Advisory Council

Current Members Past Members

Current Members

ANMF is currently recruiting qualified candidates to serve on its 2011-2012 Program Advisory Council. Please visit our Support page to submit an application for joining our team. Contact us for more information.

Past Members

Members of the Program Advisory Council have included:

Julie Kulhanjian, M.D.

Pediatrician Children’s Hospital Oakland

Dr. Kulhanjian is a staff-attending physician at the Children’s Hospital Oakland in Oakland, CA. She is Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. Dr. Kulhanjian received her medical degree from the University of Michigan School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Stanford University. She has over a dozen publications in peer reviewed medical journals including eight first authorships and a featured article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Her research interests primarily include HSV infections and congenital syphilis. Dr. Kulhanjian was an associate in the infectious diseases division at Children’s Hospital Oakland and director of the pediatric tuberculosis program. She was an assistant clinical professor and fellow in pediatric infectious diseases at the Stanford University Medical Center. She is a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Friends of Armenia.

Kim Arzoumanian, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health

Kim Hekimian Arzoumanian worked in Armenia from 1992-97. She taught and conducted research at the American University of Armenia’s Department of Public Health and served as a consultant for USAID and UNICEF.

Lilian Shahrik Mahrokian, M.D.

Hyde Park Medical Care

Dr. Mahrokian is an internist at Hyde Park Medical Care in Hyde Park, MA. She received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicines in 1993 and received her postgraduate education at New England Medical Center Hospitals in Boston, MA. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University, cum laude, in Biology. Dr. Mahrokian has been Board Certified since 1996. Her current hospital affiliation is with Brigham and Women’s/Faulkner Hospital in Boston, MA. She also has a teaching appointment at Tufts University School of Medicine. She has had two publications in peer reviewed medical journals and has done research at the National Cancer Institutes, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and New England Medical Center.

Dr. Margarita Balasanian

Head, National Programme of Immunization

Dr. Margarita Balasanian is a medical epidemiologist, the Deputy Director of RCHES, and Head of Armenia’s immunization program. She presently works for the RA Ministry of Health at the Republican Center of Hygienic and Epidemiological Surveillance.

Doris S. Mugrditchian, MD

Masters in Public Health, Consultant

Doris S. Mugrditchian M.D., M.P.H., has tackled senior international health assignments throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Between 1992 and 1995 she was based in Bangkok, Thailand, where she led AIDSCAP-supported STF activities. Between 1995 and 1997 she headed the Rockefeller Foundation’s Public Health School’s Without Walls Initiative created to develop the local capacity of developing countries to produce public health leaders and managers. In 1998 she was instrumental in establishing and mobilizing funding for a new Task Force for the Urgent Response to the Epidemics of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the WHO. In 1999, she directed USAID’s Sinergy Project, a five year global HIV/AIDS project based in Washington, D.C., responsible for designing, monitoring, and evaluating USAID’s HIV/AIDS portfolio. Dr. Mugrditchian has authored numerous chapters, reports, journal articles, books and book reviews and taught regional and international courses. Currently she works as a freelance consultant based in New York.

Robert Steinglass

Technical Advisor, BASICS Project

Robert Steinglass is the Technical Advisor in charge of immunization activities at USAID’s BASICS project in Washington D.C. (BASICS provides technical support throughout the world in the areas of immunization, neo-natal health, diarrheal disease, acute respiratory infections, malaria, and nutrition). Previously, he was the Technical Director of USAID’s REACH project. He has a graduate degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Since his involvement in the smallpox eradication project in the 1970’s, he has been an advisor to the Ministries of Health and International organizations in the field of child immunization in over forty countries. For ten years he was the resident advisor for children immunization programs for the World Health Organization in three countries. Mr. Steinglass has been involved in epidemiological studies, operational and programmatic research, vaccine logistics and cold chain, disease surveillance, health policy formulation, testing of new injection technologies, training, and evaluation. His research interests and publications concern tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis B, cold chain, missed opportunities for immunization, syringe field trials, and others. His immunization approach is to strengthen the capacity of health systems within the context of primary health care to provide immunization effectively, safely, and efficiently with increasing reliance on national and community inputs.

