Learn a little bit about Black History Month, and a lot about our Cultural Affairs Officer, Erica King! Journalist Nora Hayrapetyan interviews Erica about her life and career, and Erica talks about some of the strong leaders she looks up to! (Spoiler alert: she once went to a basketball game with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice!).
Focusing on fact checking, Embassy Political Officer Mary Alexander talks to Aren Melikyan from sut.am, talk about how today’s media landscape allows anyone to publish “news” to push forward their agenda. Fact checking takes time and resources, so Melikyan said it can be easy for fake or wrong news to spread easily. That is why, he said, it is important to have professional fact checkers ensuring that the audience is protected.
In this episode, Lyla Andrews Bashan, USAID Armenia’s Technical Office Director, spoke with Lusine Grigoryan, literacy media specialist at the Media Initiatives Center, about media literacy. Media literacy includes the ability to analyze and compare information, to speak up or share about information, and to be a critical and engaged media consumer. It is important, she said, to be suspicious all the time about the motives behind news you see and read.
In our latest podcast, recorded on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, Embassy Human Rights Officer Somer Bessire-Briers talks with Arman, a human rights defender working with the New Generation NGO. Listen to Arman’s story about growing up gay in Armenia and the work being done by him and others to ensure every Armenian receives respect.
In our last podcast in a series focused on women’s leadership, we talk to Ambassador Rick Mills and his wife Leigh Carter, a retired U.S. diplomat. They share the story of how they met doing visa interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and talk about how society has changed for female diplomats over the years. Discussing the #MeToo movement, they talk about the challenges of a budding office romance and the importance of ensuring harassment-free workplaces.
Sabet Hovhannisyan, director of Arevik Publishing House, and Alvard Jivanyan, children’s literature editor at Zangak Publishers, talk about the process of giving books life by publishing them. Along the way, they discuss the role of women in business, the priorities women should place on their career, and the influence books can have on children.
It’s not easy to take a leap of faith and follow your passion, but in our latest edition of the “Conversations at the American Corner” podcast series we talk to two women who did just that. As we focus in March on Women’s Leadership, we talk with book translator Nune Torosyan and Arevik Ashkharoyan, founder and agent at the ARI Literary and Talent Agency. Do you agree that when your heart is not in what you are doing you can never succeed?
We discuss the Trump Administration’s recently-released National Security Strategy (NSS) with Matt Eussen, head of the Embassy’s Political and Economics section. The NSS is a Congressionally-required Executive Branch document that outlines the President’s vision for America’s national security strategy. In the podcast we talk about what is in President Trump’s NSS, how it differs from past strategies, and how it might shape and guide U.S.-Armenian relations in the future.
To highlight Armenia’s military cooperation with the United States, we talk with Lieutenant Colonel Garnik Varosyan and Sergeant Aram Simonyan about Armenia’s Role II EMEDS unit. They speak about the history of their unit and the close cooperation with the United States’ Office of Defense Cooperation in the training and equipping of this unique capability. As well as highlighting their recent successes in multinational exercises, they talk about what the future holds for Armenia’s Role II EMEDS.
We end our series on USAID’s 25 year history in Armenia by talking with USAID Armenia Mission Director Debbie Grieser about the past, present, and future of USAID Armenia. She speaks about how the organization originally provided humanitarian aid to a newly independent nation, but now is working in a variety of sectors to support the development of trade between our two countries. And she looks beyond, into the future of USAID’s partnership with Armenia.