WASHINGTON–New Jersey lawyer and Armenian American community activist Raffi N. Karakashian, Esq., has helped maximize the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) Congressional outreach over the past several months, expanding the ANCA’s presence on Capitol Hill and further leveraging nationwide grassroots efforts in support of key legislative priorities.
Having joined the ANCA staff just weeks after the introduction of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106) on January 30, Karakashian has quickly emerged as an effective and energetic advocate of Armenian American issues, teaming with the ANCA’s seasoned Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian, Esq. in taking Congressional relations to a new level. Building on his years of experience as a New Jersey activist and his past experience in Washington, DC, Karakashian has hit the ground running, educating Congressional staff about community concerns and working with ANCA regional offices and local chapters to help secure a Congressional majority in support of H.Res.106.
"With nationwide, grassroots mobilization for the Armenian Genocide resolution in full swing and ongoing efforts to strengthen U.S.-Armenia relations and ensure a brighter future for Nagorno Karabagh, 2007 has been the perfect time to join the ANCA Washington team," said Karakashian, who serves as ANCA Legislative Affairs Director. "I look forward to continue working with Kate and our affiliates across the nation as we work to increase our Congressional outreach on behalf of our community."
"Raffi has been a tremendous addition to the ANCA team," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "His energy, intellect, skills, and devotion have been critical to leveraging the grassroots power of our community, advancing our legislative agenda, and creating new opportunities for Armenian Americans to have our voice heard in Congress and throughout Washington, DC."
Karakashian received his Bachelor of Science from Boston College in 1999 in Chemistry and Political Science. He then studied law at Seton Hall University, graduating with his Juris Doctorate degree in 2003. He went on to serve as law clerk to the Hon. Daniel M. Waldman, J.S.C. of the Superior Court of New Jersey in the 2003- 2004 court term, followed by positions at Evans, Osborne & Kreizman, LLC in Ocean Township and Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. in Middletown.
Karakashian has been an active part of New Jersey’s vibrant Armenian American community. He is an alumnus and former executive member of the Central New Jersey Armenian Youth Federation "Yerevan" Chapter and served as deacon at the St. Stepanos Armenian Church in Elberon. He has interned with the Armenian Assembly of America in 1998 and 1999, in Washington, DC with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and in Armenia, as the first Assembly intern at Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A member of the ANC of New Jersey, Karakashian has been active in New Jersey politics, having worked on campaigns for former New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Garabed "Chuck" Haytaian (R-NJ), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co- Chair Frank Pallone and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).