Board of Trustees

  • Edele Hovnanian

    Edele Hovnanian


    Edele Hovnanian holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and joint B.S. degrees in Finance and Civil Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. However, it was her study abroad program at the University of Yerevan from 1982-1983 that proved to be the educational experience that was the most life changing for her. She resides in New Jersey, USA.

    Edele  runs her family’s enterprises which include  managing a multi-million square foot portfolio of commercial properties, a number of operating companies, and a half a billion dollar portfolio of investments.  She has worked in the family business since 1986 and took over the leadership of all the family’s for profit and non-profit activities in 2005.  The non-profit ventures and investments  are run through the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation and include a number of  NGOs fully funded by the foundation, including Birthright Armenia,  Armenian Volunteer Corps, HIKEArmenia, and HIVE Fund, all programs initiated and overseen by Edele herself.

    She is currently transitioning to pass on the torch of the family business to the third generation, led by Gorr Sahakian, her oldest nephew, allowing Edele to soon be devoting full time to philanthropy. She is fully committed to making the country of Armenia  rise to its fullest potential and believes that the REPAT program can play a critical and important role in achieving that vision.

  • Linda Yepoyan

    Linda Yepoyan


    Linda Yepoyan is Executive Director of Birthright Armenia, and serves on the board of Armenian Volunteer Corps and HIKEArmenia. She started her career in the television and film industry in New York City, and utilized those project management skills to successfully segue into non-profit management. She attributes living 1989 – 1992 years in Armenia as ones that cemented her full-time commitment to working in the Republic of Armenia to further volunteer engagement and repatriation efforts. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Linda received her B.A. in Communications. She lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with her husband, artist Armen Yepoyan, and their three children, Soseh, Sevag and Serop. 

  • Avetik Chalabyan

    Avetik Chalabyan

    Board member

    Avetik Chalabyan is currently a senior partner in the Moscow office of McKinsey&Company. Since joining McKinsey in 2001, he has advised leading domestic and multinational companies in metals, mining, heavy machinery and petroleum sectors across a broad spectrum of high-profile topics. He currently leads McKinsey’s Metallurgical practice globally, and a broader Heavy Industries practice in Russia/CIS. Avetik has also extensively advised various CIS governments on economic reforms and industrial development. Previously Avetik worked at Salomon Smith Barney in New York, and served as the Head of WTO Affairs department at the Ministry of Economic Development of Armenia.

    Passionate about transforming Armenia into an advanced nation, Avetik has joined the National Competitive Council of Armenia in 2008, and supported the Government and respective industry associations of Armenia in developing modern industrial and tourism sectors of the country. Avetik was one of the original founders of the “5165” Club, which brings together progressive Armenian professionals from various fields with a common vision of building a strong nation and healthy society. With a view of advancing various initiatives within this broader vision, Avetik became one of the original founders of Repat Armenia Foundation in 2012, and co-founded Arar Foundation in 2014, where he currently serves as the Chairman of Board and focuses on several critical challenges facing Armenia. Avetik is also one of the early supporters of the now famous “Ayb” initiative, which aims at modernizing Armenian high school education.

    Avetik graduated from Yerevan State University with Diploma in Physics in 1994, and received his MBA from the University of North Carolina in 2001, both with highest distinction. He is married with 3 children, and shares his time between Moscow and Yerevan.

  • Artashes Shirikyan

    Artashes Shirikyan

    Board member

    Artashes Shirikyan is General Director and Founder of Ark Media Publishing House (based in Moscow and Berlin). He also serves on the boards of Puro Noble trade company and Elenex, whose main business is the construction and exploitation of hydro power stations in Armenia.

    Active in a variety of Armenian causes and organizations, Artashes joined the Western Armenian National Congress in the early 2000’s and is now member of the Governing Council of this Congress.  He is member of Ayb and “5165” clubs.

    Artashes is a graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics of Moscow State University in 1988, and received his PhD from the same department, specializing in differential equations. He is married, has two children and splits his time between Yerevan and Moscow.

  • Raffi M. Kassarjian

    Raffi M. Kassarjian


    Raffi Kassarjian is the CEO and Principal Advisor at Sensyan. Previously, he served as the CEO of Monitis, Chair to the Committee Adjoined to the Board of Directors of Converse Bank, part of Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian’s Corporacion America management team in Armenia. 

    Moving to Armenia in 2008, Raffi held the positions of Chief Commercial Officer and then Chief Executive Officer of iCON Communications, one of the pioneer wireless internet service providers in the country.

    Before repatriating, Raffi was Vice President and General Manager at Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), one of the leading solution providers in predictive analytics for financial services, telecommunications and retail. Prior to Fair Isaac, he was a Senior Manager at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting).