He was born on November 20, 1959 in Fresno, California (USA).
In 1977-1978 he studied at the Department of Political Science of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1979 moving to UC Los Angeles to continue his education in the field of Armenian History. In 1980 he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and Near Eastern Studies, summa cum laude, from UCLA. In 1982 he was awarded a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (M.A.L.D.) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he specialized in the fields of International Law, Diplomatic History, and the Foreign Policies of Communist Countries. In 1985 he received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
In 1981-1982 he worked at Tufts University as a lecturer of Armenian History; and in 1985-1989 he was an international lawyer and civil litigator in the firms of Hill, Farrer and Burrill, Whitman & Ransom, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and Coudert Brothers. In 1989 he founded and directed the Armenian Bar Association.
In January 1990 he returned to Armenia as project director for the Armenian Assembly of America Earthquake Relief. In 1991-1992 he became the first Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. In 1993 he founded and to this day guides the Armenian Center for National and International Studies. In 1998 he worked for a short period at the Department of Information and Publications of the Republic of Armenia and at the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund.
His treatises, monographs, and articles have been published in Armenian, Russian, American, European, and Middle Eastern publications and periodical press. At the Armenian Center for National and International Studies he published Hayatsk Yerevanits (A View from Yerevan), a journal dedicated to Armenian politics and culture.
On May 12, 2007 he was elected a deputy of the National Assembly by the proportional electoral system from the Heritage Party.
He is married and has five children.