Sergey Tantushyan on stairs at the American University of Armenia.

Passion Meets Purpose

Sergey Tantushyan finds balance educating the future business leaders of Armenia


It is a mark of great success when the student becomes the teacher, but for Sergey Tantushyan, returning to his Alma Mater at the American University of Armenia (AUA) held a particular appeal. As Professor of Business Policy and Strategy and Director of the Extension School, Tantushyan helps prepare future business leaders to make Armenia competitive on the world stage. 

Motivated by both a lifelong love of learning and an altruistic desire to share his knowledge to help others succeed, the life of an academic always appealed to Tantushyan. “I love the immediate feedback I get from teaching,” he says. “If you are not effective, you can see it in the bored expressions your students will have. It keeps me concentrated and focused.”

Tantushyan has a wealth of expertise to share. After earning an MBA from Brandeis International Business School, an MSc in Economics from Yerevan State University, and an MA in Comparative Law Studies from the American University of Armenia, he obtained a Doctorate in Finance and Economics from the National Academy of Sciences. In between, he gained practical business experience in the private and non-profit sectors working at the Central Bank of Armenia, OSCE, UNICEF/UNDP, New York City’s Conference Board and more recently as Deputy CEO at IDeA Foundation, implementing headline development projects throughout Armenia. 

If you are not effective, you can see it in the bored expressions your students will have. It keeps me concentrated and focused.

As a former student of AUA, for which he received a scholarship from AGBU, Professor and Chair of the Business program, Tantushyan has a long-standing connection to the University. In his current role overseeing the extension program, he brings his international experience to help design and structure a cutting edge curriculum uniquely tailored to meet the needs of private and public sector organizations, as well as individuals seeking to expand their skillset.

The continuing education program offers diplomas and certificates for advanced courses in marketing, strategy, change management, communications and negotiation skills aimed at helping working professionals.

The comprehensive program also provides anyone 16 and older with a chance to learn and master English as a second language, along with preparing students for standardized tests including the GMAT, LSAT, TOELF and GRE, among others.  

In each of these three academic streams, Tantushyan works with professors to ensure high-quality academic instruction, effective evaluation methods and that all courses are sustainable and transferable.  

At the same time he also serves as the University’s principal outreach with the business community, interacting with the public and building partnerships with corporate clients and other institutions to fill a critical market demand for professional development in both Yerevan and throughout the regions of Armenia. 

As pragmatic as he is enthusiastic about teaching, Tantushyan emphasizes the importance of learning skills in the classroom that can then be applied successfully in the boardroom. “My goal is for the AUA Extension program to become the ultimate educational outsource for all major organizations in Armenia.” 

Banner photo by Eric Grigorian.

Originally published in the 2018-08-01​ issue of AGBU Insider. end character

About the AGBU Insider

AGBU Insider profiles extraordinary AGBU program alumni across a diverse set of industries and passions. With exclusive interviews and photography, each issue reveals the Armenian impact on society, community, and industry.