SOAR - Tbilisi Chapter
Tbilisi joined the SOAR family in April 2019. An Armenian community has existed in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, since at least the 7th century. By the late Middle Ages, there were 24 Armenian churches and monasteries in and around the city. Under the Russian Empire, the city of Tiflis became the center of Russian rule for the whole viceroyalty of Caucasia. During the 19th century, Tiflis became the center of the Eastern Armenian cultural revival and an Armenian cultural hub second only to Constantinople.
Until recently, the neighborhoods of Havlabar and the area across the river were very heavily Armenian. The older Armenian neighborhood of Tbilisi, on both sides of the river between Freedom Square and Havlabar, carry Armenian names, including Tumanyan, Abovian, Akopian, Alikhanian, Sundukian, Yerevan, Ararat, and Sevan. Today, Armenians are the largest ethnic minority in Tbilisi, with nearly 5% of the population, or approximately 53,400 people.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Giorgi Tumasyan is the founding Director of the “Peace Foundation”, an international non-profit organization, established in 2015 after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by all United Nations Member States, which is committed to improving the state of the world by maintaining the general goals of the United Nations, including peace and human rights, and accelerating the implementation of the SDGs on a national, regional and international level.
He is also a founding President of the “Caucasian Academy of Diplomacy” (CAD), an independent diplomatic academy and nonprofit think tank specializing in foreign policy and international affairs. Giorgi Tumasyan is the Chief Executive Officer of the “Ardzagank” Armenian Community Platform in Georgia and member the Union of Tbilisi Caretakers “Tiflis Hamkari”.
Giorgi Tumasyan was Georgia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations in 2017-2018 selected jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Georgia. Tumasyan is a founder of the “Youth Movement for Reconciliation” under the mandate of Georgia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations, a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and a Global Young Professional of the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). He was a Young European Ambassador of the EU’s Neighborhood and Enlargement division in 2017-2018.
Giorgi holds a bachelor’s degree in “International Relations and Law” from the Free University of Tbilisi and is completing his master’s degree in “Public Administration” at the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer, Germany. He is an alumnus of the Tbilisi School of Political Studies of the Council of Europe and a graduate of European Diplomacy and Eastern Partnership course of the “European Academy of Diplomacy” as well as the National Security and Public Policy course of the “Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies”.
Ingrid was born and raised in Georgia and moved to Armenia in 2008. In 2012, she graduated from the Russian-Armenian Slavonic University in Yerevan, earning her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Ingrid was awarded her Master’s Degree in American Studies (Department of Foreign Policy) from the International Black Sea University in Tbilisi in 2016.
Ingrid has extensive experience in volunteer work including educational and women empowerment projects, and parliamentary election monitoring initiatives in Armenia and Georgia. She currently holds the position of Administration Manager at a construction company in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Ingrid is fluent in Armenian, English, Russian, Georgian and Turkish.
Ana holds Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia). She is also a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and continues her studies in this field, planning to become a full ACCA member by the end of this year. Ana has 7 years of extensive experience in accounting and finances. Previously she had worked for six years at an international auditing company, BDO, acquiring important communication skills while working with different clients on various projects. Currently, Ana is employed as a Georgia Field Accountant at an international non-governmental organization which works with political parties.
Alexandra was born and raised in Tbilisi, Georgia. She graduated from Tbilisi State University, Georgia, with a specialization in journalism. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree, she decided that becoming a Public Relation Manager would be closer to her interests and more suited to her skills. Alexandra realized this after she became a member of the self-government in the Tbilisi State University where she was a part of the organizational team of cultural events. She had an opportunity to plan, evaluate and implement different kinds of events and projects.
Alexandra used to write news texts and articles for radio FM “Imedi”, TV “Imedi” and other regional television broadcasters. Currently she works in the digital marketing and advertising field, and was recently given the assignment of being responsible for project management in the real estate field.
Having a very creative side, Alexandra graduated from the Vakhtang Chabukiani Tbi lisi State Art and Ballet School, where she learned art and developed her creative thinking. Later she was invited to work as an actress at the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Being a part of the art for eighteen years she developed her creative skills as well as deep knowledge of music and understanding its effects on the audience, dance technology and movement philosophy and spatial thinking. In its turn, this supported Alexandra in implementing academic projects within her professional life, such as mass media.
Alexandra had been chosen among a lot of young talents in Georgia to be filmed in a project named “Being 20”. This project was held by Open Media Hub and she was chosen because she not only was an actress at the Tbilisi State Opera House, but also worked in digital marketing, showing her diversity.
Currently, Alexandra is studying in the Master’s Degree Program in Public Relations at Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. She was very delighted to have an opportunity to learn management, since she has such an interest in the field and wanted to further her education.
Alexandra loves to spend her time learning something new that will help to develop her professional potential. ussian, Georgian and Turkish.
Austin J. Spenzer graduated from Avon Lake High School in Avon Lake, Ohio, USA, in May 2011. He continued his education at Miami University of Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with dual majors in Political Science and French. At Miami, he received the Howard White Award, which recognizes seniors who have excelled in both scholarship and leadership.
After graduation in 2015, Spenzer worked for The Hastings Group – a full service consulting and public relations group – until 2016, when he was accepted into the United States Peace Corps. He undertook his volunteer service in Tsalka, Georgia, where he taught English to elementary through high school students in that village, and initiated various regional and national community development projects.
Having become proficient in the Georgian language and fully acclimated to the culture, Spenzer completed his Peace Corps service, and then secured private employment in Tbilisi, Georgia where he taught English at the Georgian-American School, a position which he still holds.
Spenzer developed a keen interest in fostering Georgian development and related non-profit implementation, and is seeking to extend his stay in Georgia in a capacity that will enable him to further these objectives.