Susan Snavely
Management Specialist

Susan has her degree in Web Design and Development and Graphic Design. She is currently the Management Specialist for SOAR. Outside of her position for SOAR, she is an educator and an entrepreneur. For over twenty years she owned, operated, and taught at her licensed group home daycare and preschool. Currently, she also does freelance work with her partner through their business, “Hopkins Media Solutions”, creating websites and marketing materials for small businesses and non-profit organizations. This work spills into her volunteer endeavors as she enjoys donating her time using her skills to further their missions.

Susan has a passion for children, having five of her own and five grandchildren, and has volunteered extensively in many different children’s ministries through her church and community. She sponsors several children through different organizations, and after learning about SOAR and seeing the tremendous things that they are able to accomplish, she wanted to become a part of their work.

Ripsime Biyazyan
Development Associate

Ripsime joins us from Harlem in New York City where she’s lived for the past 3.5 years. Born in Yerevan, Ripsime (Hripsime) grew up in Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in Global Thought, with an emphasis in Development Economics. Her dissertation was on economic development in disputed territories and self-determination movements in Artsakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. Ripsime has worked with Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, UNHCR, mothers2mothers Int, and myAgro in program development, impact measurement, event planning, gift processing, donor cultivation, and prospecting. Ripsime speaks fluent Spanish and Eastern and Western Armenian. Her hobbies include embroidery, yoga, bouldering, and classic fiction novels.


Hripsime Muradyan
Executive Director

Hripsime graduated from Yerevan State University with a master’s degree in English Language and Philology. In 2007, she began working for Gyumri Social Child Care Center, implementing various projects and programs to support children at risk. In 2013, she was appointed the position of Project Coordinator with the “Little Prince” Day Care Center where she managed programs for families and children at risk in the Gyumri community. In 2016, Hripsime began working for SOAR and has served as SOAR Executive Director since 2017. In June 2022, Hripsime was awarded a Letter of Gratitude for Cooperation from Armenia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for her tireless child protection work. Her inspiration is seeing firsthand the significant changes institutionalized children (with and without disabilities) experience as they become as independent as possible in their daily lives.

Hasmik Diaryan
Associate Director in Armenia

Hasmik attended Yerevan State College of Light Industry, Department of Auditing and Financing and has studied at the American University of Armenia, Extension Program Level 3-6 course-reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. She has also taken courses in Economics and Law at the Information Research Centre, based on international accounting standards.

Not only has Hasmik worked as an economist/accountant, but she has volunteered her skills with Our Lady of Armenia Summer Camp and Missionaries of Charity Armenian Branch. Currently she is SOAR’s Associate Director in Armenia as well as their  Quality Assurance Manager, and the manager for Lili’s Bed and Breakfast.

Hasmik is fluent in Armenian, English, and Russian.

Manana Mananyan
Development Manager

Manana lives in Vanadzor, Armenia. She received her degree in English and German, which allowed her to provide English language classes to the children of Vanadzor Orphanage. Since then, she has been involved in various international projects targeted at the development of the country both as translator/interpreter and as a project coordinator. For more than 5 years she coordinated the projects of National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Northern Armenia and was very much involved in democracy development and protection of human rights. Manana works with Medecins Sans Frontieres and assists with fundraising activities for “Orran” Benevolent NGO, a SOAR-supported center that helps underprivileged and socially vulnerable elderly and children.

Ovsanna Mananyan
Program Manager

Ovsanna graduated Vanadzor State Pedagogical Institute with a master’s degree in English and German. As a participant of YGlobal youth exchange program, she had a chance to spend one year in Norway with Norwegian YMCA where she conducted various youth educational and development activities. After returning from Norway, Ovsanna started working in a German bank and has worked there for about 10 years. Ovsanna has been actively involved in the activities of SOAR Vanadzor supporting SCOH families, institutionalized children, and families in need.

Gayane Merdinyan

Gayane Merdinyan was born in Yerevan where she currently resides. She has a Master’s Degree in Management. During her Ph.D. in Economics, Education Management at the Armenian State University of Economics, she completed one year of her research at the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece. She has worked in Education Management since 2006, and is now the Head of Division of Organization of Education Process at Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) and works there as a lecturer as well. Gayane has been a manager of international grant projects (TEMPUS, ERASMUS+) at ASUE funded by the European Union. Gayane is fluent in Armenian, English and Russian.


