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Born 1963 in Cherepovets.

Dr. Afanasiev graduated from Nekrasov Kostroma State Pedagogical Institute (now State University), Faculty of History and Pedagogics with Honours (cum laude) in history and pedagogics.

He received an MBA degree, with Honours, in business school of Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.

After finishing the post-graduate school of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Sociology, in 1995 he defended his doctorate (Candidate degree) in Political Sociology.

Dr. Afanasiev has been in higher education since 1990. From 1996 he worked as an assistant lecturer, later as a senior lecturer at the  Department of Philosophy in Lunacharsky Cherepovets State Pedagogial Institute (now Cherepovets State University). At the same time, he worked as a senior lecturer and later as an associate professor at the Department of Sociology in ChSU.

In October 2009 he was appointed Acting Rector of ChSU, and in May 2010 he was elected Rector by the Conference Faculty and Staff of ChSU.

From 1996 to October 2002 he worked for Severstal, JSC as the Head of Sociological Research Department, the Head of the Department of Information and Analysis, and the Head of Information and Public Relations Administration.

Beginning in 2002, he was a CEO council member in Severstal Group, CJSC (Severstal, JSC since 2006). In 2002-2009 he combined this position with the position of Director of a nongovernmental educational institution "Corporate University Severstal", an educational, research, information and consulting centre in Severstal, JSC.

From 2002-2008 he worked voluntarily as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Media-Holding Severstal, JSC.

From 2007-2008 he was a member of the council of the noncommercial partnership "Russian Institute of Directors" in Moscow.

From 2008-2009 he was a Severstal representative among senior executives in the City Development Agency of Cherepovets, a Severstal representative in the Board for coordination in the Moscow School of Management "Skolkovo" and in the World Steel Association's project "Steel University".

In 2008-2009 he was voluntarily in charge of the working group of Severstal and Cherepovets City Hall joint project "Foresight of the city of Cherepovets up to 2020". He is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Public Chamber of Vologda region.

His research interests are political sociology, sociology of communications, sociology of management, sociology of risks and safety, sociology of innovation and education.

He is an author of scientific and educational works.