Rafi Manoukian (born 1961) immigrated to the United States (Los Angeles, California) in 1975, from Beirut, Lebanon with his parents and three brothers. After high school, Manoukian joined the United States Air Force in 1978 at the age 17. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and received the Air Force Commendation Medal for work above and beyond the call of duty. He was honorably dischared in 1982. During his four years in the military, Manoukian received an Associate in Arts Degree from Miami Dade Community College. Afterwards, Manoukian continued his education at California State University, Northridge receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Economics in 1984. He received his Certified Public Accountant certificate in 1991 and founded Manoukian Accountancy Corporation in 1993. He went on to receive a MBA from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2004. Manoukian married Zovig Sepetjian in 1987, and they have three children.
From 1997 to 1998, Manoukian served on the Measure K School Bond Committee, a role for which he earned the Glendale Unified School District Burtis E. Taylor Education Award. From 1998 to 1999, Manoukian served on the Board of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce as well as on the Board of the Glendale Youth Alliance.
In April 1999, Manoukian was elected to the Glendale City Council after promoting the registration of over 4000 new voters. He was re-elected in 2003, attaining the most votes of any council candidate up to that point in time. In addition to his duties as a councilmember, Manoukian served as Chair of the Housing Authority and the Redevelopment Agency. He assumed the duties of Glendale Mayor in 2002-03 and 2005-06. As Mayor, he chaired the 2005 Relay for Life event, which raised over $100,000 for cancer research. Manoukian was voted by the community as Best Politician in 2005. Rafi was honored in 2006 by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation, by being awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is given to immigrants that have made outstanding contributions to the United States . Although Glendale's City Council is non-partisan, Rafi is a member of the Democratic Party. Rafi also sits on the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Commission.
In January 2011, Rafi announced his candidacy for Glendale City Council. He won the election and was sworn-in as a Glendale City Councilmember in April 2011.
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