americans" (2017)[17]
  • Most Influential Turkish-American Woman, No. 2 TurkOfAmerica[18]
  • Top 10 Most Influential Turkish Americans, TurkOfAmerica[19]
  • Women Role Model of the Year
  • Honorary doctorate, University of Nevada, Reno (2016)[20]


  • World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Space, Fast Company Magazine[21]
  • America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Inc. Magazine[22]
  • Tier 1 Superior Supplier for U.S. Air Force[23]
  • Fastest Growing Women-Owned Company in North America[24]
  • Top Woman-Owned U.S. Government Contractor[25]
  • Aerospace Company of the Year[26]
  • Distinguished Business of the Year[24]
  • Best Places to Work: Reno-Tahoe, Denver, Florida[24]


  1. ^ "SNC'nin Başkanı Özmen zenginler listesinde – Hürriyet Ekonomi". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  2. ^ a b "Eren Ozmen". Forbes. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Hartman, Leigh. "Meet the woman behind this spaceship". Share America. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  4. ^ Sofge, Erik. "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies In Space". Fast Company. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Entrepreneurial Success Stories". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  6. ^ "About SNC - Sierra Nevada Corporation - Sierra Nevada Corporation". 25 June 2014. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  7. ^ Schultz, Jim. "Setting The Spaceplane Stage". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Biographies | Embassy of the United States Ankara, Turkey". 2013-03-24. Archived from the original on 2015-06-06. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  9. ^ "Ozmen Ventures Launches $5 Million Fund To Spark Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem". Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  10. ^ "The Future Of Space Travel" (PDF). Popular Science. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  11. ^ Sierra Nevada Corporation's Ozmens pledge $5 million for new Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Reno[permanent dead link], by UNR College of Business, posted Wednesday September 10, 2014
  12. ^ "Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship launches Women's Initiative". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  13. ^ "SNC Honors Past And Future With Naming Investment In Wings Over The Rockies' New Site". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  14. ^ Hartman, Leigh. "Meet the woman behind this spaceship". Share America. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  15. ^ "Eren Ozmen". Forbes. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  16. ^ a b "2014 NCET / RGJ Award Winners - NCET: Business. Technology. Events". NCET. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  17. ^ Paynter, Ben. "Here Are 38 Amazing Immigrants Worth Celebrating On Independence Day". Fast Company. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Owners Named in Top 10 Most Influential Turkish-Americans by TurkOfAmerica Magazine". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  20. ^ "Honorary Degree Nomination Form" (PDF).
  21. ^ Sofge, Erik. "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies In Space". Fast Company. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  22. ^ "Inc. 5000: Sierra Nevada Corporation".
  23. ^ Gibson, Alyssa. "AF Releases 2016 Supplier Performance Ratings". Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  24. ^ a b c "About Sierra Nevada Corporation". Archived from the original on 2014-06-25.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  25. ^ "20 Top Woman-Owned Companies". Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  26. ^ "2014 NCET / RGJ Award Winners".