WASHINGTON—Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) – an increasingly influential national voice on foreign policy issues – remains actively engaged with the Armenian National Committee of America in support of a potentially transformative Millennium Challenge Corporation grant for science, technology, engineering and math, commonly known as STEM, education in Armenia’s public schools.
The MCC is an independent U.S. foreign aid agency, established by Congress in 2004 and charged with leading the fight against global poverty. Country-specific programs are selected by the MCC board through a competitive selection process, based on its review of a broad range of merit-based governance criteria. Since its launch, MCC provided over $10 billion in grants, including a grant in 2008 to Armenia for rural roads and irrigation.
“The success of MCC’s recent $140 million STEM-focused grant to the Republic of Georgia can serve as a working template for a similar educational compact with Armenia, which is experiencing a surge in IT-driven economic growth,” said ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “A potentially transformative MCC investment of $100,000,000 or more will reduce poverty, create economic opportunity, strengthen U.S.-Armenia ties, and pay dividends for generations to come.”
“Armenia’s first Millennium Challenge Corporation compact, granted in 2006, was a highly successful investment of over $170 million to reduce rural poverty,” said Rep. Schiff. “I believe the time is right for a new compact, focusing on STEM education to help Armenia take the next step towards sustainable economic growth and a growing middle class. In recent weeks, I have enjoyed many valuable conversations with the leadership of the Armenian National Committee of America and the Armenian embassy on how to move forward on this important project, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with all of the stakeholders to ensure Armenia receives every consideration.”
Parallel to discussions with Congress and the Administration, the ANCA has held talks with U.S. universities interested in partnering on an MCC Armenia compact, along the same lines of San Diego State University’s cooperation with the MCC’s Georgia compact.
Congressman Adam Schiff represents California’s 28th Congressional District – home to the largest population of Armenian Americans in the United States. He currently serves as the Ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and is on leave from the influential Appropriations Committee, where he served on the State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee, a key subcommittee that shapes and funds U.S. foreign policy initiatives around the world.
Last year ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian praised past MCC support for Armenia, noting: “As much as the first MCC grant accomplished, there is much more to be done. A second compact holds the potential to deliver a new round of transformative change to Armenia, at a truly pivotal moment in Armenia’s development. Such a future compact could, for example, provide hundreds of millions of dollars to empower Armenia’s public school students with the advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education required in the rapidly evolving 21st Century workforce. Such a grant would add new energy to Armenia’s growing IT sector, promoting the development of an advanced and sustainable Armenian economy fully integrated into the international financial system.”