Prof. Mark Bassin gained his Ph.D at the University of California, Berkeley in 1983. He has taught at UCLA, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and University College London, and held visiting positions at the Universities of Chicago, Copenhagen, and Pau in France. He currently holds a Professorship in Human Geography at the University of Birmingham.

He has received personal fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Kennan Institute, the Remarque Institute at New York University, the American Academy in Berlin, the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center in Sapporo, and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz. His research has also been supported by grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), NCEEER, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Ford Foundation.

From 1996-2004 he served as Secretary for the Commission for the History of Geographic Thought of the International Geographical Union. He has been a consultant for the World Economic Forum, and is a founding member of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow, in which capacity he meets yearly with the Russian President and members of his government. Since 1999, Bassin has been Associate Editor for the journal Geopolitics.