Anna Hakobyan
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Armenia, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Anna Hakobyan was born on February 1, 1978 in Yerevan. She is a graduate of Yerevan State University, Department of Journalism. Mrs. Hakobyan completed various courses at the American University of Armenia in 2001 as part of her aspiration for life-long learning. While practicing journalism, she took a number of local and international trainings on journalism to hone her professional skills.

Hakobyan worked as a journalist at “Haykakan Zhamanak” (The Armenian Times) daily newspaper in 2003-2008. She took on the role of the acting editor-in-chief of the newspaper in the aftermath of a crackdown on mass protests on 1 March 2008. She served in the position whilst her spouse, the current Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan had been undercover and further imprisoned for political reasons. Since 2013 she formally assumed the position of the editor-in-chief.

Anna Hakobyan has been actively engaged in various political and public events in the country and has been vocal as both a journalist and a public figure.

She stood next to her spouse during the Velvet Revolution in Armenia in 2018 from the protest march that started in the city of Gyumri and rallies that took place in the capital Yerevan.

Following Nikol Pashinyan’s election as the Prime Minister of Armenia on 8 May 2018 as the consequence of the Velvet Revolution in Armenia, Anna Hakobyan expanded her scope of activities to be the spouse of the Prime Minister.

She adopted three focus areas for her activities: My Step and City of Smile charitable foundations and Women for Peace campaign.

The mission of My Step Foundation is to become a platform for solutions to social, educational, health, cultural and environmental problems that, for certain reasons, cannot be addressed by the Government. "We will strive for building an inclusive and healthy society through our joint efforts, where no one is left behind and every single one enjoys equal opportunities," Anna Hakobyan said in the inaugural presentation of the Foundation on 12 July 2018.

The Foundation operates in five main areas: culture, education, environmental protection, healthcare and social security. It functions in three main formats. First, it serves as a bridge between those who have brilliant ideas and those who want to fund those ideas. Second, it sponsors existing or proposed projects that comply with the adopted requirements. And third, the Foundation has its own flagship projects.

“City of Smile” Foundation was established to support children and young people with oncological and haematological diseases in their challenging journey of fighting cancer. While on its mission, the Foundation strives to promote the development of Oncology and Haematology in Armenia and to help doctors and medical institutions in providing patients to the highest level of cancer care.

The mission of the "Women for Peace" campaign is to promote the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, as Anna Hakobyan has noted, the campaign is not of political nature: it is rather an action of a woman and a mother.

"Women can consolidate, unite, raise their voices and make an effort for the sake of peace, so that no more shootings happen along the Armenian-Azerbaijani and Artsakh-Azerbaijani border, and both sides suffer no casualties until the governments and leaders of the two countries achieve conflict settlement," Hakobyan has stated.

She is convinced that the more women join the initiative, the more vocal the voices of women striving for peace will be.

Anna Hakobyan has four children; three daughters and a son. Her son is currently serving in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.

Serj Tankian
Singer, songwriter, activist

A singer, poet, songwriter, visual artist, activist, and composer; Serj Tankian has always created music as an outlet to express his thoughts and feelings with a level of passion and consciousness that few in today’s world of music can rival. An Armenian born in Lebanon and re-rooted in Los Angeles, Serj was introduced to the melding of cultures, ideas and ideals from a very young age. The principles learned from this integration and adaptation have led to his understanding of the oneness of all things and have since maneuvered and transfigured into the music and art that he lives to create.Early in his career, Serj found an outlet as the rabble–rousing lead singer and songwriter of the largely successful rock band System of a Down, a band that has reached into the hearts and minds of millions of people relaying multiple messages of love, awareness and activism. System of a Down has 5 studio album releases, three of which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and has also been nominated for four Grammy Awards and snagged one in 2006 for 'Best Hard Rock Performance' for their song "B.Y.O.B." Despite this success, Serj never grew complacent with his art, always striving to open up new channels of sound and arrangement to articulate his artistic expressions. Tankian has released 5 albums of his own solo material, beginning with 2007's chart-topping hard rock album Elect The Dead. His sophomore solo album Imperfect Harmonies was released in 2010, followed by Harakiriin 2012. 2013 saw two distinct releases from Serj, with the first being the critically acclaimed Orca Symphony No. 1, released in June of that year, followed up with the very unique Jazz-iz Christ one month later. Over the past few years, his time spent in the recording studio has been focused on creating musical scores and compositions for film and video game projects. His most recent credits include recording a modern version of Armenian folk song “Sari Siroun Yar” along with the Authentic Light Orchestra for upcoming film “The Promise”, directed by Terry George, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac. He was also brought on by Survival Pictures, the producers of the film, to serve as an Executive Music Consultant. Additionally, Tankian has composed the full musical score for independent films '1915' and 'The Last Inhabitant', an original composition for Ilya Naishuller's "Hardcore Henry" and video game musical scores for 'Midnight Star' and it’s sequel “Renegade”, which were created by one of the chief creators of the famed 'Halo' game franchise.In 2017, Serj composed music for “Intent To Destroy”, a gripping film directed by award winning documentarian Joe Berlinger and soon after that was followed by creating an intense film score for the Russian epic action film “Furious –The Legend of Kolovrat”. His most recent film score was composed for award winning film “Spitak” directed by Alexander Kott, which centers on the Armenian earthquake of 1988. Serj Tankian’s resume also includes the formation of a record label, Serjical Strike Records (established in 2001) which has released albums by 8 critically acclaimed artists, including Fair To Midland, Buckethead and Death By Stereo.

