David Ojakian & Bettina Saraydaroglu
Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to welcome David Ojakian as its Western Region Director, and Bettina Saraydaroglu as its Grassroots Associate. The Assembly's recent Advocacy Summit, where over 300 in-person meetings were held on Capitol Hill, was bolstered by David and Bettina, who helped mobilize community advocates to brief Members of Congress on the grave humanitarian crisis in Artsakh. "The Summit could not have come at a more crucial moment given the tragedy our Armenian nation is experiencing with genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced relocation of the Armenians of Artsakh due to Azerbaijan's genocidal aggression," said David. "Through our work at the Assembly, we must continue to rally our community to be a voice for our brothers and sisters of Artsakh and do everything possible to ensure robust aid for them and sanctions against Azerbaijan."
David Ojakian and Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan leading advocacy trainings during the Assembly's Advocacy Summit
Also participating in previous Advocacy Summits as a student at The George Washington University, Bettina emphasized the important timing of this Fall's conference and the Assembly's efforts. "The Summit came at a time when the Armenian people needed us most," said Bettina. "I was proud to stand united with advocates from across the country in sounding the alarm and the urgent need for the U.S. to take decisive action."
Bettina Saraydaroglu helping advocates prepare for their meetings on Capitol Hill during the Assembly's Advocacy Summit
A decades-long activist in the Armenian American community and a leader on regional, national, and international levels, David has served the Assembly's Northern California Regional Council as a grassroots volunteer and participated in the National Advocacy Conferences in Washington, D.C. His professional background in marketing and sales, including a recent role in marketing communications with Cisco Systems' global sales team, is coupled with his non-profit management experience. In his role as Western Region Director, David will be responsible for leading the Assembly's outreach and grassroots advocacy efforts in the Western Region, as well as briefings and events across the region. He will also focus on coalition building with Armenian and non-Armenian organizations alike. "I'm grateful and honored to join the Armenian Assembly as the Western Region Director and I look forward to utilizing my experience and my passion for advocating for Artsakh and Armenia in this new role," said David, who earned his Executive MBA from Santa Clara University and his B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing Management from California State University, East Bay. "There are great challenges before us, which makes this role and the work of the Assembly even more vital." A graduate of The George Washington University where she double majored in International Relations and Geography, Bettina is a former participant of the Assembly's flagship Terjenian-Thomas Internship Program, where she interned for the Armenian National Institute (ANI) and subsequently served as the Intern Coordinator. In her role as Grassroots Associate, Bettina will assist with advocacy engagement, outreach, and social media. "I've seen first-hand the impactful work of the Assembly and all of their efforts for the people of Armenia and Artsakh," said Bettina. "I am excited to join the Assembly team and look forward to strengthening and expanding our grassroots initiatives." Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny added: "At this critical time, the Assembly is expanding our staff and is proud to welcome Bettina and David. Together, we will continue our important work."
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.