Aghakhanian Holds Capitol Hill Meetings as Part of Pepperdine Doctoral Program

Advocates for Adoption of Armenian Genocide Resolution

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Aghakhanian with Rep. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

WASHINGTON–Armond Aghakhanian, a longtime community activist and doctoral candidate at Pepperdine University’s highly regarded School of Psychology and Education, completed a four day series of advocacy meetings in Washington, DC on behalf of the Armenian National committee of America (ANCA).

Aghakhanian’s trip to the nation’s capital will help him meet the practical requirements of his National Policy Experience (EDOL 753B) class, which is an integral part of his doctoral program in Organizational Leadership.

During more than a dozen scheduled meetings and many more informal Member and staff contacts during his time on Capitol Hill, Aghakhanian made the moral, historical, and genocide-prevention case for official U.S. condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, specifically advocating for the adoption of legislation, H.Res.252, before the U.S. House to formally recognize this crime against humanity.  This human rights legislation, introduced by Congressman Adam Schiff, seeks to ensure that the lessons of this atrocity are understood and applied by the U.S. government to prevent future genocides.  The measure, despite broad bipartisan support, has been blocked from passage due to heavy pressure from the Turkish government, which, despite overwhelming evidence, continues to deny the Armenian Genocide.

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Aghakhanian with Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA)

Among the Congressional offices that Aghakhanian met with to discuss this human rights legislation were Representatives Laura Richardson (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Gary Miller (R-CA), John Campbell (R-CA), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA), and Mike Thompson (D-CA).  On the Senate side, he met with the senator from his own Golden State, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).  Each of these visits included briefings on the current state of this legislation, an update on the opposition’s efforts to prevent its adoption, a review of the rationale behind its enactment, and a robust question and answer session.

Pepperdine University, an educational leader in the fields of teaching and psychology and a proponent of providing its students with valuable practical field experience, prepares individuals with broad-based knowledge, adaptability, and strong leadership skills.

The Organizational Leadership concentration helps to create educators who have value innovative thinking developed in direct interaction with leaders in other fields, including business, academia, and public service.

“We hold Pepperdine University’s Organizational Leadership doctoral program in high regard, both for the very high quality of education it offers as well as for the excellent skills, character, and motivation of its students,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “Armond’s time in Washington, DC provided him a wonderful hands-on opportunity to apply the solid theoretical basis he has developed at the University to the practical work of educating elected officials about the human rights challenges facing our nation and the world.  He excelled in this task, as he has at all the others he has taken on in his professional life.”


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