Sudjatmiko is the son of Wartono (father) and Sri Sulastri (mother). He pursued Economics at Gadjah Mada University where he immersed himself in student movements and started to organize civil movements in Java. Inspired by revolutionary movements, he dropped out of college to focus on people movement and became a chairman of the People's Democratic Association (Perhimpunan Rakyat Demokratik), which in 1996 became the People's Democratic Party (PRD).
In 2002, Budiman resigned from PRD to pursue a master's degree in political studies at SOAS University of London. He later pursued a Master of Philosophy degree in International Relations at the University of Cambridge.
In December 2004, he joined the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), one of Indonesia's major political parties On this movement, he commented:
Although there is still much which must be sorted out in terms of professionalism, ethics and morals, in the vision of struggle and other programs within the PDI-P, all of this is a challenge for the PDI-P to become the party of the little people.
He is currently the director of ResPublica Institute, an Indonesian defense think tank.
He is an alumnus of SMAN 5 Kota Bogor. In addition to studying Economics at Gadjah Mada University, Budiman gained two master's degrees, both in International Relations, from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and at Clare Hall, Cambridge.
He is currently the director of Res Publica Institute, an Indonesian defense think tank.
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