PARIS – Anouch Dzagoyan Toranian was elected as deputy mayor of Paris on July 3, after being elected as councilor on June 28 in the second round of Parisian municipal elections. She is one of the youngest of 37 deputy mayors, and will be responsible for community life, the participation of citizens, and public debate. She has become the first French Armenian to reach such an influential position and is a member of the Socialist Party in alliance in this election with the Europe Ecology the Greens (Europe Écologie Les Verts or EELV) and French Communist parties.
Toranian was in charge of the list of Paris en Commun, l’écologie en action (Paris in Common, Ecology for Paris), which supported the reelection of the socialist sitting mayor Anne Hidalgo, in the 15th arrondissement or district. Toranian was born and grew up in this arrondissement. The most populous district in Paris, the 15th is usually a bastion of the right, while, as Toranian wrote in a June 26 tweet, “The strength of Paris in Common is the union of the left and the ecologists.”
This second round of Parisian municipal elections was originally to take place on March 22 but was postponed to June 28 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The list of French-Turkish politician Agnès Evren of the Union of the Right (Les Républicains) took first place with 53.53 percent of the vote in the 15th arrondissement and Toranian’s list came in second place with 35.17 percent. In the March 15 first round, Toranian’s list came in third place.
Hidalgo was elected for her second term as mayor by the City Council of Paris on July 3, as were the deputy mayors, after the councilors’ own election on June 28. One of Hidalgo’s lieutenants called Toranian “the new Hidalgo” in January 2019.
Toranian is one of the youngest on Hidalgo’s list at the age of 28. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations (2016) from the Panthéon-Assas University (Paris II) and a master’s in Public Administration (2019) from the Paris Institute of Political Studies. She worked for various government administrations or bodies from 2013 to 2017, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and started her own public relations and communications firm in 2015, which led her to go on missions for humanitarian organizations to Armenia or to refugees in the Middle East. In 2018, she was appointed as director of the French branch of the Armenian General Benevolent Union.
Toranian speaks Armenian, English, French and Spanish according to her LinkedIn profile. She has served as a member of the administrative council of an Armenian youth organization, Jeunesse Arménienne de France (JAF) from 2004 to 2015, and, as its representative, served on the administrative council of the Conseil de Coordination des Arméniens de France (CCAF), a coordinative body for the French Armenian community, from 2010 to 2014. She attended the Samuel-Mourad Armenian School in Sèvres, outside of Paris. She is Armenian on her father’s side.