Armen Baibourtian from the United Nations office in Armenia is a visiting scholar and professor in the department of political science for the Spring 2014 semester.
He is teaching two classes: “At the Crossroads: The Caucasus between the East and the West” and “The Caucasian Knot: The US, the EU, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Regional Perspective.”
“My goals in the classroom are not only sharing with students knowledge about the region of the Caucasus,” he says, “but to also give them a clue how to analyze international politics and define American interest in that part of the world. I want them to grasp how things work on the ground, not just in textbooks.”
A career diplomat, Baibourtian has worked with each of the countries his courses focus on. He also had the unique experience of serving in a number of posts immediately after Armenia gained its independence and petitioned to become a new member state in the UN.
He has served as foreign policy advisor to the speaker of Armenian Parliament, deputy permanent representative to the UN in New York, first consul general of Armenia in Los Angeles, Armenian ambassador to India, deputy foreign minister of Armenia and chief negotiator with the European Union.
Baibourtian’s holds two Ph.D.s –in international studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and in modern world history from Yerevan State University – has served as a visiting professor at the Center for European studies at Yerevan State University for many years and has frequently lectured at universities across the U.S. and in many of the countries he represented as an advisor and diplomat.
“Teaching has kept me up-to-date with what the younger generations think,” he says. “It is always mutually enriching.”