CAMBRIDGE, MA  — The Congressional Office for International Leadership (formerly known as the Open World Leadership Center), an agency of the U.S. Congress, will send a delegation of young women from local governments across Armenia to Cambridge, from October 13 to 21. The group consists of five delegates who currently serve on local councils and will be accompanied by a bicultural/lingual facilitator and an interpreter. While in the Cambridge area, the Open World program participants will be hosted by the Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA). The delegation will stay in the homes of local residents who serve as hospitality hosts.

They are Arusyak Avetisyan, Member of Vardenis Local Council; Shushanik Danielyan, Member of Yeghegis City Council; Lilit Hajatyan, Member of Artik Local Council; Lilit Haroyan, Member of Charentsavan City Council; Meri Harutyunyan, Deputy Head of Development and Investment Programs Department for Yerevan Municipality; and Lilit Antonyan (Facilitator for the program), Political Assistant, US Embassy in Armenia.

Prior to their arrival in Cambridge, the participants will complete orientation in Washington, D.C.

In the Cambridge area, delegates will collaborate on best practices for good governance and advancement of women’s leadership. Delegates will meet staff of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-DISTRICT #5), local leaders in Cambridge and other communities, and state legislators. Additional activities include a visit to Tufts University Tisch College of Civic Life, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Women and Public Policy program, meetings with the MA Caucus of Women Legislators and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and a social/networking event with the AGBU Young Professionals group.

In addition, the delegates will participate in a panel discussion on Advancing Women’s Leadership in Local Government in Armenia at NAASR on Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. that is open to the public. The event will take place at the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont. In addition to the five visitors, Svetlana Hovhannisyan will provide translation for the program. Jonathan Hecht, Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association Board Member and former State Representative and Watertown City Councilor, will serve as moderator.

More than 30,000 current and future leaders from partner countries have participated in the Open World program. The Open World program offers one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs to promote mutually beneficial options for depolarized engagement between future national leaders. It is a unique but no less powerful tool for Congress to engage legislatures in critical regions of the world.

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CYSCA is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, that for over thirty-five years has been actively engaged in a wide variety of citizen exchanges including Open World exchanges, US State Department “Community Connections” programs for professionals, youth exchanges, and many other educational, cultural, humanitarian/philanthropic projects with its sister city based on shared values.

To learn more about CYSCA, visit

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