WASHINGTON, DC — Steve Samuelian, District Director for Fresno Congressman George Radanovich, capped a week-long series of meetings in Washington, DC with an informative and inspiring presentation to Armenian Americans working in the field of government and public policy.
Samuelian’s discussion, held at the offices of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), included a brief review of his own involvement in public service, but focused largely on strategies for encouraging young Armenian Americans to enter the public policy field.
“Steve brings real energy, years of experience within our community, and a hands-on practical approach to encouraging young Armenian Americans to get involved in politics,” said former ANCA intern and recent UCLA graduate Aram Sirabionian, who just last month secured a job with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “As a community, we need to do all we can to encourage and support capable young Armenian Americans – like Steve and so many others – so that they can come to Washington as staffers and ultimately as Members of Congress.”
During his week in Washington, Samuelian attended a number of events with Congressman Radanovich and also represented him at several meetings with Congressional and Administration officials dealing with the appropriations priorities and requests for California’s 19th Congressional District.
In addition, Samuelian, who is viewed by many in the Fresno area as a future candidate for elected office, met at the White House with David Thomas, the President’s Western Region Political Director. Among his meetings with Republican leaders were those with Bryan Slater, the new Political Director of the Republican National Committee (RNC); Terry Nelson and Mike McCelwaine, Political Directors of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and; Scott Stewart, Chairman of the College Republican National Committee.
Samuelian also held meetings on Capitol Hill with Congressman John Doolittle and his chief of staff David Lopez; Steve Ding, chief of staff for Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA); Julie Leetch, legislative assistant to Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA); Karine Alemian, who serves on the majority staff of the House Commerce Committee; John Magill, Chief of Staff for Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), and; Michelle Dimarob, communications director for Rep. JoAnn Emerson (R-MO).
At the Armenian Embassy, Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Armand Kirakossian spoke with Samuelian for close to two hours about the ongoing peace talks and the prospects for further strengthening U.S.-Armenian relations. On behalf of Congressman Radanovich, Samuelian extended an invitation to the Ambassador to visit Fresno, a city with a long and proud Armenian legacy. Samuelian also met with the Nagorno Karabagh Republic’s representative to the United States, Vartan Barseghian. The two discussed the peace process and Nagorno Karabagh’s future economic development, with a focus on agricultural issues.
Samuelian was accompanied to his meetings at the Armenian Embassy and the Nagorno Karabagh office by Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. Samuelian also met separately with Hamparian and Bryan Ardouny, Government Affairs Director of the Armenian Assembly of America.
Samuelian has traveled to Armenia twice, first as an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observer in 1995 and later, in 1998, as part of a delegation traveling with Congressman Radanovich. He is active in community and political affairs in the Fresno area including serving on several major non-profit boards as well as on the State Republican Party Executive Committee. During the 2000 presidential campaign he was the Central California Co-Chairman for Bush-Cheney. Samuelian, who remains involved in Armenian church and community affairs, lives in Fresno with his wife Houry and newborn son Shant.