Budescu graduated from the University of Haifa in Haifa, Israel and received his Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from the University of North Carolina in 1980. From 1982 to 1992 he taught at the University of Haifa and, in 1992, accepted an appointment at the University of Illinois. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Society and is a past director of the European Association of Decision Making. In 1999 he edited "Games and Human Behavior: Essays in Honor of Amnon Rapoport."
Budescu researches the effects of uncertainty in human decision-making and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. In 2009 he was appointed Anne Anastasi Professor of Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology at Fordham University.