Board of Directors and Staff
Roxanne Makasdjian, President, board member, and Executive Director, has a Master’s degree in Journalism from University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles. She worked as a national television news producer for more than 20 years, and is currently the Manager of Broadcast Communications at UC Berkeley. Ms. Makasdjian has been directly involved in all of The Genocide Education Project’s work, including the creation of lesson plans, communications, and planning of teacher training workshops and events. She has also been instrumental in developing working partnerships with national, state and local educational institutions.
Raffi Momjian, board member, has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from California State University, Hayward, Mr. Momjian has worked as a Project Manager for several national corporations.
Khajag Sarkissian, board member, has extensive experience in leading and managing community-based organizations. He has served as chairperson for both the Armenia Fund in the Bay Area and the Finance Committee at KZV Armenian School in San Francisco. A long-time self-employed entrepreneur, Mr. Sarkissian has owned and operated Giraux Limited, and is the previous owner and operator of Caravansary, Inc.
Dr. Stephan H. Astourian is Executive Director of the Armenian Studies Program at the
University of California, Berkeley. He is also the William Saroyan Assistant Adjunct Professor in the
Department of History. Professor Astourian received a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, the Academic Board of the Zoryan Institute, and the Editorial Board of the Armenian Review.
Dr. Dikran Kaligian teaches history at Worcester State and previously taught at Clark University and Regis, Westfield State, and Wheaton colleges. He is past chairperson of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region and Managing Editor of the Armenian Review. He received his Ph. D. in history from Boston College. His book, “Armenian Organization and Ideology under Ottoman Rule, 1908-1914” was published in 2009 by Transaction Publishing.
Sara Cohan serves as the Education Director, developing curriculum and leading GenEd’s teacher-training workshops. Cohan’s background combines research, study, curriculum development and teaching. She has a Master’s degree in Social Science Education and was a high school social studies teacher in Florida. She was a teacher fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and has received multiple other fellowships and awards, including those from Fulbright-Hays and the National Endowment of the Humanities. She received the George Washington Medal of Honor from the Freedoms Foundation and served as a research fellow for Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has written articles and educational materials for scholarly journals, magazines and multiple nonprofits.
Seda Aghamianz serves as Administrator. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Boston University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Russian. Ms. Aghamianz has held several positions within the Armenian community including Executive Director of the Armenian Relief Society, Eastern United States, and the Ani and Narod Memorial Fund. She has served on several non-profit boards as a volunteer member and currently serves as the head of the Allocations Committee of the Marshall Home Fund.
Dr. Joyce Apsel
New York University
Master Teacher, General Studies Program
Open University of Israel and Hakibbutzim
College of Education (Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Dr. Peter Balakian
Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar
Chair in Humanities
Dr. Paul Bartrop
Deakin University (Victoria, Australia)
School of Social and International
Studies Research Fellow
Holocaust Center of Northern California
Dr. Israel Charny
Institute on the Holocaust and
Genocide (Jerusalem, Israel)
Dr. Richard Hovannisian
University of California, Los Angeles
Professor, Armenian and Near Eastern History
City of Los Angeles
Glendale Unified School District
Member, Board of Education
Dr. Levon Marashlian
Glendale Community College
Professor of History
Dr. Simon Payaslian
Chair, Modern Armenian History and Literature
Dr. Henry Theriault
Worcester State College
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs
Dr. Nicole Vartanian
Executive Director, Weatherhead East Asian Institute
Facing History and Ourselves
Director (Ret), San Francisco Bay Area