‘Senior specialist in civil society advocacy and organising’ is the way I usually headline my professional profile. From the very beginning of my career, my goal was to help civil society combine its energy, idealism and creativity on the one hand, with an understanding of power structures and strategic thinking, and change policies on the other hand.
I have accordingly founded or directed a number of European civil society networks, including the European Alliance with Indigenous Peoples, the parliamentary environment network GLOBE Europe and, most recently, AGBU Europe. ‘A Europe of Diasporas’, a forum between several diasporas, is also one of my projects.
I have long been involved in Armenian Diaspora organizations and have also played a leading role in the adoption of resolutions on Armenian issues at EU and Belgian level. One of those organizations is the Committee of Armenians in Belgium, which is elected by the Armenians of Belgium and of which I am the outgoing president. From 2012 to 1019, I was also an elected city councillor in the Belgian city of Zaventem.
I studied for several years and have degrees in management, environmental management and public policy. I am currently doing a PhD in sociology researching the current transformations of the Armenian Diaspora.
On a personal note, I have two children, both naturally cosmopolitan Armenians. My father’s parents were born into Istanbul’s bourgeoisie before they fled to France with their families; my mother’s family is English from London. In 1960, my father was the first Armenian to work for European institutions.