Hrach Arzumanyan (BAPG ’26): Future Changemaker
Hrach Arzumanyan is from Kapan, Syunik region. He is a sophomore in the B.A. in Politics and Governance program at the American University of Armenia (AUA) and a recipient of the Troy Kevork Wickett and Justine Yeshil Wickett Endowed Scholarship. In addition to his studies, Hrach actively volunteers and participates in various projects in and outside AUA. He is the founder of the University’s Environmental Club, the host of the fifth TEDxAUA, reporter for the Highlander Magazine at AUA, national coordinator of the Maqoor environmental NGO, and an ambassador for the “Rebuild Ukraine Ambassadors” program at the European Youth Parliament (EYP).
Recently, Hrach graduated from the Institute of Liberal Politics, an NGO providing non-formal education to people interested in human rights and politics, and has been accepted for an internship at the U.S. Embassy.
How did you learn about the Rebuild Ukraine Ambassadors program, and why did you decide to apply?
Rebuild Ukraine Lab is one of the projects within EYP, which I found through their website and inspired me to apply to become an ambassador. I was the only ambassador from Armenia. The aim of the project was to develop a joint vision on how a sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine could be implemented. The vision paper is called “Towards a Sustainable Reconstruction of Ukraine: Youth Perspectives from Europe.” We developed innovative ideas by focusing on six key areas: Socially Sustainable Urban Planning, Green Mobility and Public Transportation, Public Institutions, Energy Security and Efficiency, Reconstruction of the Agricultural Sector, and Financial Sustainability. We worked online to develop the roadmap and met in Warsaw, Poland in February 2023 to begin writing the report. In the following months, we continued our work online. I was working within the Reconstruction of the Agricultural Sector group. Once the paper was finalized, we started promoting it.
In July 2023, I participated in the presentation of the paper at the Berlin Office of the European Parliament. We presented to Michael Roth, member of the German Bundestag and chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as other decision makers and ambassadors. In November 2023, I was invited to Cologne, Germany to participate in the YOU:KO 2023 Youth Congress organized by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Franco-German Youth Office. They were able to present our paper and share it with European youth.
What did you gain from this experience?
I gained practical experience in engaging with decision makers: presenting, pitching, listening to their feedback. I was exposed to the practical application of what we learn in our politics and governance courses. Through this experience, I also forged friendships with individuals hailing from all over Europe and gained a better political understanding of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
What are your future goals?
While I am still a sophomore in the B.A. in Politics & Governance program at AUA, I am already thinking about continuing my education and even pursuing a Ph.D. I see myself as a diplomat working in an embassy and diplomatic missions. I think the B.A. in Politics & Governance major provides the necessary knowledge to pursue these career goals, and I am sure that the program will continue to develop in the near future. I believe that the construction of the new AUA buildings will likewise offer greater opportunities. It would be a significant benefit to establish a Ph.D. program at AUA, as it would provide both students and faculty more opportunities to engage in research.