On January 11, 2008, the PFA Initiating Group members met with a number of Washington-based members and professionals. The meeting started with formal presentation of the PFA's mission and objectives followed by exchange of views.
In his opening remarks, David Grigorian stressed the need for an independent professional organization that would offer credible assessment and alternative views on issues of importance for Armenia's future. PFA's mission, he noted, is to generate those assessments/views utilizing the capacity of a world-wide membership with dedication to Armenia and its development. The State of the Nation Report will be the main tool for achieving this objective.
Armen Kharazian in turn shared with the participants the thinking behind PFA's interim charter. He stressed the importance of adhering to best standards of governance as a way of maintaining credibility and attracting quality membership.
David Grigorian presented the current public relations’ strategy outlining the activities aimed at promoting/facilitating discussions on the topics currently included in the coming State of the Nation Report. She also stressed the importance of online communication for successful PR activities.
Speaking about information technology-related aspects of the preparatory work, Vahe Avetian shared with participants the plans for PFA website (under construction) and discussed some of its features. He mentioned that the site will offer a variety of tools, such as polling, bloging, forums, video and audio capabilities, "I report" function, that would enable efficient delivery of PFA views and allow active interactions with the stakeholders.
Vlad Shekoyan stressed the importance of securing financial independence and shared with the participants the details of proposed medium-term budget plan. While expected to be much more challenging initially, he reassured that PFA will be in a very strong position to fundraise for its operational and longer-term needs (e.g., an endowment fund) once the State of the Nation reports become part of the policy landscape in Armenia and the Diaspora.
These remarks were followed by an active question-and-answer session, where participants inquired into the details and offered alternative views. Organizers agreed to continue these contacts to keep the Washington-based membership and professional community abreast of recent developments and projects in the pipeline.