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 2023, he became the inaugural Chair of the Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (ESS) at the AUA Akian College of Science and Engineering. 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.
Tel: +374 60 612690
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.
Tel: +374 60 612687
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.
Tel: +374 60 612694
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.
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.
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.
Tel: +374 60 612693
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.
Tel: +374 60 612688
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.
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 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.
Haykanush Martirosyan joined the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment in October 2021 as a Project Assistant for “Copernicus Assisted Environmental Monitoring Across the Black Sea Basin” – PONTOS Project. She graduated from the American University of Armenia, earning a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA), and Yerevan State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Haykanush’s functions include assistance in the organization and participation in the Project’s various meetings, support for the development of the Project management and assurance documents, participation in the elaboration of periodic progress reports, preparation and dissemination of promotional materials, as well as the implementation of other Project-related functions.
Email: [email protected]
Work phone: +37460 61 2776
Arpine Zakaryan joined the Acopian Center in November 2021 as a Project Assistant for Sida-funded “Mobilizing the Private-Sector to Advance Responsible Consumption and Production in Armenia” project. Then she joined Iliad Project in May 2022. She graduated from Brusov State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages. She provides full administrative support for the project, supporting preparations of reports, coordinating external and internal communication flows, assisting in organizing events and internal work meetings etc.
Email: [email protected]
Work phone: +37460 61 2689
Dr. Irina Ghaplanyan is a political analyst and a published author. She holds a doctorate degree in political science from the University of Cambridge. Her main areas of expertise are political leadership, states in transition, conflict resolution, gender and gender in conflict, and security studies. Her previous education includes a Master’s Degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of London and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of Malta. She has worked in several international organizations and think tanks around the world, including UNDP, Georgetown University, Eurasia Foundation, Hudson Institute, and many others. She has also been a catalyst for change in the field of sustainable business and social entrepreneurship in Armenia. Dr. Ghaplanyan was noted for her work in this field and, in 2015, was awarded as one of the top social venture entrepreneurs by the Global Good Fund Leadership program in Washington DC. Irina has a number of academic and media publications, among which the most anticipated is the upcoming book titled “Armenia: A Country in Search of Leaders,” due to be released in 2017 by Routledge Publishers in London.
E-mail: [email protected]
Anahit Papoyan is an Administrative Coordinator at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. Prior to joining AUA, she has worked as Leading Specialist at the Cadastre Committee of the Republic of Armenia. Anahit has a proven track record of fostering international collaboration and organizing the participation of Armenian representatives in international conferences. Anahit is a translator with more than four years of experience specializing in the translation of technical documents. She started her professional life working at Secondary School after G. Margaryan as Operator and continued at UCOM, a mobile network operator company, as Sales and Customer Service Specialist. She has also worked as a Travel Specialist at Soft Construct CJSC. She is a graduate of Armenia’s Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences with a Bachelor in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication.
Work phone: +374 60 612 520
Armen V. Sahakyan, a specialist in international political economy, is an Impact Expert at the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment. Most recently he served as a Project Director at the Westminster Fund for Democracy and an Adjunct Lecturer at the American University of Armenia. With an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and B.A. from Bloomfield College, he has prior experience in the U.S. grassroots political advocacy sector for seven years. He has consulted for the World Bank Group, taught at Bloomfield College, and worked at the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN. Sahakyan has and continues to serve on several nonprofit boards and is passionate about community service initiatives. His articles and commentary have appeared in American and international media.
Email: asahakyan [at] aua.am