(born February 7, 1955, Syria) served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia during the administration of Robert Kocharyan (1998 – 2008).
Born into the Armenian diaspora in Syria, Oskanyan was educated in the Armenian schools of Aleppo. After graduating from high school in 1973 he left for Armenia, where he attended the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute and received a BS in Structural Engineering in 1979. He followed that up with a Master’s degree in Engineering from Tufts University in Boston in 1983.
At the same time, he was exposed to the various government and international relations programs at Tufts and in surrounding universities, and even as he worked for a short time in an engineering firm, he continued his studies and received a Master’s degree in Government Studies from Harvard University in 1986. A few years later, in 1988, he enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Massachusetts. He received an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher. His fields of concentration were International Monetary Theory and Policy, and Diplomatic History and Foreign Policies.
As he was finishing his graduate studies, he, and a group of friends, established Armenian International Magazine (AIM), in California in 1990. Oskanyan was the Founding Editor.
He moved to Armenia in 1992, shortly after Armenia’s independence, and began work at the Foreign Ministry, first as deputy, then as Head of the Middle East Department. Then he moved to the same position at the North American Department. In 1994, he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and in 1996, First Deputy. During those years, Oskanyan was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the American University of Armenia, where he taught International Economic Relations, American Foreign Policy, Introduction to International Relations and International Economic Relations.
In 1998, Oskanyan was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by former President Robert Kocharyan.
Oskanyan represents Armenia in the Nagorno Karabakh peace negotiations, as he has done from the first days of the negotiations process.
Oskanyan speaks Armenian, English, French, Arabic and Russian. He is an international trustee of Armenia Fund, a 16 year old organization that channels aid from the Armenian Diaspora to rebuild Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. His wife, Dr. Nani Oskanyan is active in Armenia’s NGO community. They have two sons. Vardan Oskanyan is also currently the president of the Pan-Armenian Games.