For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Yerevan, Armenia – On May 7, 2013, USAID/Armenia, Yerevan State University (YSU) and Arizona State University (ASU) marked the official opening of the new Center for Gender and Leadership Studies at YSU. The Center will develop a new curriculum in women and gender studies, promote career advancement for women university graduates, conduct outreach activities, and advance public policy research on issues related to gender equality and women’s leadership.

The initiative is part of a broader effort under the Women’s Leadership Program that USAID and Higher Education for Development (HED) launched in March 2013. Five universities in the United States were selected to partner with higher education institutions in Armenia, Paraguay, Rwanda and South Sudan to promote and develop curricula and opportunities for women in business, agriculture, and education in the four countries.

ASU’s component of the program, funded by a $1.3 million award to the Melikian Center in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, leverages a decade of partnerships between the two universities. Over the course of the three-year partnership, eight YSU scholars in areas related to women’s studies will be in residence in ASU's women and gender studies program within the School of Social Transformation to participate in courses and develop syllabi and action-oriented research goals. The scholars also will be engaged in courses in the School of Public Affairs. The first group of scholars will arrive for ASU's Fall 2013 semester.

The newly established center will serve as a hub for the YSU Career Center and university faculty working in this area, and will sponsor student activities and outreach and extension efforts to promote women’s leadership.

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In 2012, the United States and Armenia celebrated twenty years of diplomatic relations.  Over this time, the two governments have worked together to overcome the challenges Armenia faces as a country in transition. USAID has played a key role in this partnership by managing approximately two-thirds of the total U.S. assistance program. 


The USAID/Armenia’s overarching goal for 2013-2017 is to help Armenia succeed as a more engaged, prosperous and well-governed society.  Moving toward sustainability, USAID will partner directly with the Government of Armenia and local organizations in building their capacity to lead the reform agenda. Across the portfolio, USAID will also increase partnerships with the private sector, civil society, local institutions, and other donors to achieve lasting results and leave legacies in areas where the potential for progress and meaningful change is strongest. In this perspective, the United States’ historically strong and cooperative bilateral relationship will gradually evolve from one that is based on assistance to one that is grounded in partnership. 


USAID has set three objectives in support of this goal:

·         Inclusive and sustainable growth enhanced – USAID will work to enhance more inclusive growth by promoting equal opportunities, supporting competitive industries that can create jobs, increasing access to markets and resources, and improving the playing field for innovation, investments, and businesses.  Programs will also focus on effective policies, increased regional integration, and skilled workforce that can drive future growth. 

·         More participatory, effective, and accountable governance –Targeting reform areas where there is political will, USAID will work with the Government of Armenia to make governance more transparent, participatory and responsive to citizens.  USAID will strengthen key institutions, such as the National Assembly and local governments, to counterbalance the power of the Executive branch.  At the same time, the Mission will build civil society’s capacity to more productively engage in policymaking and reform implementation. 

·         Selected health outcomes improved and sustained – With the anticipated close-out of U.S. assistance to Armenia’s health care sector by 2017, USAID will follow a more focused approach in health care programming in Armenia. While capitalizing on partnerships, increased host country ownership, and legacies of USAID’s twenty years of investment, the Mission will address remaining issues in three priority areas – maternal and child health, family planning, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.


In addition, USAID will pay special attention to youth as drivers of change, and will cultivate innovation and technology across its programs to expand economic opportunities and reduce Armenia’s isolation and border constraints.

Last updated: December 07, 2016

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