History

AEN was founded in 2007 as an unregistered group of Armenian-Americans interested in environmental issues and activism in Armenia. The inaugural event, a panel discussion on deforestation and illegal logging in Armenia, included presentations by Jeffrey Tufenkian, then-President of Armenian Forests NGO and now an AEN Advisory Board member; Jeff Masarjian, Executive Director of the Armenia Tree Project; Charles Dunlap, Senior Program Manager at Civilian Research and Development Foundation and now also an AEN Advisory Board member, and Frauke Jungbluth, a World Bank advisor on deforestation.  The event was held at the World Bank building in downtown, Washington, D.C. and exceeded attendance expectations, becoming standing-room only very quickly.

For more on AEN’s beginnings, read a note from AEN’s President and founder, Ursula Kazarian.

Since then, AEN has grown in both size and capacity, with its main operations remaining in Washington, a new office in Yerevan as of summer 2011, and two new chapters developing in San Francisco and Boston. To learn more about our current project focus, visit our About Us page. For details on our newly forming chapters, visit our AEN Chapters page. And, please read more about Our Projects and Events & Updates, as well!

Perhaps the most exciting development in AEN’s history is its recent project sponsorship by the Earth Island Institute in Berkeley, California, which opens the floodgates to networking with over 50 other sponsored environmental projects worldwide and gives AEN 501(c)(3) tax exemption status. For more about the Earth Island Institute, visit their webpage.

AEN has grown slowly, but steadily, over the years to meet demand. We grew organically, in response to interest in the Diaspora and in Armenia, based on the experience of our Advisory Board and Executive Board, and without any delusions of grandeur. As we transition from a completely volunteer-based, unregistered group hosting panel discussions to a registered US-based non-profit with specific project goals, we will continue to rely on the involvement and participation of our members: people like you. At the moment we are looking at project grants, but our efforts remain overwhelmingly volunteer based. We therefore currently completely rely on donations from individuals and companies who believe in our cause and want to see AEN continue to grow. With this in mind, we hope you’ll consider making a small donation today. And, if you can’t donate, we strongly encourage you to find another way to Get Involved!