Arevik Musaelyan
Associate in Artsakh

Arevik Musaelyan is originally from and lives in Stepanakert, Artsakh. She has a degree in Law from the local State University (Stepanakert, Artsakh/ Karabakh). She has been working as a Senior Specialist in the state Justice Department for many years. Arevik cares about children and humanitarian causes wholeheartedly and is eager to take action to make a difference.

She is fluent in Armenian and Russian and is in the process of advancing in English.


Lora Amatuni

Lora graduated from Yerevan State Medical University, department of dentistry. She has been working as dentist since 1996. Lora has started to work in the SOAR dental clinic in 2018.

Varduhi Zakyan
Dental Nurse

Varduhi graduated from Gyumri Medical College in 1999. Since 2000 she has been working in children’s dental clinics in the community. She has passed qualifications as a dental nurse and joined the SOAR dental team in January 2019.

Tatev Tumasyan
Dental Coordinator

Tatev started as a volunteer with SOAR in the “Fairy Tale” program. She has a background is in social work. As a student, she is involved in many different projects and programs for vulnerable children! Tatev is an author of many articles about different organizations who deal with children at risk in the Shirak Community. Since 2018, Tatev has been coordinating the activities of the SOAR Dental Clinic in Gyumri. In 2019, she was hired for the Coordinator’s position of the clinic. Tatev is grateful that SOAR has changed so many lives of the children and people who need support!


Dr. Artashes Zilfyan
Project Manager (Consultant)

Dr. Zilfyan is a Doctor of Medical Sciences, earning his doctorate from Yerevan State Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi.

His current positions are:

  1. Director of Laser Vision Correction և Eye Microsurgery Center
  2. Head of Ophthalmology Service at Shengavit Medical Center
  3. Head of the Department of Eye Diseases, National Institute of Health of the RA Ministry of Health

Dr. Mariam Vardanyan

Dr. Vardanyan earned her M.D. in 2016 from Yerevan State Medical University after Mkhitar  Heratsi, Faculty of General Medicine. She did her clinical residency in Ophthalmology, Ophthalmologic Center after S.V. Malayan through Yerevan State Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi.

Milena Badalyan

Milena attended Medical College St Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center and is doing her internship as a nurse with the Mobile Eye Care Project.


Kristine Gevorgyan
Project Coordinator

Kristine graduated from the Armenian Medical Institute. She has been a volunteer with SOAR since 2018, and had assisted with the “ I CAN” sport festival.


Shushanik Aleksandryan
Transitional Center Administrator

Shushanik graduated Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute after M. Nalbandyan, foreign language department. In 1992-98 she worked as a Russian language and literature teacher in N14 school. Then she worked in Ararat educational complex with the same profile as well as senior pedagogue.

In 2011 she started to work in “Trchunyan Tun” Orphanage with the responsibility of head teacher and Russian language teacher. During her working period she organized many events, accompanied children when they participated in international competitions, always winning honorable places.

Now she works at the SOAR Transitional center and is very happy that her pedagogical experience can be used for the center beneficiaries’ development.

Marina Muradyan
Transitional Center Development Coordinator

Marina graduated Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute with a Master’s degree in English and French language teacher. Marina continued her non-formal/ lifelong learning by participating in different training courses in Europe, Caucasus and USA by getting professional skills and promoting youth work and youth policy.

Right after graduation in 2009 she started to work for KASA Swiss Humanitarian Foundation as an English language tutor, mentor. In 2012 she became a coordinator of youth employability program where she organized group and individual designed training courses to orientate local youth in a fast changing labor market. In 2017 she started to work as a responsible of “European Solidarity Corps” (Erasmus+) international program where young people both from Europe and Armenia could have an incredible exchange by doing volunteering activities for different national and cultural background communities. She collaborates with many local and international organizations as a trainer in their projects.

She joined our team recently in 2020 as a SOAR Transitional center development coordinator where she will design and realize programs directed to youth education, employability, autonomy, etc.

She is grateful to join such an experienced, amazing international team where is a lot to share and learn from each other. She is sure of the success and impact of a Gyumri Transitional center by its warm atmosphere, space and future programs.