Tabibian was born in Lebanon of Armenian descent. Educated in Armenian schools in Beirut and at the American University there, he moved to the United States in 1959 and was a graduate student in the department of politics at Princeton into 1962. He completed his coursework but not his dissertation.
He taught at UCLA, USC, and Wake Forest University, among others. His fields included political science, urban planning, and international politics. His planning and public-policy consultation work took him to Latin America, the Middle East, and Japan. He first visited Armenia in 1963, and after Armenia’s independence in 1991 he was part of the initial team of experts assessing the energy needs of the new nation.
Before retiring in 2008, he had been for a decade the permanent representative of Armenia to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a trans-Atlantic group of 56 member states. For most of this period, he was also Armenia’s ambassador to Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
Tabibian is survived by his wife, Isabella, and two children.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.