I received my B.A. summa cum laude in history in 1980, M.A. in public administration in 1982, and Ph.D. in foreign affairs in 1984, all from the University of Virginia.  My first full time teaching appointment was at the Monterey Institute, now the Middlebury Institute of  International Studies at Monterey, where in 1987 I founded the Center for Contemporary Russian Studies.

In 1989 and 1990, as an Intern
ational Affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, I served as special assistant for policy in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, and as temporary political attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. While in the Soviet Union I monitored local elections in Russia, Belarus, and Latvia. In 2001-2002 I returned to Russia as a private citizen to serve as staff consultant to the municipal research and training center Dialog, and advisor to the mayor of the Russian city of Novgorod the Great.

My postdoctoral awards include two Fulbright awards (one to Russia and one to Ukraine), a Thornton D. Hooper International Affairs Fellowship at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, as well as research awards from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington, D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

In 1997
Novgorod State University awarded me an honorary doctorate for "great merit in the development of the University and an outstan
ding contribution to the Science, Culture and Education of the Land of Novgorod." In 2007, 2013, 2014, and 2015 I participated in the Valdai Discussion Club, an international gathering of journalists, academics, and diplomats specializing on Russia who meet annually with that country’s top political leadership. In 2008 I spoke at the first international security conference of the Ukrainian Forum in Kiev, hosted by former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. In 2012 I served as an advisor to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on its "Scenarios for the Russian Federation" initiative.

I have published in
The American Interest,
Asia Times, Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Washington Times, Wilson QuarterlyThe Nation, The National Interest, Providence Journal, World Development, The Fletcher Forum, and Harvard International Review. My articles in Russian have appeared in some of the country's leading social science journals and newspapers.

My books include,
Crafting Democracy: How Novgorod has Coped with Rapid Social Change (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy: From Empire to Nation-State, co-authored with the late Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997).