Rudolphus Franciscus Marie "Ruud" Lubbers (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈryt ˈlʏbərs] (listen); 7 May 1939 – 14 February 2018) was a Dutch politician and diplomat of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and businessman who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 4 November 1982 to 22 August 1994 and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1 January 2001 until 20 February 2005.Lubbers worked as a corporate director for the manufacturing company Hollandia from 1963 until 1973. After the election of 1972 Lubbers was appointed as Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cabinet Den Uyl, serving from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977. After the election of 1977 Lubbers was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives, serving from 8 June 1977 until his resignation on 8 September 1977. He was not giving a ministerial post in the new Cabinet Van Agt-Wiegel and returned to the House of Representatives on 22 December 1977. Following the resignation of Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives Willem Aantjes, Lubbers was selected to succeeded him on 7 November 1978. After the election of 1981 and the formation of the Cabinet Van Agt II Lubbers continued to serve as Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives.
Shortly after the election of 1982 incumbent Prime Minister and Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal Dries van Agt unexpectedly announced his retirement from national politics and endorsed Lubbers as his successor. After Van Agt stood down on 25 October 1982, Lubbers was chosen to succeed him en became the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal and the presumed de facto next Prime Minister. The following cabinet formation resulted in a coalition agreement with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) which formed the Cabinet Lubbers I, with Lubbers becoming Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of General Affairs on 4 November 1982. For the election of 1986 Lubbers served as Lijsttrekker (top candidate). The Christian Democratic Appeal won the election, gaining 9 seats and now had 54 seats in the House of Representatives. Lubbers was appointed as Formateur and the following cabinet formation resulted in a continuing coalition agreement with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy to form a Cabinet Lubbers II with Lubbers continuing as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs, taking office on 14 July 1986. For the election of 1989 Lubbers served again as Lijsttrekker (top candidate). The Christian Democratic Appeal won the election, and won kept the 54 seats in the House of Representatives. Lubbers was appointed as Informateur together with the Leader of the Labour Party Wim Kok to make a coalition agreement that resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Lubbers-Kok with Lubbers continuing to serve as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs, taking office on 7 November 1989. Lubbers served as acting Minister for Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Affairs from 7 November 1989 until 14 November 1989 when Ministers of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin took over the position. He again served as Minister for Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Affairs following the resignation of Ernst Hirsch Ballin from 27 May 1994 until 22 August 1994. Lubbers who already had been the longest serving Prime Minister of Netherlands his retirement from national politics and that he would not stand for the election of 1994. Lubbers stood down as Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal on 29 January 1994 and was succeeded by Elco Brinkman. He remained Prime Minister until the Cabinet Kok I was installed on 22 August 1994, having served for nearly 12 years.
After his premiership, Lubbers semi-retired from active politics and served as a visiting professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Tilburg University from 1995 until 2001. In 2000 Lubbers was nominated as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, serving from 1 January 2001 until his resignation on 20 February 2005. Following his retirement Lubbers occupied numerous seats as a corporate director and lobbyist for supervisory boards in the business and industry world and several international non-governmental organizations (World Wide Fund for Nature, Earth Charter Initiative, Club of Rome, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands) and as an advocate and activist for conservation, humanitarian and sustainable development causes.
Lubbers was known for his abilities as a team leader and consensus builder. During his premiership, his cabinets were responsible for rebuilding the Dutch economy after the recession in the 1980s, stimulating sustainable development, reforming social security, and reducing the deficit. Lubbers was granted the honorary title of Minister of State on 31 January 1995 and continued to comment on political affairs as a statesman until his death. He remains the youngest and longest-serving Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
He is also known as Rudolphus Franciscus Marie Lubbers, Ruud F.M. Lubbers and R.F.M. Lubbers.