WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region will honor Michigan State Representative Mari Manoogian with the ANCA-ER “One to Watch Award” at its 14th annual ANCA-ER gala “Havak for Hai Tahd” this year on Thursday, October 15 at 8 p.m. EDT during the virtual program.
The ANCA-ER’s inaugural One to Watch Award is an award that celebrates emerging leaders and dedicated activists working to advance the Armenian cause, The award is bestowed upon a passionate individual who is focused on empowering the next generation of activists.
“Manoogian exemplifies what it means to be a true leader and we can’t think of a better person to receive this inaugural award than Mari. As a young elected official, she has demonstrated leadership and instituted initiatives that have led to real change. She is an inspiration to our youth who are in a pivotal stage in their lives and having Mari as a role model is immensely important,” said Ani Tchaghlasian, ANCA Eastern Region Board.
Mari Manoogian, a third-generation Armenian-American native of Michigan, was elected to serve the 40th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2018. She is currently serving her first term and is an Assistant Minority Whip for the Democrats.
The youngest woman currently serving in the Michigan House of Representatives, she was recently selected to deliver the keynote address on night two of the DNC, along with 16 other rising stars in the Democratic Party.
“It’s an honor to accept the inaugural One to Watch Award from the ANCA-ER,” said Manoogian. “The Armenian diaspora is filled with young folks who are fiercely dedicated to furthering Armenian culture and activism. They are not future leaders–they are leaders right now, and I’m proud to give voice to our community each day as an elected official.”
Manoogian, who was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan, has been an active member of her community for years. After high school she attended the George Washington University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs and security policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs. She spent years working in Washington – on the Hill, as an intern in Congressman John Dingell’s Office, as well as in Ambassador Samantha Power’s communications office at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and later in two offices at the U.S. Department of State – while completing a graduate degree in Global Communication at GW and returning to Michigan to run for office.
Manoogian, a great-grandchild of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, is active in the Armenian community in Metro Detroit. She attended the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Zavarian Armenian language school in Troy, Michigan for 10 years, participated in the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary summer conferences, and was active in the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) and Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA).