Armen Orujyan, Ph.D., is the Founding CEO of the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST). FAST is a nonprofit organization that helps foster an ecosystem in Armenia that drives scientific advancement and technological innovation in the country and beyond. Under Armen’s leadership, FAST has launched science-intensive acceleration programs inclusive of startup incubators and venture builders focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Biotechnology, a Creative Campus supporting young scientists and early-stage startups, educational programs providing broad knowledge in AI as well as comprehensive training in Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning and other critical Data Science fields, a Fellowship for the top 10% of all PhDs in Armenia in STEM, numerous scientific grants and the first Science and Technology Angels Network in Armenia. In all, the impact has reached over 6,000 students, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Armen is also the founder and former Chairman of Athgo Corporation, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship platforms in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, the UN Department of Public Information, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Athgo has advanced innovation ecosystems in Europe and Africa and established recurring Global Innovation Forums at the UN and the World Bank headquarters. Armen’s pioneering initiatives have provided financial, intellectual, and network capacities to nearly 10,000 young innovators, entrepreneurs, and students from over 600 universities in 80 countries. Armen applies his 30-year experience in entrepreneurship and his proprietary quantitative Individual Capacity and Intent methodology when architecting ecosystems to accelerate cutting-edge innovation in
Fortune 500 companies, emerging governments, and leading global institutions. Earlier in his career, Armen entered the US political arena serving as an advisor for various Presidential campaigns. In 2001, championing opportunities for youth and the disadvantaged, Armen initiated a human rights movement that brought over 40,000 young people and concerned citizens onto the streets of Los Angeles. Leveraging the power of social media and the convening power of youth, the movement has since turned into an annual observance, attracting over 150,000 galvanized people. In 2006, Armen joined the UN’s Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) as a Founding Member. He was appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN and served through 2013 as co-Chairman of GAID. Armen further served as a Commissioner on the UN’s venerated Broadband Commission for Digital Development through 2015. He has also been named a UN e-Leader for ICT and Youth and was selected as one of the top under-40 young leaders by the Asia Society. In 2017, Armen joined Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy as a Member of the Board of Advisors. He is also a member of Asia Society’s Global Council. Armen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Political Science from UCLA and received his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). He is a recipient of CGU’s Distinguished Alumni Award.