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How Frank V. Zerunyan brought awareness of the Armenian genocide to Rolling Hills Estates
by Bondo Wyszpolski
Last year, a bronze memorial plaque and relief sculpture was placed on the grounds of Rolling Hills Estates City Hall. It commemorates the Armenian genocide of 1915. Does the city, or the Peninsula for that matter, have any viable connection to Armenia? The answer is no, but then that brings us to current councilman and four-time mayor Frank V. Zerunyan, who had the vision and spearheaded the drive to create and install the work of art.
Zerunyan has an impressive résumé. In addition to being an elected city official he’s a lawyer, author, consultant, and professor at USC. He was born in Istanbul in 1959, speaks impeccable English, and is fluent in French, Armenian, and Turkish. In short, he is a man to be reckoned with.
Now, since you’ve already studied the photograph of him standing beside the memorial, let’s start with that. Then we’ll talk about the Turks, the Azerbaijanians and Armenians, and cap it off with a pop quiz.
Frank V. Zerunyan is a Professor of the Practice of Governance at the University of Southern California (USC) Sol Price School of Public Policy (USC Price) and Director of Executive Education at USC Price Bedrosian Center on Governance. Professor Zerunyan oversees USC’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) as the Director and University Liaison for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Naval Reserves ROTC, and Nautical Science Programs.
Professor Zerunyan’s principal areas of expertise include governance, public-private partnerships, civic and ethical leadership, land use, medical regulation, negotiation, and executive education. He lectures locally and globally to build capacity and foster leadership among public executives worldwide. He is the author of books, book chapters, and many short articles published nationally, internationally, and on USC Price’s “Faculty Perspectives.” Professor Zerunyan is often quoted in the media and is a USC resource for journalists as an expert in governance and leadership. He is also an expert on public administration at the United Nations Innovation Branch (formerly Capacity Building Branch).
For his influential advisory role in the Republic of Armenia, he was awarded LL.D. Doctor of Laws – Honoris Causa by the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia. Professor Zerunyan designs curricula and teaches at the American University in Armenia, Yerevan State University, and the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University in Armenia, with an honorary rank of colonel. He also teaches for the U.S. Navy at the U.S. Naval Service Training Command.
Professor Zerunyan serves on the editorial boards of the Public Administration Scientific Journal for the Republic of Armenia and the Ukrainian Law Review. He is on the board of councilors of Anahuac University Law School, Xalapa, Mexico (Consejo Consultivo de la Escuela de Derecho).
Professor Zerunyan earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence (Doctor of Laws) degree from Western State University College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach. He also completed his advanced legal education in Corporate Taxation at the University of Southern California Law Center (USC Gould). He is a graduate of the California League of Cities’ Civic Leadership Institute.
Professor Zerunyan, trained and practiced as a lawyer, is a four-term Mayor and Councilmember in the City of Rolling Hills Estates, California. He serves on several city, county, and regional policy boards and committees. He was also a gubernatorial appointee under Governor Schwarzenegger, serving 38 million medical consumers on the Medical Board of California.