Zareh Sinanyan

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Zareh Sinanyan
Zareh Sinanyan mayoral portrait.jpeg
High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs of Armenia
Assumed office
June 14, 2019
Preceded byMkhitar Hayrapetyan (as a Diaspora Minister of Armenia)[1] Position established
Member of the Glendale City Council
In office
April 2013 – April 2018
Mayor of Glendale, California
In office
April 2018 – April 2019[2]
Preceded byVartan Gharpetian[2]
Succeeded byAra Najarian[2]
In office
April 2014 – April 2015
Preceded byDave Weaver
Succeeded byAra Najarian
Personal details
Zareh John Sinanyan[3]

(1973-12-04) December 4, 1973 (age 46)[4]
Yerevan, Armenia[4]
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
University of Southern California

Zareh John Sinanyan (Armenian: Զարեհ Սինանյան, born December 4, 1973) is an American and Armenian politician. He formerly served as city councilman and former mayor of Glendale, California. Prior to being appointed mayor, he won election as a city councilman and held posts in various commissions, including Parks, Recreation and Community Service, and the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee.

On June 14, 2019 Sinanyan was appointed High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs of Armenia, serving under Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Zareh Sinanyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1973 and attended the local school No. 172.[6][7] His father was born in Istanbul, Turkey and settled in Armenia in 1946.[8] His mother is from Talin, Armenia.[8]

He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1988 and settled in Burbank, California.[6] Sinanyan attended the John Muir Middle School in Burbank and went on to graduate from Burbank High School.[7] In 1997 he earned a bachelor's degrees in political science and history in 1997 at the University of California, Los Angeles.[9][10] He then attended law school at the University of Southern California, where he obtained his Juris Doctor.[9] While in law school, Sinanyan worked for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and interned for Justice Earl Johnson of the California Court of Appeal.[10] After his graduation from law school, he entered civil litigation service and ran his own law office.[10]

Political career[edit]

Sinanyan was appointed to the Parks, Recreation and Community Service's Commission of Glendale in 2006 and held this position until 2008.[9][10] He served as chairman to the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2011.[9] He was also a commissioner to the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2013.[9]

City Councilman[edit]

Sinanyan ran for one of three Glendale City Council seats in the April 2013 election and finished third out of twelve candidates.[11] He is the first Armenian-born politician to hold a seat on the Glendale City Council.[12] At his second City Council meeting, he publicly apologized for "racial and homophobic slurs" he had posted online for several years before the election.[13][14]

In July 2013 Sinanyan supported the establishment of a memorial to Korean comfort women in the Glendale Central Park, over the objections of the government of Japan and dozens of Japanese-Americans.[15] Sinanyan spoke at the unveiling of the memorial in late July, citing his own background as the grandson of an Armenian Genocide survivor and asserting: "The best way to resolve conflicts...the best way to heal to acknowledge them. My people, my grandfather, were subjected to a horrible, horrible crime...To this day, because no apology has come, no proper acknowledgement has come...the wound is deep, it's festering, and there can be no moving forward without it".[16]


In April 2014, Sinanyan was appointed mayor of Glendale, California replacing former mayor Dave Weaver.[17]

In November 2014 Sinanyan and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti were among the California politicians invited to attend the opening of a BBCN representative office in Seoul, South Korea.[18] Sinanyan also met with Lee Koon-hyon, Secretary General of the Saenuri Party.[19]


In 2013, Zareh Sinanyan made several racist and homophobic remarks online, using slurs to describe gays, threatening rape, and insulting Mexican-Americans, Muslims and women.[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Sinanyan and his wife Lori have four children.[10]


Sinanyan endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 presidential election.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zareh Sinanyan Appointed High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs
  2. ^ a b c Mayoral Portraits
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
  5. ^ "Zareh Sinanyan Appointed High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs". Asbarez. 14 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Sinanyan to Run for Glendale City Council". Asbarez. 10 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b Corrigan, Kelly (4 October 2014). "Third graders get a visit from the mayor". McClatchy - Tribune Business News.
  8. ^ a b ""Փոսի" անգլիական դպրոցից մինչեւ Գլենդելի քաղաքապետարան. հարցազրույց նորանշանակ քաղաքապետ Զարեհ Սինանյանի հետ (English: From Yerevan's "Posi" English school to mayor's office of Glendale. An interview with mayor of Glendale Zareh Sinanyan". 13 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Mayor Zareh Sinanyan". City of Glendale.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Meet your next Glendale City Council Member". Vote Zareh.
  11. ^ Mendoza, Mariecar (2 April 2013). "Glendale council candidate Zareh Sinanyan, accused of posting slurs, among top finishers". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan Visits the Western Diocese". Western Diocese of the Armenian Church. 22 May 2014.
  13. ^ Mendoza, Mariecar (1 May 2013). "Glendale councilman Zareh Sinanyan apologizes for online slurs". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Glendale City Councilman Apologizes For Past Racist, Homophobic, Vulgar Comments". CBS Los Angeles. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  15. ^ Villacorte, Christina (8 July 2013). "Glendale approves controversial 'comfort women' memorial". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  16. ^ Yamamoto, J. K.; Culross, Mikey Hirano (2 August 2013). "Comfort Women Monument Unveiled in Glendale". Rafu Shimpo. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Zareh Sinanyan appointed mayor". Glendale News Press. 9 April 2014.
  18. ^ "BBCN Opens Representative Office in Seoul, Korea (press release)". Globe Newswire. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan in Seoul". European Pressphoto Agency. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  20. ^ Levine, Brittany (2013-05-01). "Glendale Councilman Zareh Sinanyan apologizes for racist postings". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  21. ^ Hews, Brian. "Admitted Racist, Homophobic Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan Supporting Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian's Election Campaign". Cerritos Community News. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  22. ^

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