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Dr. MG Hayk Kotanjian of the Republic of Armenia is Marshall Center Graduate of the Month for May 2008. Dr. MG Kotanjian is the Commandant of the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the Armenian Ministry of Defense, and Advisor on Defense Security Policy to the Minister of Defense.

Dr. MG Kotanjian attended Senior Executive Seminar (SES) 1998-2 as a colonel, while Chief of the External Relations and Military Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia.

After attending the Marshall Center, Dr. MG Kotanjian was charged with establishing the first Armenian Defense Office to the U.S. Department of Defense, and he served as the first Defense, Army, Air Force and Naval Attaché of the Republic of Armenia to the United States of America from 1998 to 2002. Dr. MG Kotanjian was decorated with the U.S. Legion of Merit for his attaché service in Washington.

In 2003 he enrolled as a Counterterrorism Fellow at the School for National Security Executive Education, National Defense University, in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2004. During that time he also completed the NATO Staff Officer Orientation Course. Earlier in 2001 he participated in the Defense Analysis Program of the RAND Graduate School in Washington.

During his studies in Washington, Dr. MG Kotanjian developed the concept to establish the first defense and security think tank in the Armenian defense system, which was later founded as the Drastamat Kanayan Institute for National Strategic Studies of the Armenian Ministry of Defense. Dr. MG Kotanjian was appointed as the first Commandant of the institute. In 2006-2007 he was also appointed by decree of the President of Armenia as the Secretary of the National Security Strategy (NSS) Elaboration Interagency Commission. In addition, Dr. MG Kotanjian was the Academic Supervisor of the NSS Interagency Elaboration Project.

Dr. MG Kotanjian participated in the Istanbul NATO Summit in parallel with Armenia’s official application to the NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan. His monograph, “Developing Armenia’s National Security Strategy within the Context of the South Caucasus Regional Security Architecture,” was written and defended while at the National Defense University in Washington. Armenia’s National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine are approved by the President of the Republic of Armenia.

Dr. MG Kotanjian is a founding member of the Marshall Center Alumni Association in Armenia. In 2007 at the Association’s annual meeting, together with then-Deputy Director of the Marshall Center, MG (ret.) Dr. Horst Schmalfeld, Dr. MG Kotanjian was a keynote speaker and presented an academic report, “Armenian-American Methodological Cooperation in Interagency Elaboration of Armenia’s First National Security Strategy.”

Dr. MG Kotanjian has held the diplomatic rank of Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary, from which rank he is presently retired.