THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today we feature Harut Sassounian.
Name: Harut Sassounian
Harut Sassounian is a publisher, syndicated columnist, TV commentator, political analyst, author, award-winning documentary producer, lecturer, and United Nations delegate on human rights.
As President of the Armenian Artsakh Fund (previously United Armenian Fund), he has sent $783 million of humanitarian aid to Armenia and Artsakh since 1989.
As Senior Vice President of Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation, he was in charge of $242 million of infrastructure projects in Armenia, including building 3,700 apartments in the earthquake zones, dozens of schools and cultural centers, hundreds of miles of highways, bridges, tunnels, and $20 million of loans to small businesses.
Since 1983, Mr. Sassounian has been the publisher and editor to The California Courier newspaper. His weekly commentaries, translated into half a dozen languages, appear in over 200 publications and websites around the world, including the Huffington Post.
He has lectured on the Armenian Genocide in 25 countries, including the British Parliament. In 2016, he lectured in Israel and met with the President of Israel discussing the Israeli recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
As a human rights delegate to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1978 to 1988, he played a key role in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the UN in 1985.
Mr. Sassounian worked as an international marketing executive for Practor & Gamble in Switzerland from, 1987-1982.
He has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York, and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.
Mr. Sassounian is the author of “Armenian Genocide: The World Speaks Out, 1915-2015, Documents and Declarations,” and Executive Producer of the award-winning documentary: “Armenia: Bittersweet Freedom.”
In recognition of his humanitarian efforts, he has received the highest awards from the Presidents of Armenia and Artsakh, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic Churches. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Mr. Sassounian speaks five languages: English, French, Arabic, Turkish, and Armenian.
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