Richard W. B. Ruffin earned a B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) in History from Yale University and an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
He served as Communications Officer on a destroyer in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, and afterwards as a systems analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defence.
He left government service in 1971 and devoted himself thereafter to the faith-based work of Initiatives of Change (IofC) (www.iofc.org), formerly known as Moral Re-Armament. Since 1938, it has sought to bring positive change in the world through change in the motives, behaviours and attitudes of individuals, often those at the heart of seemingly intractable conflicts. He served as its Executive Director in the United States for 23 years, retiring in February 2003. From 2002 until October 2010, he was Executive Vice-President of Initiatives of Change International, an Association of IofC national chapters and programs in over forty countries.
He played a key role in initiating a five year series of international conferences known as The Caux Forums for Human Security (www.cauxforum.net), which brought together 300 senior diplomats, politicians, intellectuals, civil society leaders and grass roots activists from around the world at the IofC Center for Reconciliation in Caux, Switzerland.
As Executive Director of IofC, he developed several significant initiatives. Prominent among these is The Caux Round Table (www.cauxroundtable.org), an international network of senior business leaders that seeks to promote a moral capitalism. Its Principles for Business are among the most widely disseminated guidelines for principled business leadership in the world.
Another initiative of national scope is Hope in the Cities (www.hic.iofc.org). Since 1992 it has worked to build trust across racial divides by promoting honest conversations on race, reconciliation and responsibility. It encourages communities to walk through their racial history as a means of healing wounds of the past. The Kellogg Foundation saw the relevance of this work globally and supported major conferences on the healing of memory in Europe and in Richmond, Virginia, in 2013 and 2015. In the context of Ferguson and recent racial incidents elsewhere, its method of building trust is increasingly looked upon as a model for divided communities.
For over twenty years, IofC’s Caux Scholars Program has brought together outstanding university and graduate students from around the world for a one month course in conflict transformation. Many of the 400 plus alumni of the program are engaged currently in practical peace-building endeavors around the world.
Ruffin has traveled widely in support of IofC programs on every continent.
He has served on several non-profit Boards in the Washington area.
He lives with his wife, Randy, in Amissville, Virginia. They have two grown children.