Salpi Ghazarian, director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies and director of the Yerevan based Civilitas Foundation, was recognized by the California State Assembly “for her remarkable record of accomplishments and the exemplary leadership she has provided for organizations, institutions, and publications whose scope encompasses, broadly, Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora.” This Members Resolution No. 635 was passed on April 17, 2017.
The ceremony was part of a day-long series of activities in Sacramento marking Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
“We recognize Salpi Ghazarian for her contributions to addressing and resolving national and global challenges in Armenian communities,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, who together with Senator Scott Wilk, recognized Ghazarian during a press conference, and during the Assembly and Senate floor sessions, presenting her with a Joint Legislative Resolution
“It is wonderful to be recognized for doing something you love. I have never stopped to think whether I want to work in the Armenian world or the non-Armenian world. For me, it’s all one world, and I do what I can do to have an impact that is both national and global, that helps the process of understanding, empathizing and collaborating in order to lead to change. In the process, I am the greatest beneficiary of this process – because I work with and partner with thoughtful individuals who share these goals. I am grateful to the Assembly members who have reinforced my commitment,” said Salpi Ghazarian.
Charles Ghailian, head of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies Leadership Council observed, “Salpi has invested all of her experience, energy, contacts, and vision to making sure that the Institute grows and succeeds as a bridge between our past and our future. She has vision, passion and is able to bring together the best people in academia, in practice, in business to inspire young people and the community at large. As a university, as a community, and as a nation we are lucky to have her. An old friend, a former USC professor, a former ambassador of the Republic of Armenia, Jivan Tabibian once said of Salpi that she is a national treasure. We are pleased that the California Legislature agrees.”
Ghazarian joined the USC Institute of Armenian Studies in 2014 after returning to Los Angeles from Yerevan, Armenia, where she co-founded and directed the Civilitas Foundation, a think tank and advocacy organization. Civilitas and its media program, CivilNet, pioneered a new culture of responsible journalism through online television and data-based reporting. From 2000 to 2008, Ghazarian served as Special Assistant to the Foreign Minister of Armenia. Before moving to Armenia, she was West Coast Coordinator for the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation, and editor and publisher of Armenian International Magazine. In 1982, she set up the first Armenian political action committee. She consulted with various state and local agencies – school districts, police departments, hospitals, libraries – on immigration and cultural awareness needs. For half a decade in the late 80s and early 90s, she co-hosted a live, bilingual radio program called Sounds of the Armenian Diaspora.
Since joining the Institute at USC, she has created landmark programming including INNOVATE ARMENIA, an annual festival of innovative people and ideas. Ghazarian also collaborates with research institutions and Armenian Studies centers around the world, and with various departments and centers at USC as well, to ensure that Armenian issues are included in global conversations.
The Institute of Armenian Studies promotes research, scholarship and programming that address national and global challenges and seek to contribute to policy that impacts the development of Armenian communities and the Armenian Republic.