On June 9, 2011, the American University of Armenia hosted a public lecture entitled “An Examination of the First Armenian Lobby in America, 1918-1927, and its Relevance for Today” by Gregory Aftandilian, Northeastern University, Boston. The event was opened by AUA President, Bruce Boghosian.
Mr. Aftandilian is an independent consultant, writer, and lecturer, and is the faculty co-leader of Northeastern University’s summer studies program in Armenia, held at AUA.  He spent over 21 years in U.S. Government service, most recently on Capitol Hill where he was foreign policy advisor to Congressman Chris Van Hollen, professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Aftandilian is a specialist in Armenian-American history.  He is author of the book, Armenia: Vision of a Republic. The Independence Lobby in America, 1918-1927, and “World War II as an Enhancer of Armenian-American Second Generation Identity”.
At the end of World War I, an Armenian-American lawyer named Vahan Cardashian organized an active lobby group called the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia, with the aim of securing U.S. assistance for the independent Armenia. 
“Vahan Cardashian, a prominent and well-connected lawyer at the time, came to realize that previous Armenian efforts to influence the Wilson Administration were not effective, and he decided to create a lobby group in 1918 called the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia, made up of prominent American political, religious, and educational leaders.  Cardashian was ultimately not successful in securing any tangible U.S. assistance for Armenian independence because of the delay in the treaty with the Ottoman Empire and the rise of isolationist sentiment in America, but he was a dedicated individual, deeply devoted to the Armenian Cause,” stated Mr. Aftandilian.
Mr. Aftandilian discussed the story of this lobby and why it ultimately failed. He compared the past to the present by analyzing the history of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia and what can be learned from that lobby’s experience.