The inaugural Aurora Forum to be held in Armenia, October 14-21, 2019, will bring together thought-leaders and change-makers from Armenia and across the world to facilitate discussions, share knowledge, and experience educational and cultural activities in the sectors spanning from health to technology to education to arts to ecology to humanitarianism. The Aurora Forum is made possible with the cooperation of various organizations in Armenia and globally.

“We are proud to have established a network of people who have made real impact on the world in their particular field,” said Vartan Gregorian, Aurora Forum Co-Founder. “The role of the Goodwill Ambassadors is crucial in making the Aurora Forum a platform to inspire the next generation to take the leap toward achieving meaningful, sometimes disruptive, change.”

The 2019 Aurora Forum coincides with a special moment in Armenia’s history. Last year’s non-violent transition of political power put Armenia in a global spotlight by demonstrating how a nation with an educated workforce and commitment to peaceful means can push for a national change. Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution,” combined with its location at the crossroads between East and West and its rich cultural heritage led to The Economist’s designation of Armenia—one of the world’s smallest countries in landmass and population—as the Country of the Year in 2018. The Aurora Forum will harness this momentum to highlight the possibilities of social change and the solutions that can be developed by combining national and international efforts and resources to advance humanity.

“There is no greater time to convene and celebrate the disruptors, the thinkers and the innovators in Armenia and across the world,” said Armen Orujyan, the CEO of the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST). “We truly believe the expertise and professional achievements of the Goodwill Ambassadors will help make the Forum a success and position Armenia as a hub for scientific, technological and socio-economic development in the region. Aurora Forum will serve as the epicenter of creativeness and innovation assembling some of the greatest thought-leaders and luminaries in science and technology from all over the globe.”

“The Aurora Forum is based on our belief that we are all citizens of the world. If we aspire to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, education is key building block for doing so,” said Gabriel Abad Fernández, Head of UWC Dilijan. “As an educator, I am excited to be part of this endeavor dedicated to making lasting advances in the humanitarian, educational, social, cultural and scientific spheres and I am particularly thankful to the Goodwill Ambassadors from around the world who have already joined to make this initiative a success.”

The Goodwill Ambassadors are being announced on March 10, 2019, marking the 4th anniversary of the founding of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative - the founder of the Aurora Forum along with IDeA Foundation, FAST, Scholae Mundi Global Educational Platform, UWC Dilijan International College, and Ameriabank. The October 2019 Aurora Forum’s events in Armenia will consist of various activities presented by each of these organizations.

The Aurora Forum Goodwill Ambassadors as of March 10, 2019 are:

Fartuun Adan, Founder, Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, Aurora Prize Humanitarian

Anna Afeyan, Co-Founder, Noubar and Anna Afeyan Foundation

Jamila Afghani, Founder and Chairperson, Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization (NECDO), Aurora Prize Humanitarian

Maria Elena Agüero, Secretary General, Club de Madrid

Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Global Distinguished Professor, New York University; Member of International Advisory Council, APCO

Nebahat Akkoç, KAMER (Women’s Center), Founder and Managing Director

Marine Ales, Composer; Author; Theater Critic; Member, Aurora Prize Creative Council

Seda Ambartsumian, Associate Partner, Maitland

Dr. Garabed Antranikian, Head, Institute of Technical Microbiology at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH); Chairman of the Advisory Board, FAST

Dr. Simon Appleby, Founder and Director, YFN Georgia LLC

Father Mesrop Aramian, Co-Founder, Ayb Educational Foundation; Co-Founder, FAST

Levon Aronian, Chess Grandmaster

Deana Arsenian, Vice President, International Program and Program Director, Russia and Eurasia, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Henri Arslanian, FinTech & Crypto Leader for Asia, PwC; Chairman, FinTech Association of Hong Kong; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Hong Kong

Lilit Asiryan, Founder, Studio Lilit Asiryan

Luna Atamian Hahn-Petersen, Head of Business Development North America, Salterbaxter

Kyaw Hla Aung, Lawyer and Rohingya Leader; 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate

Vladimir Avetissian, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Сoordinator of the Projects Management Center, RUSNANO Management Company LLC

Richard Azarnia, Founder, Good Investors

Nicolas Aznavour, Co-Founder, Aznavour Foundation

Ido Baba Sheikh, Former Presidential Adviser; Parliamentarian; Civil Activist

Laura Bailey, Lead Social Development Specialist of Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience (SURR) Global Practice, World Bank

Peter Balakian, Poet; Writer; Academic; Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, Colgate University, The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Poetry

Dr. Julia Balandina Jaquier, Founder, JBJ Consult – Impact Investment Solutions; Co-Founder, NextGen Impact Leadership Accelerator

Marguerite Barankitse, Founder, Maison Shalom (House of Peace); Founder, REMA Hospital; 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate

Arcbishop Khajag Barsamian, Pontifical Legate of Western Europe and Representative of the Armenian Church to the Holy See, Vatican; President, Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR)

Timur Bekmambetov, Director; Producer; Screenwriter

Stephen Berenson, Managing Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Ruma Bose, CEO and Managing Partner, Humanitarian Ventures

Paata Burchuladze, Operatic Bass and Civil Activist

Kenneth Carlson, Film Producer; Director of ‘The Heart of Nuba’

Jared Carney, Founder and CEO, Lightdale LLC

Dr. Tom Catena, Chairman, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; 2017 Aurora Prize Laureate