Along with fellow musician Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Serj co-founded the non-profit organization Axis Of Justice in 2002, which strives to bring together musicians, fans of music and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. He has also dabbled with the world of broadcasting as co-host of the Axis Of Justice Radio Network, which can be heard via Sirius Satellite Radio and KPFK in Los Angeles. With a mission of spreading diversity and understanding through music, poetry and activism, Serj Tankian will continue to surprise and enlighten those who listen to his music and hear his words.In recent years, Tankian has split his time between holding a mic and paintbrush, having feverishly created over 40 pieces of art since 2013. His journey into the world of fine art began with his Disarming Time Musical Paintings that were exhibited at Project Gallery in Los Angeles. Since then, he has had multiple exhibitions at galleries in both the United States as well as New Zealand. In 2015, his artwork was exhibited at the grand opening of New Museum Los Gatos in Northern California as part of a group exhibit that ran from May through September of that year. Most recently, Serj’s artwork was exhibited at two notable galleries in New Zealand during February and March of 2019.


Arsinée Khanjian
Actress, producer, activist

Arsinée Khanjian is a graduate of the University of Toronto, with a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. In addition to her artistic career, she has an extensive policy development background in the arts and governmental affairs.

A multiple award-winning actor, she is internationally known for her work as a performer both in film and on stage. She starred in the widely-successful romantic comedy SABAH, as well as playing Ani in Atom Egoyan’s critically- acclaimed ARARAT. Internationally, her screen-work includes films with Catherine Breillat, Olivier A ssayas, the Taviani Brothers, Fatih Akin and Michael Haneke.

Khanjian produced and starred in CALENDAR, the first foreign feature film shot in the newly-independent country of Armenia, by Atom Egoyan. She wrote, directed and starred in the multimedia stage project on the life of survivor Aurora Mardiganian – AUCTION OF SOULS, Performing Memory – at the Maxim Gorki Stadt Theater in Berlin.

Khanjian continues to be active as a volunteer for arts and community groups. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Zoryan Institute for International Genocide and Human Rights Studies. She is a past board member of The Power Plant, Canada’s leading contemporary art gallery, and was Co-Chair of the renowned Canadian contemporary dance company, Dancemakers.

Khanjian has been decorated with numerous honours in recognition of her involvement and dedication to artistic, historic, and cultural causes in Canada and abroad such as The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; The Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America as well the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Lebanon’s medals. Khanjian was presented with the 2005 Crystal Award for Creative Excellence by Women in Film and Television. In a recent poll conducted by SLATE Magazine, Khanjian was voted Best Actress, according to international critical response to her body of work.

Khanjian spearheaded Justice Within Armenia, a coalition of Armenians worldwide who were present as monitors during the elections in Armenia in 2017. She was an active participant in Armenia’s Velvet Revolution in 2018.

Photo credit: Guilio Muratori

Lena Nazaryan
Vice Speaker of RA National Assembly

Born on March 9, 1983 in Yerevan.

2007 - Graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of the YSU (Yerevan State University), simultaneously a one-year course at the Armenian School of Journalism.

2014 - Graduated from the Institute of Modern Art. Journalist.

2005 - 2009 - Journalist of the weekly “Hetq” (Track).

2008 - 2009 - Journalist of the research center “Region.”

2009 - 2015 - Coordinator of election programs of the NGO “Transparency International Anticorruption Center.”

2015 - 2016 - Coordinator of the AUA (American University of Armenia) Center for Responsible Mining’s Independent Environmental Monitoring of Mining Communities Project.

2008 - 2009 - “European Volunteer Service” in Romania, volunteer

2013 - 2015 - Member of the Management Council of the socio-political association “Civil Contract.”

2015 - Elected deputy chair of the Board of the “Civil Contract” party.

Since 2016 - Member of the Board of the “Civil Contract” party.

2017 - 2019 - Member of the National Assembly (“Way Out” alliance of parties). Member of the Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Self-Government, Agriculture and Environment of the National Assembly.

May 18. 2017 - September 12. 2018 - Member of the “Way Out” faction.

September 12. 2018 - January 14. 2019 - Head of the “Way Out” faction.

