In 1994 Zhdanov worked as a representative of presidential candidate L. Kuchma at the Central Election Commission.
From 1994 to 1995 he worked at Legal Department of Presidential Administration of Ukraine and at a group of assistants to the President of Ukraine.
From 1995 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2005 Ihor Zhdanov was Director for policy and legal programs of Razumkov Centre.
During 1997-1999 he worked at the administrative office of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
In 2004 he served as leading analyst of the election campaign office of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. He is one of the authors of program «Ten Steps towards People» and electoral strategy of the candidate.
In 2005-2007 he was First Deputy Head of Central Executive Committee of “Our Ukraine” People’s Union.
From May 2008 Zhdanov was President of «Open Policy» Analytical Centre.
He has a Ph.D. in Policy Studies.