Event Committee

Vision for the Future: Advancing Higher Education in Armenia

Committee Co-Chairs

Valina Agbabian

AUA Pillar
Member of the National Board of Trustees,
Armenian Assembly of America

Read Bio

Laura Dirtadian

AUA Supporter of the "Yes, Armenian Women Can!"  Campaign
CEO and Founder of Leap Strategy, Risk, and Advisory Services, LLC
AIWA-SF President

Read Bio

Committee Members

Hriar Cabayan
Sara K. Cumbelich
Nelly Der Kiureghian
Liza Karamardian
Jerry Manoukian
Mariam Manoukian
Tsovinar Massena
Stephen Melikian
Sylvia Melikian
Rosemond Muncheryan
Beth Rustigian Broussalian
Anita Serebrakian
Lusine Yeghiazarian
Rita Zorian

Valina Agbabian
AUA Pillar, Member of the National Board of Trustees, Armenian Assembly of America

Valina Agbabian is a member of the National Board of Trustees and the former CA State Chair of the Armenian Assembly of America. She is a board member of the Mount Davidson Cross Armenian Council, serves on the San Francisco Bay Area Artsakh Task Force, and is an active member of Service Corps San Francisco, St. John Armenian Apostolic Church, and Calvary Armenian Congregational Church. 

Valina has also served as Chairperson of the AGBU Young Professionals (YP) of Los Angeles, board member of the AGBU Generation Next mentorship program in Glendale, and board member of the AGBU-YP of Northern California. She has worked as a consultant for the State of CA helping Workforce Investment Boards with economic development and job creation initiatives, and has also worked on cutting-edge laser technologies in medical applications at the Cedar-Sinai Laser Research and Development Laboratory. 

She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from USC, and is a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Joe Biden​​. Valina lives in San Francisco with her husband Bryan and children, Lori and Arman. 

Laura Dirtadian
AUA Supporter of the “Yes Armenian Women Can” Campaign; CEO and Founder of Leap Strategy, Risk, and Advisory Services, LLC; AIWA-SF President 

Laura Dirtadian is a passionate advocate for the Armenian community. Her journey with AUA began in 2016 when she moderated a panel at the first AUA Women’s Conference, which led to her and her husband’s involvement in the “Yes Armenian Women Can” campaign, where they established an endowment in memory of their grandfathers to support women studying computer science.

Laura is the co-founder and president of the re-established Armenian International Women’s Association Bay Area Chapter, a non-profit organization that empowers Armenian women through education, economic opportunities, and health and wellness initiatives. Professionally, Laura is the CEO and founder of Leap Strategy, Risk, and Advisory Services, a consulting firm that works with banks and fintechs on risk and compliance matters throughout various business stages. She is also an angel and real estate investor. Currently, Laura is pursuing an Executive MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Laura resides in the Bay Area with her husband and two children, who share a love for dance, cooking, and global travel. Her diverse interests and dedication to community, education, and entrepreneurship make her a remarkable individual committed to creating positive change in the world.