A proud native of Lebanon, Berge Setrakian attended the College du Sacre Coeur and the International College. He continued his studies at the Law School of the Université Saint-Joseph and graduated in 1972. He holds Masters Degrees in French Law and Comparative Law. While he began his early years as an attorney in Beirut, he immigrated to the United States with his wife Vera but never lost his connection to his beloved country.
As a young aspiring lawyer, Mr. Setrakian joined the law firm of Whitman & Ransom in New York in 1976 where he grew his practice in international business. His educational background and upbringing gave him unique footing in the New York legal arena where he established himself with clients in the Middle East, Europe and Americas. He served as the Chairman of Whitman, Breed, Abbott from 1997 to 2000 when the firm merged with Winston and Strawn. He continues to practice today as a partner at DLA Piper providing legal and strategic advice to clients who draw on his combined experience in international business, corporate law, litigation and dispute resolution.
In addition to his thriving legal practice, Mr. Setrakian has held seats on a diverse range of companies in the United States and Europe. Of equal importance to him, has been his civic engagement giving back to his Lebanese and Armenian communities. Mr. Setrakian is passionate for both his homeland and motherland standing up for all causes. While in Lebanon, he was the head of the Scouts du Liban, the largest youth movement at the time in Lebanon. He often cites this experience as having embedded his drive for community service and leadership. He has remained committed to various Lebanese community, social and humanitarian initiatives both in the country and abroad. Mr. Setrakian has been serving as the President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the largest international Armenian organization outside of the Republic of Armenia for close to 20 years. He also serves on the board of directors of other Lebanese and Armenian organizations, including the American University of Armenia and the Strategic Committee of his law school in Beirut.
Mr. Setrakian is married to Vera Nazarian, with whom he has two daughters, Ani and Lara, and four grandchildren. They remain his true pride as they carry on the tradition of community engagement in the next generation.