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Mr. Sahakian was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as General Manager of the Emergency Management Department (EMD) in 2016. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Sahakian led the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) Special Traffic Operations and Emergency Response Division, where he managed emergency response and major special events for over two decades.
Mr. Sahakian has cultivated a broad network of relationships with public and private sector entities, community organizations, Neighborhood Councils, and grassroots stakeholders through his work on many successful citywide initiatives managing multi-stakeholder situations.
Mr. Sahakian has served as Incident Commander for dozens of major incidents in a Unified Command structure alongside the LAPD and the LAFD, including the 2013 LAX Shooting, 2008 Metrolink Chatsworth railway disaster, 2008 Marek and Sesnon wildfires, and 1994 Northridge Earthquake. He has also worked in close coordination with other city, state and federal agencies for U.S. Presidential motorcades, political conventions and gatherings, annual awards shows and sporting events, the transportation of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the 2015 Special Olympics, the 405 Freeway Closure (Carmageddon).
Mr. Sahakian has studied executive level leadership at the Harvard Business and Kennedy Schools, emergency management training at the California Specialized Training Institute, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Emergency Management Institute at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Electrical Engineering and holds a Professional License in Transportation Engineering.