YEREVAN—Former Governor Michael Dukakis and Kitty Dukakis arrived in Yerevan on April 19th for a 10 day visit at the invitation of American University of Armenia President, Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian. This is the first trip to Armenia for Governor and Kitty Dukakis.
Governor Dukakis is scheduled to give a public presentation on the current US presidential campaign and the American electoral process at the American University of Armenia. While on campus, Governor Dukakis and Mrs. Dukakis will be meeting with the AUA students, faculty and staff to share their experience and insight on public service, genocide education, health care, economic development, equal opportunity, and social welfare. Governor Dukakis will also be giving lectures to students studying political science, law, and communications.
Kitty Dukakis plans to visit the American Armenian Wellness Center founded by health activist Rita Balian, and Nork Mental Health Center. She will also be meeting with Masters of Public Health students and health care professionals as well as Syrian Armenian students who have fled their country ad re now studying at AUA.
Governor and Mrs. Dukakis will also be attending the 100 LIVES ceremony for the presentation of the Aurora Prize for Humanity, and the 101st commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th. The Henry G. Morgenthau Award given by the Armenian Genocide Museum will be presented to Mrs. Dukakis on behalf of the Republic of Armenia.
Lorraine Alexander, Vice-President of Development and External Relations for AUA, and a long-time acquaintance of the Dukakis’s arranged for the visit. “Knowing Michael’s commitment to higher education and Kitty’s strong interest in helping refugees and advocating for improved mental healthcare, AUA’s 25th anniversary was an ideal time to arrange for them to visit Yerevan.” They are generous supporters of AUA and hope to gain a better understanding how AUA contributes to Armenia’s economy and civil society. Alexander said she hopes to arrange an event in Boston in the fall where the Dukakis’s can share their experiences about AUA and Armenia.
Michael S. Dukakis, is former Governor of Massachusetts and a former Democratic Presidential candidate. He is a staunch supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition, a professor of political science at Northeastern University and a visiting professor in the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. The son of Greek immigrants, he studied law at Harvard University and served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1963-70. He was governor from 1975-79 and from 1983-91. In 1988, he was the Democratic nominee for president. As Governor, he was vocal in his support of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide hosting an annual April 24th event at the State House in conjunction with then Speaker of the House, George Keverian.
Kitty Dukakis is an author, social worker, and advocate for refugees and the disadvantaged. She has served on the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, on the board of the Refugee Policy Center, and on the Task Force on Cambodian Children. She has also been a strong advocate on mental health issues, and is the author of the book Shock.