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Jennifer Phillips became the first Executive Director of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA International) in the fall of 2015. Previously, she was at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, as the Director of the Fellows Program and later direction the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, a national network of universities connecting students to public service, policy, government and politics. While there, Jennifer also worked on different projects, including the first national political polling of college students, conferences on political engagement and community service, and with a small group of students to compile and edit Skirting Tradition: Women in Politics Speak to the Next Generation, a collection of essays from women office holders, campaigners, policy makers and public leaders. The book became the inspiration for the IOP’s Women in Leadership program for undergraduate women.

Jennifer has worked on state and national political campaigns, in state government and in the nonprofit sector on behalf of at-risk children and youth in the juvenile justice system. Her only foray into the private sector was with musical group New Kids on the Block, establishing their charitable foundation. She has a BA from McGill University and an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

You can reach Jennifer at: ed@aiwainternational.org


AIWA Board of Directors (2017-2018)



Ani L. Kharajian is the President of the AIWA Board of Directors. She is also Senior Director, New Markets, Executive Education at Harvard Business School (HBS). In her current role, Ani is charged with assessing the viability and potential success for HBS programs in countries around the world. Currently focused on Africa and Latin America, Ani works with senior level stakeholders to develop, design and launch Executive Education programs that will help develop senior leadership in emerging market economies. 

Ani has extensive experience working with leading companies in Latin America, China, Europe, India and Africa in open enrollment and custom executive education programs.  Over a three decade career at HBS, Ani has worked on strategic international projects in Africa, China, Europe, India and Latin America.

Ani has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from Tufts University and has completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development.  Ani is the President Elect of Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA).

Ani speaks Armenian, English and Spanish and has lived, worked or traveled to forty-nine countries to date and keen to see the rest of the world in the coming years.

You can reach Ani at: president@aiwainternational.org



Carolyn Atinizian, who holds a BA from Boston University and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk Law School, is an attorney in Cambridge where she concentrates primarily in the areas of Real Estate and Business Matters.  Currently as Vice President and Real Estate Counsel at Vast Capital Management, Inc. a privately held asset management firm, she is actively involved in all aspects of asset and property management.  In her role, she also provides day-to-day legal advice on a full spectrum of issues, including acquisitions, finance, development, commercial landlord-tenant issues and legal compliance.  She also has a law practice in Cambridge where she represents businesses, buyers and sellers of real estate, lenders, real estate developers and landlords.  She participates in several professional associations and devotes her time to community organizations and pro bono legal work.  She is married and has a daughter. 
 
Wanting to be involved with a global Armenian organization for women, Carolyn first became interested in AIWA due to its commitment in assisting Armenian women worldwide.  In 2008, she attended her first AIWA International Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was incredibly impressed at the caliber of conference speakers and AIWA members and attendees from across the globe.  Involved for close to a decade, she has served AIWA in various capacities, including past President of the New England Affiliate, Vice President and Treasurer of the International Board of Directors and co-chair of AIWA’s 25th Anniversary Weekend Celebration, which took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2016.
 


Lily Ring Balian has managed public affairs and political campaigns in both the public and private sector.  She currently serves as consultant  for political campaigns statewide and nationally.  She is well known for her articles in the Armenian newspapers and as a freelance writer. She served as Corporate Director of Civic and Public Affairs for Northrop Grumman Corp. (1981-2005), administering their Government Relations program and Political Action Committee. She was associated with Evelle J. Younger for 16 years, serving as his Executive Assistant when he was District Attorney of Los Angeles County (1964-1970) and Attorney General of the State of California (1971-1979).

In 1980 she headed Citizens Operations for the Reagan-Bush Campaign in Washington, D.C.  President Reagan appointed her to the 15-member National Advisory Council on Adult Education
advising the President and administration on adult education programs throughout the U.S. ( 1982-88, elected Chair 1985-87).  She was appointed by California Governor Pete Wilson to the California Commission on the Status of Women (1991-1996, elected Chair in 1994-96).  

She has served on the Executive Board of the L.A. Affiliate of AIWA; elected President in 2000-2003 and currently serves as Liaison to the International Board.  She was Conference Co-Chair. Paris International Conference (1997); Conference Co-Chair, Yerevan International Conference (2000); Conference Chair. Geneva International Conference (2004); Conference Co-Chair, Buenos Aires (2008) and Program Co-Chair, San Francisco (2011). 

She currently serves as Chair of the Government Relations and Protocol Committee of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church and Chair of the St. James Armenian Church Parish Council. She was awarded the Gontag and St Nerses Shnorhali Medal from his Holiness Karekin ll, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians in 2004.  She was the recipient of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award  presented annually on Ellis Island for American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American Way of Life. 


