Drew Fudenberg obtained his A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1978, when he went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Economics at MIT. After completing his Ph.D. in just three years, he began his assistant professorship at the University of California, Berkeley in 1981. At Berkeley, Fudenberg was tenured at the age of 28. In 1987, he returned to a faculty position at MIT, where he taught for 6 years. In 1993, Fudenberg accepted a faculty position in the Economics department of his alma mater, Harvard University.
Fudenberg was the associate editor of the Journal of Economic Theory from 1984 to 1996; the Quarterly Journal of Economics from 1984 to 1989; Econometrica from 1985 to 1996; Games and Economic Behavior from 1988 to 1993, and the foreign editor of the Review of Economic Studies from 1993 to 1996. He was also the principal editor of Econometrica from 1996 until 2000.