Helping to preserve a nation

The Izmirlian Foundation

The Izmirlian Foundation was established in 1990 by Dikran Izmirlian in memory of his father and mother Sarkis and Marie Izmirlian. The mission of the Foundation is ‘helping to preserve a nation’, initially created to support the newly independent state of the Republic of Armenia (”Armenia”) to cope with the challenges she faced after gaining independence in 1991.

During its approximately 30 years of presence in Armenia, the Izmirlian Foundation had launched and implemented diverse initiatives in the areas of education, healthcare, economic development, social welfare, preservation of Armenian cultural heritage, among other areas.

The Foundation can proudly acknowledge its tangible role in helping achieve the sustainable development of Armenia while serving as a symbol of Diaspora-Homeland partnership aimed at creating a more prosperous and independent Armenia for all.

The Izmirlian Foundation remains committed to continuing to implement varied philanthropic projects moving forward in line with Armenia’s ongoing challenges and developments.

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Country Team

The strength of the team is its each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.

Armen Chobanyan

Country Director

Armen Chobanyan has more than 22 years of experience in the international development field at senior positions with the UN, private sector and NGOs in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Prior to joining the Izmirlian Foundation, he was the Head of Programme of the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region (duty station Geneva, Switzerland) leading the implementation of an annual portfolio of projects of around US$ 500 million. Armen also served as the Representative and Head of UNOPS offices in Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia, Tajikistan, Georgia and Ukraine. In addition, he has extensive work experience in designing and implementation of national strategies, policies, programmes and large-scale projects in the development field (socio-economic, public management, governance, health, education, agriculture, tourism infrastructure, environment, rule of law, etc.) in more than 30 countries around the world. He holds a University Degree (1995) and Post-Graduate Certificate in Economics (1995), Master’s in Management (1996) and Doctorate (DBA) in Public Policy and Management (2004). He is an author or co-author of a number of study reports and professional articles related to development, management and economics. Armen is married with two daughters and two sons.

Babken Babayan

Deputy Director, Head of Programme Implementation

Babken Joined the Izmirlian Foundation with a highly significant experience in the field of development both locally and internationally. For more than sixteen years he has been working with the UNDP office in Armenia heading various projects aimed at community development, infrastructure rehabilitation, economic (SME) development, agricultural / value chain development, etc. He holds Doctor of Engineering degree from the Yerevan State Institute of Architecture and construction, and Master of Earthquake Engineering degree from the American University of Armenia.

Lilit Saryan

Senior Programme Officer

Lilit Saryan has a significant experience in the field of development. She specializes in Monitoring and Evaluation of development and social welfare projects. With her work, she contributes to the assessment of the sustainability and effectiveness of IF projects, develops a transparent results- based monitoring system with defined indicators to improve implementation modalities to achieve greater impact in terms of socio-economic improvement. She holds Master’s in Political Science and International Affairs Degree from the American University of Armenia and a Diploma Summa Cum Laude from the Yerevan State Linguistic University after V.Brusov.