UCLA Luskin Dean Gary Segura served as host and master of ceremonies for a Nov. 13, 2017, lecture and discussion by the minister of defense of the Republic of Armenia, Vigen Sargsyan. “The cultural connections between the Republic of Armenia and the city of Los Angeles are deep,” Segura said at the noontime talk at the Luskin Conference Center. Noting that Los Angeles is home to the largest Armenian community in the world outside of the boundaries of the former Soviet Union, Segura added, “Armenians are a cultural, economic and political force in the city and in the region, and are an important presence here at UCLA.” Sargsyan was appointed defense minister in 2016 following a career in public service and education. He spoke about his own education related to public policy and offered insights into the challenges and goals of policymaking, providing a view of the geopolitics from his homeland south of the Caucasus Mountains region of Southwest Asia — a crossroads with ancient historical and cultural roots. During a Q&A that followed, Sargsyan talked about his country’s relationships with neighboring countries, military service in Armenia, economic development and environmental concerns in his nation.