Biden State Department Advisor, Former Rep. Barbara Lee Legislative Director, LGBTQI+ Advocate Runs For Congress In Hometown District With Unique Perspective As The Son Of Armenian Immigrants
On Thursday, May 25, Jirair Ratevosian declared his candidacy for the 30th Congressional district in California. As the son of Armenian immigrants, and an openly gay public servant, Jirair brings needed representation and generational change to a diverse district that celebrates having the largest Armenian community in the United States. CA-30 is being vacated by current Rep. Adam Schiff who is running for U.S. Senate.
Jirair was appointed by President Biden as the most senior Armenian American official at the State Department. He most recently served as the first Senior Advisor for Health Equity Policy at the U.S. State Department, where he supported the coordination of the $5 billion global HIV/AIDS program, known as PEPFAR, pandemic responses, and other health security issues.
Jirair served as legislative director to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, was a grassroots community organizer and activist, and worked in the private sector to make medicines more affordable in some of the poorest communities around the world. In 2020, he served as a public health and national security advisor to the Biden-Harris Transition Team.
Jirair was born in Hollywood, raised in Sun Valley, and is the product of the school system in Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA and has a doctoral degree in public health from Johns Hopkins. Ratevosian is running on a progressive platform. He will work on behalf of all residents in CA-30 and seek to bring a voice to those who are marginalized and underrepresented by addressing the affordability crisis, expanding access to healthcare and ensuring the rights and freedoms of women and the LGBTQ community are protected.
California’s 30th district is currently represented by Adam Schiff who is running for Senate. It is one of the most diverse districts in the nation.
“Representation matters and it is about time that CA-30 is represented by an Armenian leader who grew up in the district,” stated Jirair Ratevosian. “I am ready to serve on DAY ONE, and will use my experience to bring different communities together to make the government more responsive to our needs and our planet. I am running for Congress to bring my federal and lived experience to the table, and to bring my record of problem-solving complex challenges to fight for bipartisan and progressive solutions for our community.”
ZEPURE KIVORK, Jirair’s 5th grade teacher:
“I am so thrilled we have an Armenian American leader who has entered this race. Jirair is a fresh voice and will bring progressive values to California-30. I first met Jirair as his 5th grade teacher in Mkhitaryan Armenian School. I knew then what we see in him now: a leader and public servant we can count on to always look out for the most vulnerable. I applaud Jirair’s vision and his commitment to bringing all communities together to solve hard problems.”
KATHY KO CHIN, 2023 Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow, CEO of Jasper Inclusion Advisors, former Obama appointee to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: “Dr. Jirair Ratevosian has been a champion of health equity from his early days working on Capitol Hill and through his corporate and government service. Jirair has been a huge ally and friend to Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and to the health equity matters we have advocated for. From fighting for language access, to culturally appropriate and inclusive healthcare, I know Jirair will always be on our side.”