Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

NAASR Hires Talented New Executive Director

Executive Director NAASR Silva Sedrakian

The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research is pleased to announce that Silva Sedrakian will serve as its next Executive Director, starting on December 1, 2021. NAASR is one of the leading nonprofit Armenian Studies organizations in the world, founded in 1955.

Sedrakian is an accomplished non-profit manager, having worked for nearly 15 years at Oxfam America, an international organization addressing urgent humanitarian needs and striving to end poverty and injustice. As NAASR’s new Executive Director, she will manage the day-to-day operations. Sarah Ignatius, who is retiring as Executive Director, will serve as Executive Advisor during the transition and into 2022.

“Silva is an outstanding choice. We are eager to welcome her as Executive Director,” said Yervant Chekijian, Chairman, NAASR Board of Directors. “She has an excellent combination of skills and experience well-suited to NAASR’s next phase of expansion, collaboration, and growth, speaking several languages including Eastern Armenian, working for many years in various areas, including academia, nonprofit, and corporate, and having an international background and receiving her undergraduate degree in Armenian Studies in France, and earning an MBA from Northeastern University. During our five-month search, we were impressed by the caliber of the candidates and are delighted Silva will be joining NAASR as the new Executive Director.”

“NAASR will benefit immensely from Silva’s expertise in nonprofit management, her experience in building international partnerships, and her fluency in multiple languages to help NAASR serve its global mission,” said Judith Saryan, First Vice Chair, NAASR Board of Directors. “We were also impressed with her strong commitment and enthusiasm for NAASR’s mission, her dedication to Armenian Studies, as well as her leadership style rooted in respect, humility, hard work, integrity, and humor. She has a rare combination of skills that will serve the organization extremely well, and we look forward to working with her.”

“I am honored and thrilled that the Board has put their trust in me,” said Sedrakian. “I am impressed by the talented and dedicated Board and staff and am eager to work with them and the many NAASR members and supporters around the world,” she said.

At Oxfam America, Sedrakian specialized in program planning, monitoring and evaluation, led strategic planning processes, developed grant proposals, defined new partnership strategies with local and global organizations, and improved organizational practices and metrics aligned with Board strategy. She is also an adjunct faculty at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, teaching monitoring, evaluation, and learning concepts and practices for sustainable development programs.

Silva received her Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Civilization, Classical Arabic, Armenian & Japanese Studies at the National Institute of Oriental Languages in France, and earned a Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University. She also has a certificate in Impact Investing from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a Certificate in Community Management from the World Bank. Silva speaks English, French, Armenian, and Farsi and has some knowledge of Arabic and Japanese. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Armenian Heritage Park and is a member of the Armenian Relief Society.

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