Elen Aghekyan is an M.A. student at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. At Yale, she is
exploring the intersection of democracy and social enterprise, and looking for ways that social
ventures can contribute to and reinforce democratic development. Elen began her career at the
democracy watchdog Freedom House, where she managed the organization’s Europe and
Eurasia research teams for two global reports, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press.
She was also a contributor to Freedom House’s annual reports on civil liberties and political
rights around the world, and to a special report on modern authoritarianism. She remains a
consultant for the organization and other democracy and human rights NGOs, providing
research and writing for projects focusing on Eurasian countries, particularly Armenia.
Immediately prior to Yale, Elen worked for Columbia University’s Richman Center for Business,
Law, and Public Policy, where she led public programs and external communications.
Elen grew up between Armenia and the United States, and earned a B.A. in history and
government, summa cum laude, from Cornell University in 2013. At Cornell, she was a Frederic
Conger Wood Undergraduate Research Fellow and a recipient of the Anne Macintyre Litchfield Prize in History.