Aram V. Kaligian

Medical Student, Tufts University School of Medicine

Aram Kaligian was enrolled at the Tufts University School of Medicine’s combined MD/MPH program, class of 2001. During the summer of 1998 he received a Hickey-Peyton Fellowship to conduct a public health study in Nagorno Karabagh. He worked closely with the Ministry of Health to identify and study the population and assess health problems in the region. In September 1998, he also conducted a public health study in Nagorno Karabagh of post-Myocardial infraction patients.

Sharon A. Chekijian

Medical Student, Yale University School of Medicine

Sharon Chekijian was enrolled at the University School of Medicine at Yale as a candidate for Doctor of Medicine, class of 2001. She received her BA undergraduate degree at Smith College, Magna cum laude with highest honors with a double major in Economics and French Literature. Upon graduation, Sharon consulted on various projects including Harlem Birthright, a CDC funded project to examine racial differences in infant mortality using a Life Stress Model. In 1996, Sharon was appointed Evaluation Coordinator of the Northern Manhattan Immunization Project (NMIP). Her health related activities include consultancy at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia in the department of Strategic Planning and Development.

Renita Esayian O’Connell

Retired, Previously VP of Investor Relations at Hasbro, Inc.

Renita Esayian O’Connell retired after 20 years in Finance and Investor Relations in the U.S. and overseas. Among her accomplishments are establishing the first full time Investor Relations department for Hasbro, Inc. communicating business strategies, operating performance and financial results for Enron, and serving as Treasurer of a Mobil Corp. subsidiary in London. Her other affiliations and activities included being Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island and serving as a member of its Investment Committee. She has worked with the Theotokos Foundation which provides education and children’s programs in Bolivia, and was a Keystone Volunteer fundraiser for Stanford University’s Centennial Campaign. She is a member of the Armenian Assembly and a past officer of the Armenian Students Association in New York City. She received her Undergraduate BA degree from Bryn Mawr College in Economics, and her MBA degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Seda Aghamianz


Ms. Aghamianz has worked for over 20 years in non-profits and Armenian organizations. She spent five years working in the national office of the Armenian Relief Society of North America, Inc, (now Armenian Relief Society of Eastern U.S) as the Executive Secretary overseeing projects and programs as well as Board facilitation. In 1988, she was thrust into their work helping the victims of the Armenian earthquake, spearheading the ARS volunteer coordination and donation fund management. In 1996, she joined the staff of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives Inc. as Administrative Assistant. Subsequently, she left the work force to begin and raise her family. She received her Masters of Arts in International Relations from Boston University in 1993, and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Russian from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1987.

Annette Choolfaian, RN, MPA, Ph.D.

Ms. Choolfaian has a broad and varied health care background. She has extensive experience in the operations and planning /modeling of various aspects of health systems ranging from constructions projects to patient care programs. Ms. Choolfaian is currently Professor of Practice and Director for the Health Services Management and Policy Program at the School of Public Health at New York Medical College. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Public Health where she teaches Health Services Organization and Management. Ms. Choolfaian has been Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital Center for ten years. She has worked with the Ministry of Health in Armenia to assist in the education of health professionals and to restructure the delivery system. She has been an advisor to the Minister of Health of Czechoslovakia and worked in the development of health care services and professionals in Armenia, Czechoslovakia, and other Eastern European countries. Ms. Choolfaian received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Bridgeport, her Masters degree in Public Administration from New York University and her Doctorate from Columbia University School of Public Health.

Lisa Sedrakian

Estate Planning Attorney and Professor of Accounting at Northeastern University

Ms. Sedrakian is an Estate Planning attorney in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and teaches income tax accounting to graduate accounting students at Northeastern University. She spent over seven years at Arthur Andersen practicing International Tax and is a member of the Armenian Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Ms Sedrakian received her undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley, where she was active in the Armenian Students Association. She received her law degree from the University of San Francisco and her Masters of Laws in Taxation from New York University.

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