Sasha Chanoff, Founder and Executive Director, Refuge Point

Harout Chitilian, Executive Director, CDPQ Infra

Baroness Cox of Queensbury, Member, House of Lords, UK; Founder and CEO, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust

Nicola Crosta, Founder and CEO, Impact46

Dr. Ahmed Dezaye, President, Salahaddin University-Erbil

Aliona Doletskaya, Journalist; Writer; Head, AsD Consultancy; Adviser to Director, Tretyakov Gallery; Creative Consultant, Flacon Magazine

Ilwad Elman, Director of Programs and Development, Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, Aurora Prize Humanitarian

Dr. Elisabet Engellau, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Management, INSEAD; Program Director, INSEAD's Global Leadership Center

Dr. Comfort Ero, Program Director, Crisis Group Africa

Dr. Jonathan Fanton, President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Syeda Ghulam Fatima, General Secretary, Bonded Labor Liberation Front Pakistan, Aurora Prize Humanitarian

Abigail Flynn, Head of Marketing, Flint Global

Mark Fuller, Chairman and CEO, Rosc Global LLC

Vahe Gabrache, CEO, Cofinor SA; Co-Owner Société Gabrache SA

Father Bagrat Galstanyan, Bishop; Primate, Diocese of Tavush; Director of the Conceptual Affairs Office of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

Rebecca Garcia, Co-Founder, First CoderDojo in New York City
Salpi Ghazarian, Director of the Intitute of Armenian Studies, University of Southern California
David Giampaolo, Founder and CEO, Pi Capital
Hector Tomas Gonzales Castillo, Founding Director, La 72; Aurora Prize Humanitarian
Pierre Gurdjian, Director, IDeA Foundation Europe; President, Board of Directors, Free University of Brussels

Lamya Haji Bashar, Yazidi Human Rights Activist

Anna Hakobyan, Wife of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, My Step Foundation; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, City of Smile Foundation

Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Perspectives Initiative

Dr. Andreas Heinecke, Founder and CEO, Dialogue in the Dark

Dr. Garik Israelian, Astrophysicist; Founding Director, Starmus Festival

Karl Johansson, Adviser

Dr. Gregory Jones, Dean, Duke Divinity School; Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO, Global Fund for Women

Dr. Manfred Kets de Vries, Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change, INSEAD

Sergey Khachatryan, World-Known Violinist

Chulpan Khamatova, Actress; Co-Founder, Gift of Life Foundation

Arsinee Khanjian, Public Figure; Actress; Producer

Dr. Deepali Khanna, Managing Director of Asia Regional Office, Global Policy and Advocacy, The Rockefeller Foundation

Father Bernard Kinvi, Director, John Paul II Hospital of Bossemptele, Aurora Prize Humanitarian

Wendy Kopp, Co-Founder and CEO, Teach for All

Nicholas Koumjian, International Co-Prosecutor, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Sunitha Krishnan, Social Activist; Co-Founder, Prajwala, Aurora Prize Humanitarian

Meelis Kubits, Managing Partner, Corpore

Dr. Siva Kumari, Director General, International Baccalaureate

Mikhail Kusnirovich, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bosco Di Ciliеgi

Michael Madnick, Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group

Christian Madsbjerg, Co-Founder and Partner, ReD Associates

Honorable Marjorie Margolies, President, Women's Campaign International

David McKenzie, President, Associated Television International

Julia Middleton, Founder and Innovation Officer, Common Purpose

Svetlana Mironyuk, Professor of Business Practice, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Mhitar Mhitaryan, Chairman of the Shareholders Councils, JSC Siltumelektroprojekts                                       

Mark Momjian, Attorney, Momjian Anderer LLC

Andrew Moore, Director of Private Fundraising and Communications, Halo Trust

Pedro Mouratian, Expert-Consultant, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Gor Nakhapetian, Professor of People Management, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus, Open Society Foundations

Archbishop Ezras Nersisyan, Patriarchal Exarch; Head of the Russian and Nor Nakhichevan Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church

Simon O'Connell, Executive Director, Mercy Corps

Umra Omar, Founder and Executive Director, Safari Doctors

Heso Osman, President, Yazidi Foundation in the Netherlands

Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director, Hermitage Museum

Dimitri Pirbari, Orientalist; Head, Spiritual Council of Yazidis in Georgia; Researcher, Giorgi Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies at Ilia State University 

Mikhail Pogosyan, Rector, Moscow Aviation Institute

Sam Potolicchio, Founder and President, Preparing Flobal Leaders Forum; Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Kamal Rahman, Partner and Head of Immigration, Mishcon de Reya

Dr. Jörg Rocholl, President, ESMT

Peter Sands, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Lara Setrakian, Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Editor, News Deeply

Andrei Sharonov, President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian, Associate of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

Serge Tchuruk, Advisor

Dr. Mego Terzian, President, MSF France

Honorable Dickran Tevrizian, Former United States Federal Judge

Cynthia Tusan, CEO, Chairman of the Board and Senior Portfolio Manager, Strategic Global Advisors (SGA)

Vahe Vartanian, Founder and CEO, Global Family Office Community

Robert von Rekowsky, Private Investor, Independent Strategist

Arman Voskerchyan, Business Leader for Therapeutic Care, Philips

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

Ed Williams, CEO, Edelman UK and Ireland

Vasken Yacoubian, President, AGBU Armenia

Ralph Yirikian, General Manager, VivaCell-MTS

Veronika Zonabend, Co-Founder, RVVZ Foundation; Co-Founder, IDeA Foundation; Founding Partner and Chair of the Board of Governors, UWC Dilijan