A community activist, chair of the Diaspora Action Center and founder/CEO of The Stark Group—a consulting firm specializing in public affairs, nonprofits, and political campaigns—Elen is committed to protecting the rights, and advancing the interests, of underrepresented and underserved communities including women, minorities, and the working class. Elen successfully ran for DCCC in the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election and set a new precedent on how DCCC elections are conducted. Having garnered 22,339 votes, Elen was officially sworn in on July 11, 2020.
Spanning over two decades, Elen’s activism dates back to her middle school days when she took to her Board of Education and City Council to address discrimination issues at her school and in her city. At age 15, Elen volunteered at her first campaign and by age 19 served as campaign manager for a local election in Glendale, which paved a career of leading successful political campaigns and grassroots movements, and helping progressive candidates get elected since 1999.
Dedicated to advancing progressive values, Elen has been a longtime member of the East Area Progressive Democrats, Glendale Democratic Club, San Fernando Valley Democrats, Southern California Armenian Democrats, and California Armenian American Democrats. Her efforts in the 2015 ADEM elections helped galvanize Democrats in back-to-back record-breaking voter turnouts for elections that garner only nominal interest. She currently serves as a delegate for the CA Democratic Party where she continues to be involved in shaping the party platform and advocates for the issues closest to her heart.
Her commitment to community education and empowerment is evident in the years she has dedicated to serving in various committees and boards of local and regional organizations including the City of Glendale Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission, where she served as Chair of the Commission, the Glendale Youth Alliance, Glendale Community Police Partnership Advisory Committee, Glendale Unified School District Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, Relay for Life, and the Census Complete Count Committee.
A firm believer in the power of grassroots, the greater portion of Elen’s professional tenure before starting her own business included serving as Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale, then the Western Region (ANCA-WR), a grassroots public affairs organization devoted to advancing issues of concern to the Armenian-American community in 19 western U.S. States. Some of her proudest accomplishments include leading the struggle to achieve equal representation in government entities, Armenian Genocide recognition in every state in the region, incorporating Genocide education in the statewide high school curriculum, mobilizing 166,000 participants in the historic March for Justice for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and championing to gain recognition for Artsakh’s right to self-determination for which she was presented the Artsakh “Gratitude” Award by the President of the Republic of Artsakh.
As an advocate for women’s rights and social justice, in 2010 Elen founded the Glendale Domestic Violence Task Force—bringing together Glendale based nonprofits to help identify areas of mutual cooperation and assistance in matters relating to domestic violence. In addition, she’s taken great pride in mentoring countless young women and empowering them to become more civically engaged.
Dedicated to empowering youth, Elen founded and led internship and mentorship programs for high school and college students, the first Armenian-American Sacramento based Walter and Laurel Karabian public policy fellowship program for recent college graduates. She also spearheaded the Path to College Program to help non-English speaking parents navigate the school system and provide a pipeline of support for students to successfully graduate high school and complete the college admissions process.
In her mission to ensure that all voters, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and economic background have equal access to the democratic process, Elen developed and implemented voter registration and ‘Get Out the Vote’ initiatives resulting in over 50,000 newly registered voters in 2 years’ time in LA county alone and record-breaking voter turnout in some of the most heated local, state, and federal elections. She also serves on the Los Angeles County Voter Outreach Committee and Los Angeles City Votes Voter Outreach and Education Committee.
Elen has been honored by the California State Senate, California State Assembly, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti and Los Angeles City Council for her efforts and dedication to underserved populations, and human and civil rights; she is also the recipient of the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce Woman in Service award. In 2018, Asatryan was recognized by Senator Anthony Portantino as the 25th Senate District’s Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for her work through The Stark Group.
A first-generation immigrant, Elen, with her family, moved from Armenia to Glendale at the age of 10 where she then attended Columbus Elementary School, Toll Middle School, and Hoover High School. She is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, where she studied Political Science with concentrations in American Politics and International Relations.
Public service, leaving a positive footprint for future generations, and helping create a more just and equitable world is her driving force.