September 17, 2020
This week, Armenian Assembly of America Radio Hour host Mihran Toumajan is pleased to have had two distinguished staff members on Capitol Hill as his guests, during which they discussed the significance of serving for the public good.
Toumajan’s guest for the second half of the program is Mr. Harout Harry Semerdjian, who is a Policy Analyst with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. Mr. Semerdjian’s portfolio of responsibilities includes global energy issues and energy geopolitics, environmental issues, and climate change. He is the first and only Armenian American to hold a position with this influential committee. Prior to his work in Congress, Mr. Semerdjian served as a City of Los Angeles Commissioner on Human Relations, appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where he advised the City leadership on ethnic, religious, cultural and immigration issues. Mr. Semerdjian has also worked as Director of Government Affairs & Resilience Officer for the California Fire Prevention Organization and MySafe:LA, a nationally recognized public safety organization and education partner of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Between 2016 and 2018, Mr. Semerdjian served as the founding Chairman of the Community Affairs Council of the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles, a local volunteer group that acted as a cultural bridge between the consulate and the wider community. In February 2018, the group organized the first Mexican-Armenian Cultural Week in Los Angeles, bringing together two of the largest ethnic communities in Los Angeles.
Mr. Semerdjian previously worked as a Legislative Deputy in Los Angeles City Hall, where he focused on public safety, innovation and technology, and human relations. He has also volunteered as a Governing Council Member of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council. Mr. Semerdjian received his B.A. and first M.A. in History and Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and has worked towards his Ph.D. at the University of Oxford, St. Antony’s College, where he has conducted research on Turkish-Armenian relations. Harout has been widely published on international issues in leading global newspapers and publications.