PSIA Public Lecture: Reflections on the United Nations Development Program

YEREVAN, Armenia– On March 28, the Political Science and International Affairs program (PSIA) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted Mr. David Akopyan who shared his experience on working in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Issues he addressed included democracy, freedom, corruption, history, institutions, national leadership, and economic progress/human development in various contexts. Furthermore, the speaker presented the UNDP’s and other development partners’ role in resolving such issues.

David Akopyan is one of AUA’s first alumni and began his career at UNDP Armenia in 1994 with almost 25 years of experience in global development. He has worked on development in nine countries and UNDP HQ on two assignments specifically. His experience with peacebuilding and development covers a diverse group of countries including Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

David Akopyan holds an MBA from AUA and a Ph.D. from the Yerevan State University in Laser Physics. He has 22 years of UN experience and is now Senior UNDP Deputy Country Director for programs in Somalia. He has 10 years of additional experience in Research & Development and statistical analysis of complex systems. In Somalia, with a key focus on short term peace and statebuilding goals, he was able to initiate the nationwide discussion on longer term development planning and to advocate SDGs for a country in crisis. Prior to that, he was UNDP Deputy Country Director in Afghanistan.

From 2006-2009, he worked at the UNDP HQ as a Planning Advisor. Before his time in New York, Mr. Akopyan served five years at the Central Asia with the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO as Chief Technical Adviser of Regional Trade Program in Central Asia and later as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan. From 1994-2001, he was Assistant Resident Representative with UNDP in Armenia and actively involved in national development policy formulation.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.