I-House announces the appointment of Rijin Sahakian as Executive Director

Rijin Bio Photo 2017

The International House Davis Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Rijin Sahakian as its new Executive Director. Sahakian comes to the International House with nearly twenty years of experience in the cultural arts sector. Raised in Davis, CA, she underwent her undergraduate and graduate studies at New York University. Upon completing her MA in Art and Public Policy, she received a Fulbright award for postgraduate research in Jordan, leading her to found the nonprofit initiative Sada for contemporary Iraq, a project conducting education, production, and advocacy programs for college level art students in Baghdad. Sahakian ran Sada for five years between Amman, Beirut and Baghdad before shutting its doors due to rising instability in 2015.

Sahakian has worked as a curator in the US and internationally, including the Montalvo Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She has contributed essays to artist books, catalogs, and publications, and lectured widely at centers from Ashkal Alwan in Beirut to the Rhode Island School of Design and the California Institute of the Arts.

Much of Sahakian’s work has been oriented towards developing multi-faceted, cross disciplinary programming to facilitate new opportunities for engagement by participants and audiences alike.
International House Davis’ commitment to steering its future to act as a regional center for rigorous, innovative international programming as well as a conduit for collaboration amongst the many communities and organizations that comprise Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties, is an exciting step that Sahakian is enthused to build forward as Executive Director.

After many years of travel, Sahakian returned to Davis in 2016 with her husband to raise their children near her family. She credits them for instilling in her the importance of history, examination, and appreciation, qualities she hopes to pass on to her children and through her work.