Berge Setrakian

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Berge Setrakian is the sitting President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). Born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1949, Mr. Setrakian graduated with Master Degrees in French and Comparative Laws. After practicing in Beirut for a few years, he joined the New York firm of Whitman & Ransom in 1976 and is still practicing as a Partner with the firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Green and MacRae.

Mr. Setrakian, a life-long active member of AGBU, has served the organization in various leadership positions. He was the youngest ever-elected member of the Central Board of Directors in 1977, and was since 1992 and until recently its Vice President and Secretary. He was recognized with an Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his work on behalf of the Armenian-American community.

Mr. Setrakian has also been active in various other Armenian and non-Armenian organizations. He currently resides in New Jersey and is married to Vera Nazarian and has two daughters, Ani and Lara.

AGBU Press Office
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022-1112
Phone 212.319.6383 x.118
Fax 212.319.6507

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


New York, NY - AGBU President Berge Setrakian, on a visit to Jerusalem on February 3rd and 4th, met with the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, to discuss matters of mutual interest concerning the Armenian community at large.

During his visit, Mr. Setrakian emphasized the importance of the spiritual, cultural, and ethnic heritage of the Patriarchate and its crucial role in the preservation of the historic center of Armenian Christian faith. He also expressed his appreciation for the work the Patriarchate undertakes for the benefit of the Diaspora through its efforts in educating the seminarians who will be serving the various communities around the world and who will be looking after the protection of the Patriarchate's interests in the Holy Land. "After Holy Etchmiadzin, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is one of the most important centers of our Armenian religious heritage, serving as a focal point for the preservation of our identity and development of our spiritual values," said Mr. Setrakian.

The visit also presented an opportunity for Mr. Setrakian to express to His Beatitude AGBU's commitment towards working closely with the Patriarchate in supporting and further developing joint programs. Mr. Setrakian also met with Father Pakrad Bourjekian of the Patriarchate Real Estate Office and became familiar with issues concerning that department. He also toured the Armenian Quarter and Holy Translators School (Serpots Tarkmantchats Varjaran). While in Jerusalem, Mr. Setrakian attended a lunch meeting with the Brotherhood of St. James and a dinner meeting with the seminarians and the teaching staff of the seminary presided over by His Beatitude.

Established in 1906, AGBU is the largest Armenian non-profit organization in the world and has been at the forefront of promoting and preserving the Armenian heritage around the world through educational, cultural, and humanitarian programs. For more information on AGBU, please visit