People

Alen Amirkhanian
Director, Acopian Center for the Environment
Alen AmirkhanianDirector, Acopian Center for the Environment

Alen Amirkhanian is the Director of the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment, a position he has held since 2013. In 2014, he established AUA Center for Responsible Mining and is acting as its Interim Director. He teaches graduate and undergraduate environmental courses at AUA. Prior to AUA, he was Senior Vice President of Research at Michael Porter’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. He has consulted with the World Bank, UNDP, and the Brookings Institution on energy efficiency as well as economic and urban-growth issues. His current academic interests include urban environmental sustainability, “greening” the built environment, and circular economy esp. as it relates to “greening” cities. Alen holds a Masters in City Planning (’97) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Email: alen(at)aua.am
Tel: +374 60 612690

Aghavni Harutyunyan
Adjunct Lecturer, GIS Specialist, Project Manager
Aghavni HarutyunyanAdjunct Lecturer, GIS Specialist, Project Manager

Aghavni Harutyunyan is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (ACE) and AUA Center for Responsible Mining (CRM) starting in 2015. Ms. Harutyunyan is creating maps and providing data analyses through GIS. Before joining AUA ACE and AUA CRM she worked at the National Survey for Seismic Protection of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of RA. Ms. Harutyunyan holds a Master’s degree in Geography from the Yerevan State University from the Department of Geography and Geology.

Email: a.harutyunyan(at)aua.am
Tel: +374 60 612687

Norayr Benohanian
Adjunct Lecturer, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects Coordinator
Norayr BenohanianAdjunct Lecturer, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects Coordinator

Norayr Benohanian is an adjunct lecturer at the American University of Armenia (AUA) and the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects Coordinator at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. In his role as projects coordinator, he has worked on several initiatives, including the annual Sustainable Energy Academy which has been organized in collaboration with the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation since 2016, ERASMUS+ MARUEEB project, as well as various other conferences and events. Norayr’s courses at AUA include Engineering for non-Engineers, Basics of Sustainable Energy, and Projects in Environmental Sciences. He holds two Master’s degrees, a Master of Science in Materials Engineering from the German University in Cairo, and a Master of Engineering in Industrial Engineering and Systems Management from AUA.

Email: n.benohanian(at)aua.am
Tel: +374 60 612694

Astghine Pasoyan
Adjunct Lecturer
Astghine PasoyanAdjunct Lecturer

Astghine Pasoyan has joined the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment in September 2015. She teaches and co-teaches courses on the interrelation of the humans and the environment, business and environmental sustainability, water, engineering green buildings, decision-making tools for energy generation and use. Concurrently, over the past twenty years Ms. Pasoyan has been heading a local non-profit Foundation to Save Energy, consulting the USAID, World Bank, European Commission, EBRD, UNDP and other donors and IFIs on energy efficiency policy, financing, planning, communications and capacity building in countries of Southeast Europe and CIS.  Astghine Pasoyan is a graduate of the Brown University, Providence, RI and the Yerevan State Economic University, Armenia.

Email: apasoyan(at)aua.am

Tatevik Vardanyan
Communications Coordinator (Pontos Project)
Tatevik VardanyanCommunications Coordinator (Pontos Project)

Tatevik Vardanyan works as a Grants and Projects Manager at AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. She is responsible for supporting the development and writing of grant proposals, managing and coordinating the quality and timeliness of project implementation. In her position, Tatevik is coordinating preparation of contracts, financial reporting, planning and executing stages of the project. She is also maintaining partnerships and other collaborative relationships with a range of local and international stakeholders. Tatevik has served as grant and project manager at the Acopian Center and the AUA Center for Responsible Mining since 2016, she has supported the implementation of the projects in cooperation with the government, international organizations, civil society sector entities. Prior to that, she worked as Operations and Communications Coordinator at the AUA Acopian Center from 2014 till 2016. She holds an LL.M degree from the American University of Armenia and a BA degree from Brusov Yerevan State Linguistic University.

Email: tvardanyan(at)aua.am
Tel: +374 60 612696

Lusine Tadevosyan
Adjunct Lecturer
Lusine TadevosyanAdjunct Lecturer

Lusine Tadevosyan is the Adjunct Lecturer at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment for the Sustainable Food Systems course. She holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the Armenian National Agrarian University and received a graduate certificate in Agribusiness from Texas A&M University upon successful completion of the Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program of ICARE/ATC. Lusine is the head of the research department of the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE) foundation. She has more than 10 years of working experience in the research, business advisory, and consulting sector. She has extensive experience in agri-food sector studies, including value chain analysis, feasibility studies.

