Dr Rudolphus (Ruud) Franciscus Marie Lubbers was elected Chairman of the Young Christian Employers Association in 1964, later becoming Chairman of the Catholic Association of Metalwork Employers and a member of the board of the Netherlands Christian Employers Federation.
From 4 November 1982 to 22 August 1994, he was Prime Minister for three terms of government. From 1995 to 2000 he taught Globalization Studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the United States.In October 2000 the U.N. General Assembly, following his nomination by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, elected him as the U.N. Refugee Agency’s High Commissioner. He succeeded Mrs. Sadako Ogata of Japan on 31 December 2000.On 6 September 2004 Ruud Lubbers received an honorary doctorate from the Radboud University Nijmegen.