Better Policies. Better Future.

Biographies of panelists

Sylva Natalie Manoogian specializes in information institutions, resources, and services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities in dispersion, with particular focus on international librarianship, Armenian culture and identity - subjects about which she has written and lectured extensively. Her global linkages, varied professional experiences, and innovative approaches to multilingual library and community services have been rewarded with several prestigious local, regional, national and international awards. As an independent library consultant to Armenian libraries in Diaspora and the Republic of Armenia, she has developed and utilized a distinctive practical and critical lens to initiate research, contribute to scholarship, and mentor future generations of information professionals. Mrs. Manoogian is the President and CEO of the Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, a California public benefit corporation (also registered in Armenia), to perpetuate the indomitable ideologue's national, literary, and public legacy through educational, intellectual, and humanitarian activism.

David A. Grigorian is a Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Monetary and Capital Markets Department in Washington, DC and a co-founder of, and a Senior Fellow at, Policy Forum Armenia. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park (2001); MA in Economics, Central European University, Prague (1995); MSc in Industrial Engineering from the American University of Armenia, Yerevan (1994); and MSc equivalent in Systems Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Yerevan (1992). Prior to joining the IMF, he worked at the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region. Dr. Grigorian specializes in macroeconomics, finance, and development and has published refereed articles on growth and institutions, prices and fiscal policy, remittances, capital markets, and banking.

Asbed Kotchikian (Ph.D., Boston University, 2006) is a lecturer in political science at Bentley University and a Senior Fellow at Policy Forum Armenia. Before joining Bentley, he was the Assistant Director of International Affairs Program at Florida State University where he taught courses in Eurasian and Middle Eastern politics. He spent two years (2000-2002) in Armenia and Georgia, where he conducted research and was a visiting lecturer in political science and international relations at local universities. Prof. Kotchikian has written, lectured and organized conferences, and has delivered presentations on topics such as foreign policies of small and weak states, national identity, and regional developments in the Middle East and Eurasia within academic and public venues in the South Caucasus, Middle East, US and Europe. He is currently the editor of the academic peer reviewed journal, Armenian Review.

Seta Melkonian is a Founder and President of the Monte Melkonian Benevolent Organization, a non-profit charity that helps the neediest of the needy in Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. She holds a Ph.D. in Armenian Literature from Yerevan State University, Armenia. For several years she taught Armenian language at University of Michigan Summer Program and at UC Berkeley. She has translated, edited and published several writings by Monte Melkonian. With Dr. Markar Melkonian she co-authored the book “My Brother’s Road” the life story of Monte Melkonian. She resides in Central California.

Sara Anjargolian is a Los Angeles-based photographer and attorney. She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science/Public Policy, and then went on to law school at U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, graduating in 2000 with a Juris Doctor degree. After admission to the California Bar, Sara joined the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. where she served as a trial lawyer. In 2002, Sara moved to Armenia on a Fulbright scholarship. Sara served as Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the American University of Armenia law department where she focused on the changing role of women in post-Soviet transitional societies. She published her research in the book "The State of Law in the South Caucasus," a Palgrave Macmillan publication. Since her return to Los Angeles, Sara’s photography has been featured in numerous exhibitions and presentations.

Joseph A. Kéchichian is the editor of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies and a syndicated columnist based at Gulf News in Dubai. Dr. Kéchichian received his Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1985, where he also taught (1986-1988), and assumed the assistant deanship in international studies (1988-1989). He is an author of ten books, most recent of which include Faysal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons (2008), Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies (2008), and Political Participation and Stability in the Sultanate of Oman (2005). The author of numerous chapters in edited books and in refereed journals, his most recent essay is on “Armenia and the Gulf States: Foreign Policy Fundamentals and Choices,” in Marat Terterov (ed.), Russian and CIS Relations with the Gulf States: Current Trends and Economic Dynamics.