On June 5, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative will host an Aurora Dialogues Online event titled “Vartan Gregorian. The Aurora Co-Founder,” set to bring together representatives of the global humanitarian community and commemorate the life of Aurora co-founder and member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee Vartan Gregorian – an outstanding Armenian American humanitarian who was a man of great inner strength and a reservoir of compassion. After his passing in April 2021, a series of events dedicated to honoring his legacy were organized in Armenia. The June 5 online event will be broadcast live on the Aurora channels on Facebook in three languages – English, Armenian and Russian – at 10 am (EDT).
In 2015, together with Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan, Gregorian co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors. His passionate commitment to the power of our common humanity was truly inspiring, and his spirit of gratitude was one of his numerous personal qualities that warmed the heart of anyone who met him. Throughout his life, Gregorian made a massive difference, and his loss is mourned around the world.
The Aurora Dialogues Online event will focus on Gregorian’s extraordinary life as Aurora Humanitarian Initiative’s co-founder, humanitarian, educator and mentor. The tribute will be hosted by David Ignatius, associate editor and columnist for the Washington Post, with speakers including Aurora co-founders, Aurora Prize Selection Committee members and Aurora Prize Laureates:
- Noubar Afeyan, co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering;
- Deana Arsenian, Creative Council member, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; vice president, International Program and program director, Russia and Eurasia at Carnegie Corporation of New York;
- Marguerite Barankitse, 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate; Founder, Maison Shalom;
- Tom Catena, Chair, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; 2017 Aurora Prize Laureate; Medical Director of Mother of Mercy Hospital, Nuba Mountains;
- Lord Ara Darzi, chair of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee; director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London;
- Mirza Dinnayi, 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate; co-founder and director of Luftbrücke Irak (Air Bridge Iraq);
- Shirin Ebadi, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; Nobel Laureate; Iranian lawyer and human rights activist; founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran;
- Leymah Gbowee; Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; Nobel Laureate; founder and president of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa
- Hina Jilani, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a human rights activist; Former UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders;
- Bernard Kouchner, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; former French Foreign Minister and former Minister of Health of France; co-founder, Médecins Sans Frontières;
- Samantha Power, USAID administrator; former US Ambassador to the United Nations; former Aurora Prize Selection Committee member;
- John Prendergast, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; human rights activist and co-founder of The Sentry;
- Mary Robinson, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; chair of The Elders; former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;
- Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; co-founder of Noôdome;
- Ernesto Zedillo, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member; director at Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; former President of Mexico.