Born in Amsterdam (NL) in 1953. After his study of business-economics he worked for an audit firm in Amsterdam and for the audit department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature management and Fisheries in The Hague. Subsequently he became Dutch representative in EU negotiations for fisheries. Later he was responsible for the agricultural part of the national environmental policy plan. A switch to the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial development and the Environment was a logical step in his career. Within this Ministry Ruut became the overall responsible for INTERREG and finally also for the development of the Territorial Cohesion Policy. He was responsible for the Netherlands of the development of Objective 3 (Cooperation) of the Cohesion Policy within the negotiations about both the Financial Perspectives 2007-2013 and the regulatory framework. In 2007 Ruut was appointed Director of the INTERREG IVB North West Europe Programme in Lille (F).