Olena Sydorenko-Szabó has been affiliated with the Central European University since 1993, first in Prague and later in Budapest. In 1995 Sydorenko-Szabó joined the Open Society Foundations, researching and writing articles for Open Society Foundations publications and academic journals on forced migration in the former Soviet Union for the Forced Migration Project in Prague.
In 1996 she joined the Forced Migration Project in the Budapest office, and worked with the International Policy Fellowships Program since its establishment in 1998. In 2008 she joined the Education Support Program as a senior program coordinator. Sydorenko-Szabó is currently a PhD candidate in linguistics with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She earned an MA in sociology from the Central European University.