Rutger has a MSc in development economics from the University of Wageningen, with a specializations in communication and extension education. He worked in agricultural extension projects in Africa for over 10 years and was director of NGOs such as Hivos (The Hague, the Netherlands), the Beijer Institute Centre for Energy and Development (BICEDA, Nairobi) and TOOL (Amsterdam, the Netherlands). He was founding director of IICD, the International Institute for Communication and Development (The Hague, the Netherlands).
Rutger specializes in policy research and consulting in fields such as cross-media communication, knowledge management, science and technology for development, and ICT programmes for rural development. Over the years, he has been a member of various boards of directors of NGOs, such as Oneworld International (London) and Oneworld Netherlands (Amsterdam), OnzeWereld Media (Amsterdam), PSO - Personnel Services Overseas (The Hague), the jury of the Stockholm Challenge, an international annual award programme for innovative ICT/Internet projects (Stockholm). Rutger is currently an active member of his neighbourhood association.