Dubin's role in both pollsters proved instrumental, having supervised until 2012 Levada Center's key department that handled socio-political studies. Unheard of prior to perestroika, political opinion polls are now widely recognized as one of the key factors influencing Kremlin policies. Dubin was also hailed by critics and supporters alike as a shining example of old-school Soviet intelligentsia in the best sense of the word, at once intelligent, tactful, deeply moral and respectful of his opponents.
A graduate of the philological faculty at the prestigious Moscow State University, Dubin belonged to underground poetry circles in the 1970s. He won recognition as a translator, rendering into Russian works by Spanish medieval and Baroque poets and modern Spanish-language authors, most notably "magical realist" Jorge Luis Borges.