M.A. Candidate – Class of 2018

Ripsime Biyazyan graduated from Occidental College in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs. In her senior thesis she studied how dissidents in Cuba utilize soft power methods, specifically blogs, to reveal to the international community issues facing Cuba with the aim of influencing change in the country. Ripsime recently finished an internship with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees in Yerevan, Armenia where she helped individuals escaping from heightened conflicts in the disputed territory of Artsakh, which borders Armenia to the south and east. After working for multiple NGOs in Armenia, Ripsime is very interested in studying sustainable economic development methods for the outer regions of Armenia. Her passion for her ancestral homeland partnered with her background in non-profit administration and certification in grant writing will help her accomplish her goals of aiding economic development in Armenia in the near future.

Research Interests

Ripsime’s initial interests are centered on identiifying a sustainable development framework for the Armenian provincial context. What would be most suitable for a location that faces so many geopolitical conflicts everyday? She will explore solutions that work best for post-soviet countries, where quick privatization after the collapse of the Soviet Union spurred deep-rooted corruption. Those hoping to improve the situation are forced to confront the potential instability that combating these problem could provoke. Ripsime is interested in examining policy change that can best suit a fledgling country dealing with so many problems both domestically and in its immediate international surroundings.


  • BA, Diplomacy and World Affairs, Occidental College, 2016