December 9, 2018 - Elected Member of the National Assembly from the territorial electoral list of the electoral district #2 of the “My Step” alliance of parties.

January 15, 2019 - Elected Vice President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.

2013 - Winner of the “Freedom of Speech” award (“Asparez” Journalists Club).

Married.

Vahagn Tevosyan
Member of RA National Assembly

Born on March 22, 1978 in Yerevan.

1999 - 2000 - Served in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.

2002 - Graduated from the Department of the Armenian Language and Literature of the Faculty of Philology of the Yerevan State University.

1998 - 2004 - Journalist, later editor for the daily newspapers “Oragir” (“Diary”), then “Haykakan Zhamanak” (“the Armenian Times”).

2004 - 2007 - Specialist for public relations of the NGO “Center for Public Dialogue and Development.”

2008 - Editor in Chief of the children's magazine “Multishok.”

2008 - 2010 - Director of the media service of the radio station “Radio Hay.”

2010 - 2011 - Editor for the website of the daily newspaper “Hraparak” (“Square”).

2011 - 2015 - Editor for the programs of “ArmNews” TV company.

2015 - 2017 - Editor for the programs of “Ararat” TV company.

2017 - 2018 - Coordinator for Public Relations of the Foundation for the “Protection of Wildlife and Cultural Property.”

July - December, 2018 - Director of media and analytical programs of the Public Television of Armenia.

Member of the Board of Trustees of the “My Step” Charitable Foundation.

December 9, 2018 - Elected Member of the National Assembly from the national electoral list of the “My Step” alliance of parties.

Married, with three children.

Vahan Vardapetyan
Phyisican, PHD

Vahan Vardapetyan is a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, a doctor of medical sciences. He graduated from the Yerevan Medical Institute with a Red Diploma of Excellence, then completed his residency and post-graduate studies at the same institute. He has been trained twice at the University Clinic in Marseille, France. Since 1994 he has been the head of the Reproductive Health Department of the Republican Institute of Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, where thousands of couples suffering from infertility have been effectively treated. He is active and engages in public-political as well as cultural activities and publicity.

Sara Anjargolian
Chief of Staff, Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia

Sara Anjargolian, Esq. is co-founder & CEO of Impact Hub Yerevan. She is also a lawyer and multimedia journalist. Born in London, raised and educated in the U.S., and currently living and working in Armenia. Through Impact Hub Yerevan, Sara focuses on empowering Armenia’s change makers and innovators to grow their social impact projects from idea to implementation to impact.

As a multimedia journalist, Sara’s work illuminates critical sociopolitical issues. Her work, which may be viewed at www.SaraAnjargolian.com, has been recognized and supported by the United Nations, Soros/Open Society Foundations, Fulbright, UCLA School of Art & Architecture (Make Art / Stop AIDS), Photophilanthropy, Fotoevidence, the Tufenkian Foundation, and the Yerevan Press Association.

Sara graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science/Public Policy and received a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). During her legal career she served as a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Associate Professor/Assistant Dean at the American University of Armenia Law Department, and policy adviser to the Los Angeles City Attorney.

Lusine Kasarjian
Executive Director at Association of Armenian Festivals

Lucineh Kassarjian is the Executive Director of FestivAr – Association of Armenian Festivals, an organization coordinating, promoting and supporting the sustainable development of multiple vibrant annual festivals in cosmopolitan and rural areas of Armenia. She is also the Chief Experience Officer of the newly established Sensyan, an exclusive Armenian experience, exposing the resurgence of the Armenian wine industry and culture to the rest of the world. Prior to this, since 2014, Lucineh has served as the Country Director of the Armenia Tree Project, a US-based charitable foundation which has planted more than 5,5 million trees all around the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as is providing environmental education to thousands of students annually since 2005. In 2009, Lucineh co-founded ReAnimania, an acclaimed international animation film festival in Yerevan, and served as the Artistic Director for the first four years. Lucineh is also the founder of MolorakArts, a company specializing in digital and traditional media products for children of all ages. Lucineh is the author of “Someone Else’s Cloud”, a children’s book about a fun, engaging way to address childhood anxiety, which is enhanced with augmented reality elements; she has also created other award-winning multilingual multimedia products. Lucineh has served on the boards of many educational, philanthropic and developmental non-profit organizations, including the Yerevan Chapter of the Awesome Foundation, My Step Foundation, Armenian Virtual College, Paros Foundation, GOALS – Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer, Armenian Education Foundation, Bay Area Friends of Armenia, Friends of Yerevan Opera, and others. Lucineh holds a degree in linguistics and pedagogy from Yerevan State Linguistics University and has studied in the Computer Arts and New Media department of the San Francisco Academy of Art. Lucineh is married to Raffi Kassarjian, and they have repatriated from San Francisco to Yerevan in 2008 with their two children.

close