April 23, 2020: It is with great sorrow that the Zoryan Institute’s Board of Directors and the staff announce the passing of one of the great critical thinkers of our time and personal friend of the Institute, Dr. Rouben Shougarian.
Dr. Shougarian’s contribution to analyzing and assessing the forces and factors that shape and impact Armenia’s contemporary history and life was immense. He had a remarkable ability to clearly articulate his vision as to where the country and the nation should direct their efforts.
In January 2019, the Institute had the great fortune to listen to Dr. Shougarian in a closed-door discussion, hosted by Dr. Noubar Afeyan and Mr. Rouben Vardanyan in Boston, on the post-revolution Armenia. His presentation on how to navigate some of the risks and challenges that may lay ahead for the nation was very thought provoking.
In November 2019, Dr. Shougarian accepted Zoryan Institute’s invitation to participate in its international conference organized in partnership with the American University of Armenia (AUA). This  conference, titled “Armenia’s Transformation in a Comparative Context: Restarting Democratization?”, brought together over 20 international scholars and specialists to analyze Armenia one year after the Velvet Revolution. Dr. Shougarian made an insightful to presentation on the Velvet Revolution and the question of Armenia’s sovereignty.  

From L-R: Todd Foglesong, Matt Torigian, Ruben Shougarian and David Mednicoff.

His holistic approach to exploring ways to achieve a balanced and sustainable independence and sovereignty for the nation demonstrated his astute understanding of the country and the region. His professional knowledge and acquired experience was evident in his understanding and description of the forces at play in the region, and the political, military, economic and geopolitical power relationships that need to be consider when strategizing Armenia’s interests.  

Dr. Shougarian was Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States from 1993-1999. From 2001-2005 he served as the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia, and from 2005-2008 he was Armenia’s Ambassador to Italy.
Dr. Rouben Shougarian is survived by his loving wife Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian and his three sons Narek, Tigran and Haik Shougarian.
His passing is truly a great loss for those close to him, and the Armenian nation at large. He will be greatly missed.