For Immediate Release
July 22, 2014
IRINA LAZARIAN BECOMES BOARD MEMBER OF ARMENIA FUND USA
NEW YORK, New York — Having served as Executive Director of Armenia Fund USA (US Eastern Region Affiliate) for over a decade, Irina Lazarian will become a member of the Board of Directors and assume a new position as Managing Director of the Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corporation. The Foundation is active in Armenia, Karabakh, Syria, and Lebanon, implementing initiatives that help lift disadvantaged children and families out of the cycle of poverty and disease.
During her tenure at Armenia Fund USA, Ms. Lazarian presided over the launches of many far-reaching nation-building programs on numerous fronts, including education and health care delivery, infrastructure, humanitarian aid and socio-economic development. She had overseen all fundraising and charitable operations and worked hand in hand with the Board: organized ten telethons, three phonathons and planned three anniversary galas. So it should come as no surprise that the board of directors of Armenia Fund USA sought her as their newest member.
While Armenia Fund USA generates financial support as a primarily grass-roots organization, the Karagheusian Corporation is funded by a perpetual endowment from a single benefactor. This allows Ms. Lazarian to accept both posts without the potential for any conflict of interest.
Ms. Lazarian, who began working at Armenia Fund USA in 1998, explained why she accepted the invitation to join the Armenia Fund USA board. “It will always feel like home to me, “she said. “I have had the privilege of coming to know so many wonderful donors and supporters along the way, not to mention the many talented and fascinating board members past and present. It would be sad to break those longstanding relationships after all these years. Fortunately, as a board member, I can enjoy the best of both worlds.”
Armenia Fund Chairman Khoren Bandazian expressed similar sentiments. “While we understand that Irina deserves to expand her professional horizons to communities outside of Armenia, we are happy to know that she will make the time to serve on our Board. Irina possesses a unique perspective gained through many years of managing the day-to-day operations of all facets of our organization. As a highly skilled non-profit specialist, Irina will continue to provide the practical insights, strategies and know-how that helps inform our board’s decisions. Only now, she also gets to vote on them.”
“Considering Irina’s accomplishments during her tenure at Armenia Fund USA, especially in the field of healthcare and education, she will bring a wealth of fresh ideas and expertise to her new position”, said Armenia Fund treasurer Aram Pehlivanian. As an example, Irina singlehandedly spearheaded the introduction of telemedicine to Armenia, which has grown into its own international physicians’ network under the banner of HyeBridge Telehealth. Using digital, videoconferencing and satellite-driven technologies, the system connects doctors from remote locations in Armenia and Karabakh to practitioners of Western medicine—in real time. Another important project of Irina’s is the Norman Miller Scholarship program for budding engineers and designers in Armenia. Leveraging her own engineering background, she will continue as a mentor and advisor to the scholarship recipients. Other projects include Meal and Meds program launched with the generosity of Meline Tufenkcyian for the TB hospital in Gyumri as well as the Neurosciences and Neurosurgical training program for the regional stroke center in Yerevan.
Ms. Lazarian expressed how eager she was to bring these experiences to bear on the mission of the Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corporation. “I look forward to visiting other countries with strong Armenian communities in addition to the work that continues in Armenia.” She also noted the current instability and chaos in Syria and Lebanon that have disrupted the lives of many Armenian families. “I am ready to take on the challenges presented, which, in many ways, are similar to the state of affairs in Armenia during the early years of its independence,” she stated. Now I am in a position to help make a difference.”
Ms. Lazarian is a graduate of the State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) with a degree in Computer Science. She also holds a Master degree from the American University of Armenia (AUA) in Industrial Engineering with a major in Quality Control and Management. She moved to the United States in 1998 and became a U.S. citizen.
Her prior work experience includes the roles of teacher and researcher at SEUA as well as customer services and human resources manager at HSBC/Armenia. Ms. Lazarian is also a member of various professional membership organizations as well as representative to the United Nations for Armenia Fund USA. She resides in Hoboken, New Jersey.
ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was one of the first of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund’s 21 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi. As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization, the Fund represents all Armenian constituents, supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.