In Memoriam: Aso Tavitian

It has been a somber week for The Fletcher School, as two luminaries within our 21-year Tavitian Scholars Program in Public Policy and Administration passed away within a day of each other: the great Aso Tavitian, for whom the program is named, renown philanthropist whose generosity changed the lives of more than 300 Armenian public servants who graced Fletcher’s halls, and Ambassador Rouben Shougarian, first ambassador from Armenia to the U.S. and professor with the Tavitian Program since 2008.

We mourn the loss of two fine individuals who were beloved friends of Fletcher and countless others who had the privilege of knowing them.

Aso O. Tavitian, renaissance man, philanthropist and nation-builder, connoisseur of the arts, passed away earlier this week in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In 1999 he established the innovative Tavitian Scholars Program at The Fletcher School, which played an instrumental role in training Armenians who are employed in mid-to-senior level positions in Armenia’s Central Bank, President’s Office, Parliament, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Economy, and other government institutions.

His Armenian identity was foundational to his being, and he took pride in the accomplishments of the many Armenians whose education he sponsored. You may read more here.

Ambassador Rouben Shougarian passed away Tuesday in Boston, Massachusetts following a brief illness. Ambassador Shougarian was the first Ambassador of Armenia to the United States from 1993 to 1999, and was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister in 1999 and later Ambassador to Italy, Spain and Portugal from 2005 to 2008. He had since lived in the United States where he became the backbone of the Tavitian Scholars Program at The Fletcher School.

His legacy can be seen in the deepening of the diplomatic corps in Armenia across all departments of government. He will always be remembered at The Fetcher School as a scholar and practitioner dedicated to sharing what he knew with his students. Please see our tribute here.

Together the Fletcher community mourns the passing of these two irreplaceable figures; we keep their families and friends close in our thoughts.

This post was republished from The Fletcher School website.

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