Email: lusine.tadevosyan(at)aua.am

Harutyun Alpetyan
Program Manager and Lecturer
Harutyun AlpetyanProgram Manager and Lecturer

Harutyun Alpetyan is a waste management expert at the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment. His current research and work aim to promote and accelerate the transition towards a circular economy through education and innovation, cross-sectoral collaboration, and policy change. While acting as a leading expert and principal investigator, Harutyun also takes the role of policy liaison in many projects on waste initiated by the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. The area of his research and work involves waste handling and landfill mapping, national policies and strategies, sustainable waste management and landfill operations planning, waste quantity and composition studies, and other topics. Passionate about awareness-raising and education, Harutyun also teaches environmental courses at the American University of Armenia.

Email: alpetyan(at)aua.am
Tel: +374 60 612693

Siranush Harutyunyan
Grants and Projects Manager
Siranush HarutyunyanGrants and Projects Manager

Siranush Harutyunyan has been with the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment as a Grants and Projects Manager since July 2017. In her position, she supports grant and proposal writing, manages grant requirements and reporting, reviews project budgets, and handles their accounting to ensure that grants are implemented according to the operational and financial needs of the Center. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from AUA. Previously, she was the program coordinator at the AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program, has worked at the ICHD think-tank and at the Human Rights Defender’s Office of International Cooperation and Strategic Development.

Email: siranush.harutyunyan(at)aua.am
Tel: +374 60 612688

Alexander Arakelyan
GIS and Hydrology Expert
Alexander ArakelyanGIS and Hydrology Expert

Dr. Alexander Arakelyan joined Acopian Center for Environment in 2018 as a GIS and Hydrology Expert. He joined AUA Acopian Center for the Environment and AUA Center for Responsible Mining in 2018.  Dr. Arakelyan is managing projects related to environmental education and responsible mining issues.

Alexander also leads GIS Lab in the Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. His expertise is in hydrology, GIS analysis and modeling, water resources management planning, environmental research as well as disaster risk assessment and assessment of climate change impacts on water resources. He has been involved as a GIS and Hydrology Specialist in more than 30 State and donor-funded projects in Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Alexander has a PhD in Engineering (Surface Hydrology, Water Resources, Hydrochemistry) from the Institute of Water Problems and Hydraulic Engineering after Academician I.V. Yeghiazarov.

Email: alexander.arakelyan(at)aua.am

Gohar Shahinyan
GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist
Gohar ShahinyanGIS and Remote Sensing Specialist

Gohar Shahinyan is a GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist who is supporting projects at the AUA GIS and Remote Sensing Lab. She is currently conducting her Master’s Degree in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modeling and Natural Resource Management, a collaborative program between Lund University (Sweden) and ITC | University of Twente (the Netherlands). She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at Bates College. Gohar is also the co-founder of FEED: Foundation for Ecological Education and Design. FEED operates as an education, demonstration, and research site, offering focused, hands-on learning experiences grounded in permaculture principles, scientific methodology, and design thinking. The AUA GIS and Remote Sensing Lab is a collaborative initiative of the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment and the AUA Akian College of Science and Engineering.

Garabet Kazanjian
Assistant Professor, Water Expert, Project Manager
Garabet KazanjianAssistant Professor, Water Expert, Project Manager

Garabet Kazanjian joined the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment as an adjunct faculty and researcher in Summer 2020. Dr. Kazanjian received his PhD in Limnology from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2019 and his MSc in marine biology from the American University of Beirut in 2012. Between 2013 and 2018, he worked at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin, Germany.

Dr. Kazanjian has collaborated with several European research institutes in calculating whole-landscape carbon budgets. He also served as a guest scientist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) in 2014-15, where he investigated the impact of climate change on lakes. Previously, he has conducted fisheries research in Lebanon and has served for two years as the Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace, engaging in environmental advocacy and working towards establishing marine protected areas in the Mediterranean.

He is an aquatic ecologist who is engaged in understanding carbon dynamics in water systems. He is enthusiastic about supporting advancements in ecology, passionate about increasing knowledge and outreach, and interested in conservation, sustainability, and development projects.

Email: gkazanjian(at)aua.am

Ruzanna Hakobyan
Project Assistant
Ruzanna HakobyanProject Assistant
Haykanush Martirosyan
Project Assistant (Pontos Project)
Haykanush MartirosyanProject Assistant (Pontos Project)
Arpine Zakaryan
Project Assistant (Iliad Project)
Arpine ZakaryanProject Assistant (Iliad Project)
Tatevik Babayan
Researcher
Tatevik BabayanResearcher
Irina Ghaplanyan
Adjunct Lecturer
Irina GhaplanyanAdjunct Lecturer
Pavlos Giorgiadis
Adjunct Lecturer
Pavlos GiorgiadisAdjunct Lecturer