Orenstein is professor and chair of the department of political science at Northeastern University. He is the author of two prize-winning books, Out of the Red: Building Capitalism and Democracy in Postcommunist Europe (2001) and Privatizing Pensions: The Transnational Campaign for Social Security Reform (2008). His current research on the rise and decline of economic paradigms shows why economic paradigms are prone to self-destruct. Orenstein has previously taught at Brown, Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, and Moscow State Universities. He is also an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. He received his PhD from Yale University in 1996.