The United States of America is a country of immigrants, where people and groups representing different nationalities have immigrated in search of a better life and opportunities. Among those immigrants are the Armenian people, who immigrated to the United States fleeing wars and Genocide. This study explores the first-generation foreign-born leaders of Armenian descent who came to the United States in search of opportunities, education, happiness, and success. The study examines the success strategies employed by first-generation, foreign-born leaders. This phenomenological study concentrates on the common experiences of the selected 15 participants. To answer the four research questions, 15 foreign-born, first-generation Armenian leaders were interviewed and asked 10 interview question. Additionally, themes were formed to describe the common experiences of the interviewees. Through the interview process, it was discovered that the heritage and the strong cultural presence had shaped the leaders and determined their path to success, affected their decisions and prepared them for the challenges. It was also discovered that (a) hard work, (b) perseverance, (c) discipline, and (d) honesty were the main determinant factors for their success. The notable challenges described by the participants were (a) difficulty to assimilate, (b) the language barrier, and (c) discrimination. In addition, the participants made recommendations for the future generations of foreign-born leaders who are yet to move to the United States in search of new opportunities and success.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Armenian Americans -- Interviews; Leadership -- Case studies; Success

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;