Theano Lianidou

Alumna Profiled: Theano Lianidou
Graduated: Deree ‘88
Lives in: New York, USA
Current Position: Senior Advisor, Concordia, Co-chair of the 2020 Women on Boards NYC Committee

Theano Lianidou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and graduated from Deree in 1988. She earned an MBA from Boston University (1991) and an MPA from Columbia University (2015). Theano started her career in marketing with Procter & Gamble and, following a number of marketing roles in Greece, the Netherlands, and Poland, she assumed general management positions starting as Managing Director of Mars Inc. in Greece, and then in Italy. She currently resides in New York, where she serves as Senior Advisor to Concordia, and is co-chair of the 2020 Women on Boards NYC Committee. Theano is married to Glafkos Persianis and has two children, Panagiotis (14) and Ilias (10).


Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at Deree?

  • Studying hard pays off
  • We all have very different dreams and ambitions
  • Women can “have it all”

Q.: Describe Deree in three words.

Excellent professors, a great campus, and connections with the corporate world.

Q.: One of your favorite Deree memories?

A marketing project with my friend Elena. We didn’t get a top grade, but we had fun in the process!

Q.: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?

Being young!

Q.: Which was your favorite spot on campus?

The lawn on a sunny day.

Q.: Who was your favorite professor and why?

I took a number of courses with Professor Theocharakis. His classes provided a good mix of theory and practical experience, and he really cared about the students.

Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?

Yes, especially while I was residing in Greece.

Q.: How did Deree help prepare you for your professional life?

Deree helped me in many ways. I truly value the knowledge I gained, and the friends I made.

Most importantly though, either because ACG started as a school for girls, or thanks to the gender diversity of its student body, Deree taught its female students that they should be ambitious and pursue any career they want. Of course, women do face gender-related challenges in the course of their career, but the belief at Deree that women “can have it all” helped many of us launch a professional career.

Q.: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The greatest advice I ever received is that there is no such thing as one single good solution. Different things work for different people and under different circumstances.

Q.: What (or who) inspires you most?

New York, because of its buzz and diversity!

Q.: Your motto in life?

I am afraid I don’t have one…

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