Chair of UWC Dilijan Board
UWC Dilijan Co-Founder, impact investor and social entrepreneur
Veronika Zonabend is an impact investor and social entrepreneur. She is a Co-Founder and the Chair of the Board of Governors of UWC Dilijan College in Armenia, the first academic institution in Eastern Europe and the CIS to join the United World Colleges network. She is actively involved in philanthropy, focusing primarily on the promotion of global education. Together with her husband, Ruben Vardanyan, she is the founder of the RVVZ Family Foundation, the IDeA Charitable Foundation and Scholae Mundi Foundation, which implement philanthropic sustainable development projects in Russia and Armenia. Veronika sits on the Philanthropy Committee of UWC International (UK) and on the boards of the American University of Armenia and the Teach for Armenia Educational Foundation.
During the 2000s, as an entrepreneur she undertook projects within such diverse sectors as hospitality, film distribution and production. Notable amongst these was the co-production of “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky”, a film that closed the Cannes Festival in 2009.
Prior to that, she worked for several years in the banking sector, becoming the Deputy Head of the Foreign Exchange Department of Tveruniversal Bank in 1993. After training as an aeronautical engineer at the Moscow Aviation Institute, she began her career at the Research Institute of Avionics in Russia.
In 2014, the President of the Republic of Armenia awarded Veronika Zonabend the Order of Friendship in recognition of her many contributions to fostering educational development and international collaboration in science and education, as well as for her substantial efforts in building the international school in Dilijan and implementing academic programmes.