Through research, training, and advocacy, the American University of Armenia Center for Responsible Mining (AUA CRM) promotes the creation and adoption of global best practices in socially, environmentally, and economically responsible mining of Armenia and the region.  To archive this, AUA CRM will engage with all key stakeholders including industry, civil society, environmental advocacy groups, financial institutions, and the public sector.  IMG_8135
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 About Staff


Acting Director
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Alen Amirkhanian is the Director of the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment, a position he has held since 2013. In 2014, he established AUA Center for Responsible Mining and is acting as its Interim Director. He teaches graduate and undergraduate environmental courses at AUA. Prior to AUA, he was Senior Vice President of Research at Michael Porter’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. He has consulted with the World Bank, UNDP, and the Brookings Institution on energy efficiency as well as economic and urban-growth issues. His current academic interests include urban environmental sustainability, “greening” the built environment, and circular economy esp. as it relates to “greening” cities. Alen holds a Masters in City Planning (’97) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.



Mining Community Monitoring and Outreach Coordinator
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Lena Nazaryan works at AUA Center for Responsible Mining starting March 2015. She is responsible for organizing soil, water, and blood testing in mining communities including preparation of agreements with local communities and organizing educational and awareness activities in mining communities. Before joining CRM, she worked at the Transparency International Anti-corruption center NGO as a Project Coordinator. Through her work at TI she has gained professional expertise in research, project management, project monitoring and evaluation. Lena Nazaryan graduated from Yerevan State University, Department of Journalism and holds a Master’s degree from the same institution in Media and Communication. 

 Liana Margaryan-Photo


Senior Researcher and Environmental Toxicologist 
+374 60612520

Liana Margaryan is the Senior Researcher and Environmental Toxicologist at the AUA Center for Responsible Mining. She designs monitoring and research projects to assess the environmental risks in the Mining communities. She was a 2014 winner in the nomination for Scientific and Practical Achievements and Socially Significant Activity in the Field of Ecology in the CIS member-countries from the Republic of Armenia. Prior to AUA worked as a Deputy Director in the Environmental Impact Monitoring Center SNCO of the Ministry of Natural Protection of RA. She has consulted UNIDO and USAID on water quality assessment. Liana holds a PhD from the I.V.Yeghiazarov Institute of Water Problems and Hydro-Engineering and is an Associate Professor in Geo-Ecology.

GIS Specialist
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Aghavni Harutyunyan is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (ACE) and AUA Center for Responsible Mining (CRM) starting in 2015. Harutyunyan is creating maps and providing data analyses through GIS. Before joining AUA ACE and AUA CRM she worked at the National Survey for Seismic Protection of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of RA. Harutyunyan holds a Master’s degree in Geography from the Yerevan State University from the Department of Geography and Geology.


Mining and Environmental Advisor 
+374 60612778

Vahe Vardanyan joined AUA CRM starting from July, 2016 and is responsible for establishing sound communication between the CRM and mining companies, as well as developing grounds for sharing knowledge and experience intended for continuous improvement of industry corporate responsibility.  Before joining CRM, Vahe worked for a Canadian mining company “Dundee Precious Metals Kapan” (DPMK) for about 9 years first in the role of Environmental Manager then promoted to Director of Administration Services. He was also part of Mott MacDonald team in Armenia, which was responsible for developing EIAs, RAPs and EMPs for Millennium Challenge Corporation financed projects in Armenia, as well as expediting the environmental permitting process and environmental oversight of construction works. At the earlier stages of his career Vardanyan was also working for UN WFP as a program monitor for Syunik marz.  Vardanyan was awarded Edmund S Muskie Graduate Fellowship in 2009 for a Master’s Degree program in US. He received his MS in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho in 2011. He is also a graduate of Yerevan State University of Economics in the field of World Economics.