Sara Janjigian Trifiro, owner of SJT Marketing, has over 20 years of marketing and business development professional experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  Leading the communications and growth efforts at Changing Our World, Inc., Beacon Interactive Systems, and Grant Thornton LLP, she was responsible for the overall marketing, sales, and overall communications strategies. At Grant Thornton, Sara directed the marketing efforts for the $70M National Not-for-Profit and Higher Education Practice.  Sara has developed many programs and publications focused on governance, fiscal management, and fundraising to engage and develop relationships with new clients and influencers including Grant Thornton’s State of the Not-for-Profit Sector and Changing Our World’s Strategic Leadership: Leveraging Data for the Future of Catholic Development. 

Throughout her career, Sara has worked in and with nonprofit organizations on marketing, fundraising and events including consulting with clients on fundraising solutions. Most recently she implementing a feasibility study for a $20M capital campaign for a private evangelical school outside Boston. 

Sara is passionately dedicated to women’s leadership. Currently, as a board member and Vice-Chair of Advancement for the Armenian Women’s International Association, Sara helped design, fundraise and execute the most recent 25th Anniversary Conference and Gala.  In addition to mentoring partners and professionals on their individual career and marketing plans, she was part of the development team that built the New England Women@Grant Thornton Initiative.  Her leadership helped broaden the impact of the Women@Grant Thornton by developing workshops for Grant Thornton’s clients and prospects. For over 3 years, Sara was a Vice-Chair and eventually Co-Chair of the Small Business Association of New England’s Women’s Business Network where she developed monthly programming for members and helped to strengthen the network of women throughout the Association. Sara also managed the trainings, CLE, and summer programs at Bingham McCutchen LLP. 

Straight out of college, Sara started her career in service with two years as a City Year AmeriCorps volunteer.  There she delivered meals to people home-bound living with AIDS and their families and worked on City Year’s fundraising and training events. For many years, Sara has been involved with several other organizations including the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association and Friends of Armenian Heritage Park.  She received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Simmons School of Management. In her free time, Sara enjoys practicing yoga, gardening and listening to live music with her husband Jack and twins, AJ and Lucy.



Silva Katchiguian became a member of AIWA Los Angeles in 2008. She has served as President of the Armenian International Women’s Association Los Angeles Affiliate since May 2012. Under her leadership, AIWA-LA has attained exposure through public service events that promote culture, literature, women’s health and women social issues. During her presidency, five outstanding members of AIWA-LA received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  Silva has co-chaired the 6th International Conference in San Francisco (2011) the 7th International AIWA Conference in Yerevan (2014) and most recently the 25th Anniversary Leadership Conference 2016 (Boston). She has overseen fundraising for events in Los Angeles and was instrumental in establishing the Laurel Karabian Fund for the Arts in 2015. 

Silva is passionate about the mission of AIWA. The organization was founded on the efforts of a few selfless women who tirelessly and courageously work to win rights for women and girls, especially in Armenia where nation building is essential in our global stance. These rights include the right to be educated; to own businesses and property; to live free from violence, and discrimination; and to earn a fair and equal wage. It also involves changing laws and policies, and empowering women to invest in their own strengths individually and collectively. 

Silva is a voice over actress for narrative and commercial readings. Her voice can be heard mostly over phone messages, private and institutional. She is a writer and has a monthly column in the Armenian Observer (Moments in Thought). She also shares her thoughts in her own monthly blog www.thisihumblyspeak.com where she writes about everyday life situations. 
Silva is a graduate of the University of La Verne with an MA in Media Communications and Public Relations. 

Silva is an Ambassador of Faith for the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.


Barbara J. Merguerian is a writer and historian, and one of the founders of AIWA. A graduate of Brown University with an MA and PhD in History from Harvard, she has taught at several institutions, including Tufts, Fresno State, and Yerevan State Universities.  Currently she lectures and publishes articles about the impact of American missionaries in the Ottoman Empire as well as about the role of women in Armenian history. She is a former editor of The Armenian Mirror-Spectator and the Journal of Armenian Studies and is active in the Armenian-American community, specifically as a Vice President of the Armenian Museum of America (ALMA) and a Trustee of the Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF). She is an AIWA founder, past president, and director of its Armenian Women’s Archives, and has spearheaded AIWA’s publications, including the volumes in our Treasury of Armenian Women’s Literature.

Why am I involved with AIWA?  AIWA offers wonderful opportunities to connect with Armenian women (and other women) from all walks of life and living in many different countries, and to engage in activities that enrich our lives.



Anaide Nahikian leads the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Through field-based research and engagement with humanitarian practitioners, Anaïde focuses on developing responsive research and professional tools to enhance the capacity of professionals in humanitarian environments, on issues such as frontline humanitarian negotiation, response to forced migration, and communities of practice. She leads field research and implements projects across the Middle East / North Africa, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. She also produces and co-hosts the monthly Humanitarian Assistance Podcast. 

