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2nd Annual PFA Forum on Armenia-Diaspora Relations

2nd Annual PFA Forum on Armenia-Diaspora Relations

Armenia-Diaspora relations have never been more strained in the 20 years since independence. To provide an opportunity for academics, policy practitioners, and the public to discuss perspectives on, and approaches to, the present-day challenges facing the Armenian nation Policy Forum Armenia held its 2nd Annual Forum in Washington, DC on February 28-March 2, 2010.

In it's first high level Economic Forum, PFA brought together an unprecedented line-up of academics and policymakers from Armenia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and UAE, including Armenia’s five former Prime Ministers, to discuss the implications of the crisis for Armenia and help devise policy prescriptions to mitigate them.

As in the 1st Forum, the 2nd (Armenia-Diaspora) Forum gathered a large number of intellectuals—academic and public policy practitioners—to discuss challenges and help devise new modes of engagement between Armenia and its Diaspora.

Day 1 of the Forum (February 28) was held at the Cosmos Club, Washington’s premier venue for social and policy events, and featured the presentation of PFA’s Report on “Armenia-Diaspora Relations: 20 Years Since Independence.”

Day 2 of the Forum was held at Georgetown University.  This part of the Forum was open to the public.  Mr. Raffi Hovannisian, Armenia’s First Foreign Minister, delivered the keynote luncheon address on Day 2 (March 1).

The program for Day 3 (March 2) was limited to only young professionals and included thematic meetings with various international agencies and public and private organizations in order to continue the discussion on Armenia-Diaspora relations and offer young professionals opportunities to network in Washington.

The presentations and themes covered during this forum are shown below, with presenters slides and papers available for you to download.

---------------------- Day 1 ----------------------

Keynote Opening Address

Dr. Daniel Kaufmann
Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development
Brookings Institute

---------------------- Day 2 ----------------------

Young Professionals Session I

Jennifer de Mucci, Fordham University
Pouring Salt on Old Wounds: Psychological Impact of the Protocol

Tamar Palandjian, George Mason University
Interest-based Analysis of the Protocol-related Armenia-Diaspora Rift

Henry Dumanian, City University of New York
The Diaspora and Democracy in the Homeland


Young Professionals Session II

Dzovinar Derderian, University of Michigan
Democracy in Armenia and Diaspora-Armenia Relation


Hayk Sargsyan, Johns Hopkins University
Arnenia's Investment Climate and Diaspora's participation in development policies


Vahe Heboyan, University of Georgia
20 Years of Economic Engagement: Rethinking Values and Approaches

Ted Tourian, Burgh, Balian & Bergstein, LLP and PFA
The Accountability of Diaspora Organizations to Armenians


Keynote Address


Raffi Hovhannisian
Heritage Party


Senior Professionals Session I



Professor Ara Sanjian, University of Michigan
How Are Diasporans Informed About Contemporary Armenia?

Viken Attarian, Executive Vice President, Policy Commission (Quebec), Liberal Party of Canada
Moving Forward or Aside? Last Chance for Directionless Diasporas


Ara Papian, Former Ambassador of Armenia in Canada, Modus Vivendi Center
Pan-national Idea as a Basis for the State Power and National Unity

Larisa Alaverdyan, MP, National Assembly, Heritage Faction
Shattered Dreams and an Uncertain Outlook


Senior Professionals Session II

Artsvik Minasyan, MP, National Assembly, ARF Faction
Social and Economic Problems of Armenia: Ways Out and Diaspora’s Role


Igor Muradian, Institute of Geopolitics and Geoeconomics, ARMENIA
Problems and the Purpose of the Armenian Diaspora



Professor Khachig Tololyan, Wesleyan University



Professor Onnig Beylerian, Université du Québec à Montréal
On the Mechanisms of Diaspora Consolidation

----------------------Day 3 ----------------------

Thematic Discussions for Young Professionals

International Relations and Geopolitics


Journalism and Freedom of Expression


Special Correspondence from Armenia

Jirayr Sefilian address to the Forum


Regret letter from the Minister of Diaspora