He is a member of the Aspen Institute Romania and currently serves as the executive director of the Institute. He is a career diplomat having joined the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1998. His diplomatic career includes working in bilateral affairs, serving with the ministry's spokesperson, and as head of the early warning unit in the policy-planning department. He was advisor to the foreign minister between 2002 and 2004. Previously he worked for the Centre for Policy Studies and Comparative Analysis, and co-led a political and social affairs think tank. He also worked in the private sector and the Romanian Senate where he served as an advisor and researcher with the legal affairs committee. During 1996 he was the executive director for a mayoral electoral campaign in Bucharest. He was on foreign posting in Brussels between 2004 and 2010 as director of the Romanian Information Centre in Brussels, and Councilor to Romanian Embassy. In 2007 he took on the role of director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Brussels and he served as vice president and then president of EUNIC Brussels between 2008 and 2010.
Andrei Tarnea studied clinical and social psychology in Bucharest. His post-graduate level education is in political studies at the National School for Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest and in international relations and security studies in Boston at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has a master in international law from the Fletcher School and additional studies in European policy and policy assessment at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He was an Aspen Italia Junior Fellow. Besides his native Romanian he speaks fluent English, French, and Hungarian and has a basic command of Spanish and Italian. Andrei Tarnea is married to Andra Teodora Tarnea.