Main PageAbout UsParticipantsGrantees/HostsAlumniMedia/News
Press Articles
Press Releases
Calender of Events
Photo Gallery
Iowa Sister States Hosts Armenian Open World Delegation
March 18, 2011

For Immediate Release

Women Leaders from Iowa and Armenia to Share Experience
Through Open World Program

(Des Moines, IA) – Open World leaders from Armenia arrive in Des Moines on Wednesday, March 30th for a week long program to promote mutual understanding between women leaders from Iowa and Armenia. Iowa Sister States has planned a week long program to promote mutual understanding and share ideas about advocacy for women and families.

Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system. Funded almost entirely by the U.S. Congress, Open World links Members of Congress to Eurasian leaders and is an instrument for Americans engaged in citizen diplomacy.

Five women leaders from Armenia will participate in the professional and cultural exchange accompanied by an English speaking facilitator also from Armenia. This delegation is the first official Open World delegation from Armenia to the U.S. Iowa Sister States staff and volunteers have organized an outstanding professional exchange program. Delegates will meet with women leaders from an array of Iowa health, advocacy, professional, and human service organizations. Among the professional

exchanges planned, delegates will visit the Chrysalis Foundation; Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW); National Organization of Women—Iowa; Planned Parenthood; American Business Women’s Association; Bureau of Refugee Services; Des Moines Register; and the United Asian Women of Iowa. A highlight of the exchange will be the celebration of “Excellence and Achievement among Women” sponsored by the ICSW in Iowa City.

Participants from Armenia include:

Nvard Khachatryan - Family Physician, Meghri Regional Medical Center

Nazeli Asriyan - Project manager, OSCE office in Yerevan

Anna Aleksanyan - Board Member, Assistant Director, Coordinator of Young Leadership Club at the Women's Development Resource Center Foundation

Arpine Baghdoyan - Coordinator of Advocacy and Assistance Center, Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Lusine Stepanyan - Journalist for 168 Hours

Anahit Khachatryan - English speaking Facilitator

Homestays allow the Open World delegates to experience American family life. Host family volunteers from the Greater Des Moines area have the opportunity to learn about life in Armenia today and efforts to advocate for women, families, and human rights by women leaders.

The Open World Program is a non-partisan initiative of Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Armenia. Since 1999 more than 16,500 Open World participants from Russia, Ukraine, and other former Soviet Union countries such as Armenia have been hosted in all 50 states.

The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to World Services of La Crosse, Inc. to administer this and similar exchanges in 2011.

For more information about the Armenia delegation’s visit to Iowa, contact Iowa Sister States Ph: 515-242-4914. For more information about Open World, please contact Maura Shelden, Open World Leadership Center: Ph 202-707-6197