Yale alumna appointed the Initiative’s Executive Director
July 24, 2023 – Yerevan, Armenia – The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative announced that Armine Afeyan has rejoined its team as Executive Director. Mrs. Afeyan previously held the role of Director of Communications for the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity in 2015–2016. In her new role, she will oversee the Initiative’s day-to-day activities and strengthen Aurora’s ties in North America and Europe.
“It’s great to come home to Aurora. I’m proud of how far we’ve come over the past eight years and excited to contribute to our next stage of growth. Above all else, I’m humbled by the opportunity to share Aurora humanitarians’ stories with the world. We hoped this wouldn’t be the case at our founding, but the world needs humanitarians now more than ever. The stories of everyday people taking extraordinary action should inspire us all to do our part, whether that’s raising our voice against injustice, taking action in our local community or donating to worthy causes – the world needs it all. I couldn’t be prouder to put my gratitude into action by rejoining Aurora at this crucial moment,” said Armine Afeyan.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Armine Afeyan received a BA in Political Science from Yale University, where she studied international relations focusing on the Armenian case. She also holds an MBA from INSEAD. Prior to Aurora, Armine spent the balance of her career in consumer technology companies, most recently serving as a general manager at Wayfair.
In 2023, Aurora celebrates its 8th anniversary. The Initiative has already benefited over 2.7 million people, including more than 1.1 million individuals affected by war, conflict, displacement, persecution, and other humanitarian issues who have received support through the Aurora Prize. The name of the next Aurora Prize Laureate will be revealed in the spring of 2024. The Laureate will receive a US $1,000,000 award and a unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by supporting the organizations that help people in need.
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About the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is a foundation that seeks to address on-the-ground humanitarian challenges around the world with the focus on helping the most destitute. Its mission is rooted in the Armenian history as the Initiative was founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors and strives to transform this experience into a global movement.
All Aurora’s activities are based on the universal concept of Gratitude in Action. It implies that countless people around the world who have received aid in time of crisis can best express their gratitude by offering similar assistance to someone else. By involving Aurora supporters around the world, this will become a global endeavor that will snowball to expand the circle of saviors and most importantly – the number of those saved.
Addressing urgent humanitarian challenges, the Initiative provides a second chance to those who need it the most. True to its vision – “We believe that even in the darkest times, a brighter future is in the hands of those who are committed to giving others help and hope” – Aurora welcomes all who embrace this philosophy.
This commitment aims to promote action-based philanthropy focused on tangible results. This is achieved through the Initiative’s various programs: Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, Aurora Dialogues, Aurora Grants, Aurora Community, Aurora for Artsakh, #AraratChallenge movement, Aurora Index, and the 100 LIVES Initiative.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan who have been joined by thousands of supporters and partners. Vartan Gregorian sadly passed away in 2021. Aurora’s Chair, Dr. Tom Catena, draws on his experience as a surgeon, veteran, humanitarian, and the 2017 Aurora Prize laureate to spread the message of Gratitude in Action to a global audience.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations – the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (USA), the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation (Switzerland) and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Charitable Foundation (Armenia).