The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative announced Canadian Armenian Harout Chitilian will join Aurora board as it’s next CEO, succeeding Arman Jilavian, who held the position since the inception of the global initiative.
An engineer by training, Chitilian, 37, has previously held the position of vice president of the executive committee and chairman of City Council of Montreal. “Not only is Aurora innovative and ambitious, but I am drawn to it because it is very systematically planned and creatively developed. When I was in government, that was the approach I used in almost every action. I am very impressed by what Aurora has accomplished in such a short time,” he said.
“Aurora was born of Armenia but is now a global project. Since its inception, Aurora has welcomed those who think globally to join this ambitious endeavor and, in that spirit, we welcome Harout Chitilian to this position,” said Ruben Vardanyan, Co-Founder of Aurora, who with his wife Veronika Zonabend carries out a number of charitable, educational and development projects in Armenia and around the world. “He comes at a time when Aurora will be growing again, executing a number of educational and outreach programs, in addition to the primary humanitarian direction,” he added.
“Aurora was established three years ago, as the outcome of our very ambitious goals – to express gratitude to the memory of those who helped save Armenians a century ago, and to do so by aiding those who are committed to saving those in danger today,” explained Vartan Gregorian, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.
Chitilian speaks five languages – Armenian, French, English, Arabic and Spanish. In addition to his experience in Canada, he has worked in Latin America, China, Scandinavia, Western Europe and the United States.
“Heading Aurora is both a privilege and an immense responsibility,” said Arman Jilavian who has held the position since 2015. “I look forward to working with Harout to ensure that Aurora’s mission around the world continues to resonate with all those who are dedicated to doing our part by embracing our common humanity and giving back.”
Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder of the Aurora, state: “The Aurora Initiative requires from us the ability to envision expansively and act for maximal impact to address some of today’s critical global needs. With roots planted in Armenians’ historic experience of Genocide, Aurora is about remembering and giving back in gratitude to those who came to our aid many decades ago.”
Founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to empower modern-day saviors to offer life and hope to those in urgent need of basic humanitarian aid anywhere in the world and thus continue the cycle of giving internationally. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is Gratitude in Action. It is an eight-year commitment (2015 to 2023, in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) to support people and promote global projects that tackle the needs of the most helpless and destitute and do so at great risk. This is achieved through the Initiative’s various programs: The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan who have been joined by more than two hundred new supporters and partners. The Initiative welcomes all who embrace a commitment to our shared humanity.