Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Ardy's family moved to Southern California over 30 years ago. His parents looked for a place where they could raise a family and send their children to excellent public schools which is why they decided to make Glendale their home. The Kassakhians attended Glendale public schools and Ardy graduated from Glendale High School where he was active in student government, participated in journalism and various clubs and given the tools he needed to succeed in life.
Ardy holds a B.A. in History from UCLA where he also participated in the University's Center of American Politics and Public Policy program in Washington, D.C. His thesis focused on the failures and successes of ethic lobby groups in Congress. He interned in Congress twice and ran a summer internship program for college students. At UCLA Ardy was involved in various student organizations and became politically active volunteering on local, state and federal campaigns. He was elected to become one of the youngest delegates to the California Democratic Party from his region and advocated for greater youth involvement in the State Party on the local level.
Ardy spent his early career in political campaigns and coupled that experience with a career in public relations. After working for one of California's largest public affairs PR firms re[resenting international labor unions, fortune 500 companies, working on national, state and local campaigns and initiatives, Kassakhian left the private sector to become the government relations director and later executive director of the Western U.S. offices of a national non-profit which specialized in human rights advocacy, voters rights education, and public affairs. He worked closely with members of state legislatures throughout the Western U.S. and in the U.S. Congress on policy issues affecting Armenian-Americans specifically an issue that remains close to his heart to this day. Ardy became an active member of the Los Angeles County Voter Outreach Committee (CVOC) - a group created specifically to seek different methods to raise voter participation in county, state and federal elections. Ardy's efforts have helped make the County of LA the only County that provides Armenian language translations on its website for election materials and information.
GLENDALE CITY CLERK
On April 2005 Ardy became the first person every elected City Clerk in an open election for the position in Glendale's 75 year history. His landslide victory in a field of 9 candidates made history and made him the youngest person ever elected to public office in Glendale. After his reelection in 2009, Ardy completed a summer curriculum for state and local officials at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2016 Ardy completed his Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration from Northwestern University. He is an alumnus of the Coro Executive Fellowship Program in Public Affairs. Ardy is currently looking to reform Glendale's election process by seeking ways to increase voter participation and reintroduce civics education in our schools with an emphasis on local civics and government.
During his tenure as City Clerk, Ardy has helped educate thousands of non-English speaking citizens in Glendale about the voting process spearheading groundbreaking efforts to teach voting in Spanish, Armenian, Korean, and Tagalog. His efforts have gained attention from regional and national agencies for their creativity and ingenuity. Ardy continues to take his passion for voting and the democratic process beyond the voting booth and into the classroom to engage students in high schools and colleges to get involved at an early age in their local government. He is a regular lecturer around the county and state on this topic and has created a curriculum on US Campaign History for high school students.
Ardy lives in Glendale with is wife Courtney who is an educator and administrator. Courtney went to USC and Ardy is a Bruin but they are still happily married. Their son will have a tough time deciding where to apply to college.