Anaïde is also Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Collaborative Platform, where she initiates and manages relationships between the ICRC and academic, policy, non-profit, and private organizations in the Boston area around key themes and priorities of the ICRC, in partnership with swissnex Boston.

Anaïde is Associate Instructor in graduate courses at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kennedy School of Government, leading the case research and curriculum design of an annual intensive, field-based course on strategic planning in humanitarian action, since 2008. She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and an Affiliate at the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Anaïde currently serves on the Board of AIWA and is committed to the advancement of global educational and professional opportunities for Armenian women through mentorship, networking, and partnerships.


Judy Norsigian is a co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves who also served as executive director of the organization from 2001 to 2015. In a volunteer capacity, she now continues to advise OBOS staff and to help with fundraising for OBOS projects. 

An internationally renowned speaker and author on a range of women’s health concerns, her areas of focus include women and health care reform, abortion and contraception, childbirth (especially the role of midwifery), genetics and reproductive technologies, and drug and device safety.

She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Oprah, Fox News and The Current.

Judy has been an author and editor for each of the nine editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” the organization’s landmark book on sexuality and reproductive health. A new and revised edition published by Simon & Schuster in 2011 — 40 years after the book’s initial publication — received critical acclaim, including being named one of the best consumer health books of that year by Library Journal.

Personal recognitions include an honorary doctorate from Boston University (2007). Additional honors include: being named one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews; Public Service Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association; Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Annual Recognition Award; Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers; and the Massachusetts Health Council Award.


Anna Ohanyan is an author, educator, scholar and mother of three daughters. She is the Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Stonehill College and the author of numerous articles in academic and policy journals. Her most recent book is Networked Regionalism as Conflict Management published by Stanford University Press in 2015. A Fulbright Scholar who previously served as a doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, she has consulted for numerous organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State and the Carter Center. Her research (supported by such institutions as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the German Marshall Fund) has explored issues of post-war economic developments (in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Afghanistan) and regional integration and fracture (in Central America, the Western Balkans, and South Caucasus). She founded and oversees the LION Program at Stonehill, developing the next generation of global security policy leaders.


Rachel Onanian Nadjarian is a seasoned development, communications, and management consultant with over 20 years experience designing and executing strategic marketing and fundraising initiatives for non-profits, start-ups, and corporations. In addition to having held senior positions at organizations across the country, including Boston University, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Museum of Science (Boston), Rachel has served as a consultant for numerous local and global organizations, including the IDEA Foundation (Armenia), ArmeniaFund USA (NY), UC Berkeley Armenian Studies Program (CA) and the Armenian Women's Welfare Association (MA).

Throughout her life, Rachel has served many Armenian organizations, including the ARS, Aleppo Compatriot Charitable Organization (ACCO), St. Illuminator's Armenian Church (NYC), Hovnanian School, Sayat Nova Dance Company, ACYOA, AGBU, and Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Cambridge). Rachel enjoys dancing and hosting "conviviums" in her home, bringing unknown faces together. She and her husband Paul are actively engaged in the lives of their three children. After 10 years living in Harlem, Rachel recently relocated with her family to Washington, DC.


Joy Renjilian-Burgy is a teacher, author, editor and teacher-trainer

She is the Co-Director of Latin American Studies at Wellesley College, has taught all levels of Spanish language, as well as Chicano Literature, Hispanic Literature of the USA, Caribbean Literature and Culture, and Latin American Film. She also gives seminars for the Education Department in Foreign Language & ESL Methodologies. A University Supervisor for state licensure in foreign language, for Wellesley and Harvard, she has won teaching prizes from both institutions.

Dedicated to educational equity and equality, she serves on regional, as well as inter/national, scholarship committees. For more than two decades, she has been co-coordinator of the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program at Wellesley; and for the past  decade, she has interacted with students/colleagues from Spelman and Morehouse Colleges in Atlanta, in immersion programs in Spanish.


Nicole Vartanian serves as the Executive Director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, managing staff, programs, and outreach activities to support the work of over 80 faculty and research scholars. She previously was the Acting Executive director of the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF); Vice President of Education at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; Senior Advisor in the Hunter College Provost Office; and Senior Research Scientist at the U.S. Department of Education. She also has served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and consultant in Armenia.

Nicole earned her doctorate int he Sociology of Education from Columbia University Teachers College, and her master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois. She is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hunter College, instructing seminars on Multicultural Education and Public Policy. She serves as Vice Chair of the Columbia University Armenian Center, and as a board member at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and the Historic House Trust of New York.