Mainers at White House Summit on Women


Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

PORTLAND, Maine — Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte of Westbrook and Mikell Reed Carroll of Portland were recently selected to attend the White House United State of Women Summit to be held June 13-15 in Washington DC.

Convened by the White House, the United State of Women Summit will rally women and changers together to celebrate what they have already achieved, and how they are going to take action moving forward. Covering key gender equality issues, it will make a powerful difference in our collective future. The Summit will focus on six topics: Economic Empowerment, Health and Wellness, Educational Opportunity, Violence Against Women, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Both Turcotte and Carroll are alumni of the University of Maine School of Law, graduating in 2003 and 2002, respectively.  After being nominated and selected to attend the Summit, the women learned of each other’s participation in the Summit through social media.

Turcotte is a writer, lecturer, and human rights activist. She is an Armenian refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan. After fleeing Baku in the fall of 1989, Anna and her family spent three years in Armenia as refugees before coming to United States in 1992.

She is a graduate of University of North Dakota and University of Maine School of Law.  She is a recipient of Outstanding Law Student of the Year by Who’s Who American Law Students award for her work on the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Turcotte is a recipient of Mkhitar Gosh Medal, Republic of Armenia’s highest civilian honor awarded by President Serge Sargsyan for exceptional achievements in the political-social spheres, as well as outstanding efforts in the fields of diplomacy, law, and political science. Anna also received a Gratitude Medal from the President of Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR), Bako Sahakyan, for her efforts toward NKR’s global recognition.

In 2012 she published her book Nowhere, a Story of Exile, which she wrote at the age of 14 as her family settled in North Dakota. The book is based the childhood diaries that she kept as her family was fleeing Baku, Azerbaijan and during years in Armenia as refugees.

Turcotte travels around the world, writing and lecturing on topics of ethnic cleansing, genocide prevention, right to self-determination and refugees.  In Maine, she is a Vice President, Operational Risk Officer at TD Bank in Falmouth.  She lives in Westbrook with her husband John A. Turcotte and their son and daughter.  Most recently, in November 2015, Anna ran a successful campaign and was elected to Westbrook  City Council.

Carroll is a wife, mother, Mrs. Maine International 2016, volunteer, health advocate non-profit attorney and public servant.  She was most recently employed by the Department of State at the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, US Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, and as the Staff Attorney for the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington, DC.  She is currently caring for her son full time while her husband works for the Department of State in Afghanistan but looks forward to returning to work for the Department of State in their Office of Global Criminal Justice in Washington DC in the fall, 2016

In her work as a non-profit attorney and public servant Mikell has worked with more than 6000 victims of crime throughout the US, with more than half being victims of domestic violence.

Mikell has been a volunteer and official Ambassador with the American Heart Association since 2012 and as Mrs. Maine International 2016 she has chosen the Prevention of Heart Disease in Women as her community service platform and an issue she will champion if she is chosen as Mrs. International 2016.

Both women said they are honored to be selected to participate in the White House Summit on Women.  They are excited to learn valuable information about gender equality and empowerment of girls and women that they can then bring back to Maine.