Honorary Chairman (1992 – 2012)
7 May 1927 – 23 October 2012
Mikhael Essayan (1927 – 2012), was Calouste Gulbenkian’s grandson. His mother, Rita Sirvarte Essayan, was Gulbenkian’s daughter and married Kevork Loris Essayan. He married Geraldine St. Lawrence Lee Guinness in 1956, together they had a son and a daughter.
Former Trustee and Honorary Chairman of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He was nominated Honorary President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 1992.
Mikhael Essayan attended Harrow School and later Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a First Class Degree in Classical Honour Moderations and “Literae Humaniores”, followed by an M.A. The Armenian National Academy of Sciences also conferred a Doctorate Honoris Causa to him.
After serving in the Royal Artillery from 1945 to 1948 (Palestine 1947 – 1948), he went on to work for the Iraq Petroleum Company in London and the Middle East from 1951 to 1956. Returning to London, he was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1957 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1976. He was an elected Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1983 and a member of the General Council of the Bar from 1987 to 1988.
Many commendations were awarded to Mikhael Essayan including, the Order of Merit of Portugal (Commander), the Order of Prince of Cilicia (Lebanon), and the Great Cross of the Infante D. Henrique (Portugal).