Lab Management Board

Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab presents its work plan to the Lab Management Board for endorsement on an annual basis, and its research and development activities are guided but are not limited by the priority areas of the Government of Armenia and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Apart from the core Lab Management Board, two representatives from the Government and two representatives from the UN Agencies will be on the Board on a rotational basis. 

Meet the Board: 

Tigran Avinyan

Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia / Co-Chairman of the Board

- Armenian politician and former member of the Yerevan City Council of Elders from Yelq faction. He is a founding member of the Civil Contract Party. 
- Former Senior Specialist at the Business Lending Division of Armenian Development Bank.
- Tigran holds a Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of Queen Mary (London) and Master’s Degree in Mathematical Modeling in Economics from the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University.

Shombi Sharp

UN Resident Coordinator for the Republic of Armenia / Co-Chairman of the Board

- American diplomat. Began his career in development as a Strategic Planner, Project Manager & Crisis Response Coordinator with CARE International in Harare, Zimbabwe.
- Prior to taking up his appointment in Armenia as UNRC in March 2018, Mr. Sharp served in a number of capacities in various parts of the world, including Southern Africa, New York, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the South Caucasus.
- Shombi holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA.

Dmitry Mariyasin

Resident Representative of the UNDP in Armenia / Deputy Chairman of the Board

- Prior to joining UNDP in Armenia, Dmitry was the Regional Partnership Advisor and Team Leader in the UNDP’s Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy covering Europe and the CIS region. 
- Earlier Dmitry had worked in the UNDP Regional Support Center in Bratislava, Slovakia, the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS at UNDP headquarters in New York; and in the UNDP Country Office in Moscow, Russia.
- Dmitry holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Moscow State University, a Masters in Public Administration degree from New York University (Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service), as well as a degree in public administration from the Moscow State University and in international economics from the Russian Foreign Trade Academy.

Varak Serge Sisserian

Head of Deputy Prime Minister’s Office / Deputy Chairman of the Board

- Board Member of Shanxi-Nairit Synthetic Rubber Co., Ltd.
- Radio Sevan (Beirut) as Managing Director, Armenian Office Manager, and Information Analyst
- Former Teaching Associate at the American University of Armenia.
- Varak holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health / Public Health from the American University of Beirut and Master’s degree in Political Science and International Affairs from the American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia.

Ruben Vardanyan

Co-Founder of IDeA and FAST Foundations / Member of the Board
  • Ruben Vardanyan is an Armenian-Russian social entrepreneur, impact investor and venture philanthropist. 
  • A recognized expert on the global economy, entrepreneurship and education, he provides strategic consulting through his membership of boards of directors, advisory boards and trusteeships of commercial companies, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and public and professional bodies. Among them are Aznavour Foundation, business schools in Russia and Brazil, a major Armenian bank (Ameriabank) and Russia’s auto major (SOLLERS). 
  • A prominent financier, Ruben is known both for his commercial projects (investment companies Troika Dialog and Vardanyan, Broitman and Partners) as well as his deep reaching philanthropic programs, such as the first UWC college in Eastern Europe (Dilijan, Armenia) and the Tatev Revival Project, part of which includes the construction of the world’s longest cableway leading to an ancient monastery. 
  • In 2015, Ruben co-founded another global project, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors.

Anna-Carin Öst

Representative of the UNHCR Representation in Yerevan / Member of the Board

- Ms. Öst joined UNHCR in 1996, initially working as an Associate Field Officer in Tanzania. 
- Before joining UNHCR, Ms. Öst interned with the Centre for Human Rights in Switzerland and worked on various research projects at the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University in Åbo, Finland in the fields of Citizenship/Statelessness and Election Monitoring. 
- Ms. Öst has a Master of Arts in Political Science and Public International Law from the Åbo Akademi University, Finland.