Bianka Kadian-Dodov Takes Helm of Armenian Assembly’s New York Office


From left, Garen Nazarian (Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations), Bianka Kadian-Dodov and Bryan Ardouny (executive director of the Armenian Assembly)

By Aram Arkun
Mirror-Spectator Staff

NEW YORK — Bianka Kadian-Dodov, a Congressional relations associate for the Armenian Assembly of America, has been working as manager of the Assembly’s Eastern Region office, (based at the Diocesan complex in Manhattan) since the end of August. This is a part-time position, as Kadian-Dodov is simultaneously attending law school.

Kadian-Dodov was born and raised in Reno, Nev., where there was only a small Armenian community and no Armenian church. A Greek Orthodox Church was periodically used for services by a visiting Armenian priest from California. She went to college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and majored in political science. There was only a small Armenian community there too, but she became involved with an Armenian student group on campus, which had some 30 members.

She explained that after graduation, “I moved to Washington, DC and did a summer internship with the Armenian Assembly. I fell in love with the city and the political scene, and was hired by the Assembly for a regular position. I started to work as a Congressional relations associate in 2007.” She followed any legislation affecting Armenian interests and specifically worked to have Armenian Genocide resolutions as well as funding for Armenia and a resolution honoring the assassinated Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. She said, “My job was basically being the link between the Assembly office and offices of Congressional members on Capitol Hill. I met with staffers and sometimes with members of Congress to lobby for resolutions and funding.”

She feels that “In Washington my greatest achievement — what I found most rewarding — was passing the Genocide resolution through the Congressional Foreign Relations committee. I was the point person on that. We worked very hard to make it pass, and it was a very tense environment, with opponents vocally disagreeing with the bill.”

To a certain extent, Dodov-Kadian will continue her legislative work in New York, though with a focus on the Northeast region. She pointed out, “It’s like an extension of our DC office.” She will coordinate the activity of Assembly activists in the area, and keep in contact with local Congressional offices. She also plans to try to recruit new members, in particular young professionals.

An important part of the work of the New York office is working at the United Nations as the NGO (non-governmental organization) representative of the Armenian Assembly. The Assembly has not had a representative stationed in New York for some time, so that staff members were forced to commute periodically from Washington to attend important meetings. The Assembly in particular already is involved in the UN NGO Committee on Human Settlements. Dodov-Kadian hopes to contribute to Armenia’s welfare through work with this committee, which promotes the provision of adequate shelter for all, and sustainable human shelters development. She will work closely with the Armenian Mission at the UN to promote Armenia’s goals. Among other things, the Assembly will provide information at the UN on Armenia, Karabagh and related issues.

Dodov-Kadian enthusiastically concluded, “I want to reiterate how excited I am for this opportunity to continue to work with the Assembly, and at the UN. It is a wonderful opportunity for me — and I can promise that we will have some great things coming up!”