Ani Kharajian, Jennifer Phillips Assume Key AIWA Leadership Roles

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Ani Kharajian

BOSTON, Mass.—Ani L. Kharajian has been elected President of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) and assumed office following the organization’s 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge last fall.

She will be working with Jennifer C. Phillips, who has been appointed AIWA’s first Executive Director and was instrumental in planning the 25th anniversary activities.

Kharajian succeeds former president Suzanne E. Moranian, who presided over a decade of growth during which AIWA expanded its programs, both domestic and international, to advance the interests of Armenian women worldwide.

A resident of Watertown, Mass., Kharajian is Senior Director, New Markets, Executive Education at Harvard Business School (HBS). In her current role, she is charged with assessing the viability and potential success for HBS programs in countries around the world. Currently focused on Africa and Latin America, she works with senior level stakeholders to develop, design and launch Executive Education programs that will help develop senior leadership in emerging market economies.

A graduate of Tufts University, with a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish, Kharajian has completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. Recently she moderated a panel discussion on “Transforming Cynicism Into Success: Diasporan Involvement in Armenia’s Economic Development” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Before joining AIWA as Executive Director, Jennifer Phillips played a key role as a volunteer in organizing AIWA’s presentation of the play “Women of Ararat” at the Charles Movsesian Theater in Watertown in April 2015. A graduate of McGill University with a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she previously served a Director of the Fellows Program and Director of National Programs at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, where she created a national network of universities focused on increased student political engagement and managed Skirting Traditions: Women in Politics Speak to the Next Generation, an essay compilation from women in politics.

At AIWA Phillips works with the Board of Directors to execute short and long-term goals and objectives, as well as a fundraising, communication, and growth strategy.  She is coordinating activities and programs with the affiliates (Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, and New England) and is working on the expansion of AIWA’s membership.

AIWA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration provided an opportunity to review AIWA’s past successes as well as to plan for new challenges in the decades ahead in an ever changing world. The celebration weekend featured a two-day conference that brought together 35 speakers and panelists to share and exchange their experiences and knowledge with a sold-out audience of enthusiastic participants. The climax was the Saturday evening Gala featuring Leadership Awards to 7 outstanding women.

“We were proud to celebrate AIWA’s past successes over the first 25 years,” commented President Kharajian, “and we are even more energized to plan for the decades ahead—to highlight and elevate more Armenian women as we build our global network and community.” She added, “We will leverage technology and social media to reach the far corners of the world to help our Armenian sisters and provide them with opportunities to thrive wherever possible.”

AIWA is a non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization that brings together creative women of various generations, diverse in interests and academic backgrounds, to address the critical issues of the times. It has organized eight international conferences, awards scholarships, facilitates networking opportunities, supports programs for women in Armenia, publishes books by and about Armenian women, and sponsors cultural and social activities. Membership is open to all who share its goals.

Further information about AIWA and its programs to increase the visibility of Armenian women is available by contacting AIWA at 617-926-0171,, or

Source: Armenian Weekly
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