Executive Team



Karin Markides

Dr. Markides has an impressive background that includes academic positions in top universities both in the U.S. and in Sweden.  She completed her doctorate in analytical chemistry at Stockholm University in 1984, after which she started her research career at Brigham Young University in Utah as a postdoctoral fellow then as a research assistant and associate director. She also served as a visiting professor at Stanford University. In May 1990, she returned to Sweden as a Chair Professor and Dean of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Uppsala University. Fourteen years later, in May 2004, she became Vice Director General of Vinnova, the Swedish innovation agency. Subsequently, Dr. Markides was selected as President of Chalmers University of Technology and, since 2015, she serves as the Chair of the Scientific Council for Sustainable Development under the Swedish government. She is a member of the Nobel Prize nomination committee and author of numerous articles and monographs.





Brian A. Ellison, Ph.D.,  is the Provost and Professor of Political Science at the American University of Armenia. Dr. Ellison previously served as Director of the Martin School and founding Chair of the Department of Politics and Philosophy at the University of Idaho, as Chair of the Department of Government and Justice Studies at Appalachian State University, and as Director of Master of Public Administration programs at the University of Idaho, the College of Charleston, and Missouri State University. Dr. Ellison has served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Bulgaria, as a visiting professor in China, Turkey, and Russia, and as a higher education consultant in Armenia. His research on public administration, local government, and environmental politics have appeared in numerous journals and book chapters. Dr. Ellison received his PhD in political science from Colorado State University.



Ashot Ghazaryan comes to AUA after leading the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Armenia for nearly two decades. Ghazaryan spent the last twenty years as Director of the AGBU Armenia.  During that time he also served as a member of the Republic of Armenia’s Committee on Humanitarian Projects, the Academic Council of the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts; the Board of Trustees of the World Bank-funded Social Investment Fund of Armenia; and Friends of the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra.  Prior to leading the AGBU, Ghazaryan headed the Medical Cybernetics Laboratory of the Yerevan Surgical Institute, headed a Department in the Experimental Factory of the Yerevan Physics Institute, and worked as Head of the Supply Department of the Bridge Construction Company of the Armenian Highway Construction Ministry.  Ghazaryan holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the State Engineering University of Armenia.




Gevorg Goyunyan is the Vice President of Finance/ Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at AUA. He provides leadership and oversight in the areas of budgeting, financial accounting and reporting of the university with total assets of close to $125M and annual budget of over $12M. Goyunyan is also the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia Corporation – the founder and the US non-profit fund-raising arm of the University. He serves as the key staff person of the University Board of Trustees and its Finance Committee on all finance related matters of the institution. Goyunyan’s responsibilities include oversight of the University investments and endowments of over $100M, management of the external audit processes of the entities in Armenia and in the US, financial management and internal reporting for the academic programs, sponsored research, auxiliary enterprises and administrative functions of the University. He serves as the Chair of the University Tuition Assistance committee and sits on many other committees. He has been with the University for over 20 years in various growing capacities, initially joining the US office as Financial Analyst.

Before joining AUA, he has worked in consulting and financial sectors. He has taught as visiting lecturer at the the Yerevan State University and the Agribusiness Teaching Center.

Goyunyan holds Ph.D. in Economics from Yerevan State University, an MBA from the State University of New York, Binghamton, an MA in Economics from Yerevan State University, and a BA in Business Administration from Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon.



Gaiane Khachatrian has been with the University for over 20 years, operating from the U.S. Office AUA in Oakland, California.

Prior to joining the Development team, Khachatrian served as the Recruitment and Personnel Manager at AUA. In that capacity, she developed recruitment strategies that enabled the institution to build, support, and retain the culture and talent needed to meet the needs of the growing institution.

Ms. Khachatrian earned her MA degree in Educational Administration (Educational Leadership Program – ELP) from St. Mary’s College of California, and her BA in English Language and Literature in the Department of Romance-Germanic Philology at Yerevan State University (YSU), Yerevan, Armenia. Prior to her move to the United States, she taught English Language and Phonetics to undergraduate students at YSU and served as an advisor on student research papers.

In 2014, she joined the development team as Associate Director of Development, and was promoted to Director of Development in 2017, responsible for developing and executing AUA’s fundraising strategies to meet the financial objectives of AUA to further its mission.