About : Who
Father Hovnan Demerjian earned his B.A. from Boston College and M.A. in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. From 1996 to1998, he taught in the public schools of Armenia as a member of the U.S. Peace Corps, an experience that motivated him to establish the Armenian Volunteer Corps in 2000. Father Hovnan returned to the United States in 2003 and joined the staff of the Diocese of the Armenian Church, where he pioneered a program to connect Armenian college students with the church. He graduated from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in 2007 with a certificate in Armenian Studies, and following his ordination as a priest in June, he was assigned to St. Hagop Armenian Church in Pinellas Park, Florida.
Tamar Hajian, former vice-president and general counsel of Brandeis University, earned her J.D. from Boston College and LL.M. in taxation from Boston University. Hajian’s expertise in non-profit law - she headed the American Bar Association General Practice Section's Non-Profit Law Committee for several years – has proved beneficial, given the central importance of non-profit organizations to the evolution of civil society and the rule of law in developing nations. She first traveled to Armenia in 1967 and currently visits several times a year. In 1998, she co-founded the international legal firm Arlex, based in Yerevan. Hajian resides in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
Dr. Tom Samuelian holds his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is the author of numerous books, articles, reviews and translations in the fields of Armenian language, literature and history, and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and St. Nersess Seminary. He practiced corporate law in Washington, D.C.; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Moscow, and is now based in Yerevan. Samuelian co-founded Arlex International Ltd., a public interest law practice in Armenia. Arlex also houses a range of development projects and has aided countless diasporan Armenians to integrate into Armenia.
Board of Directors
Edele Hovnanian has been traveling to Armenia once or twice a year since the late 1970s, participating in several youth-oriented educational, cultural and volunteer service programs. She currently serves as president of the Land and Culture Organization (LCO-USA) and has sat on the board of its international umbrella organization, Union de Organization Terre et Culture in France, since 1993; Hovnanian has also been a member of the board of directors of the Armenian Assembly of America since 1991. She holds several senior management positions in real estate and property management firms. Hovnanian earned joint B.S. degrees in finance and civil engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Columbia University. She credits her study abroad year at the University of Yerevan in 1982-1983 as a life-changing experience. Hovnanian resides in New Jersey.
Linda Yepoyan has twenty years of diverse project management experience, the last twelve within the non-profit sector. Since living in Armenia from 1989 to1992, she has maintained many homeland ties and relationships that take her back regularly. Her 1993 creation of the NGO Training and Resource Center in Armenia has aided Armenia’s development and improved the lives of many. Yepoyan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She resides in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
Christine Serdjenian, Alumni, participated in the Birthright Armenia program in the Fall of 2008. She served as the East Coast Chairperson (U.S.A.) for the Birthright Armenia Alumni Association from 2009 – 2010. Serdjenian has worked as a middle school English as a Second Language teacher with Teach For America / the NYC DOE, in teacher professional development at Teach For America, and as a case management supervisor at the Harlem Children’s Zone; she currently works as a graduate assistant with WorldTeach. Serdjenian holds a B.A. in Sociology from Brown University and a MST in ESL Education from Pace University, and is currently pursuing a degree in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Executive Director. Tania Chichmanian is a Vancouver, Canada native who grew up in Montreal. She and her husband relocated to Yerevan in September 2009 after living in Washington, DC for 18 years. Chichmanian has been actively involved in a number of Armenian organizations including the Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Tekeyan Cultural Association. A graduate of the Universite de Montreal, she has 25 years managememt experience in advocacy, the performing arts, print and web design, tourism, and television. She joined AVC in August 2011.
Volunteer Placement Assistant. Jenya Arushanyan joined the AVC staff in February 2012. She has a MA in Political Science and International Affairs from American Universtiy of Armenia.