Before joining the Environmental Defense Fund, Ruben spent five years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service as a natural resource and agricultural economist and the agency’s specialist on land use. He also developed and managed environmental projects in Latin America at the United Nations Development Program and conducted research at the World Bank and the Harvard Institute for International Development. Ruben spent two years in rainforest communities in Sri Lanka designing and conducting surveys to quantify the value of forest products. His dissertation was the first nationwide statistical analysis of land-use changes in the United States. He received his Ph.D. and master’s degree in Political Economy and Government and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.