Ruben van de Belt

Ruben van de Belt (29) wanted to become a priest before he got his teeth into complex global issues at VU Amsterdam. With a range of qualifications such as the Research Masterโ€™s in Theology and Religious Studies, he is now working as policy advisor for sustainable energy at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Ruben says that he became resilient and self-assured at university. “Education is also a quest for who you are as a person. Previously I always wanted to become a priest, but I lack the patience needed for pastoral work and my real interest is in global issues at the interface of theology, law and politics.”

Next generation
During his courses of study, Ruben was the chair of the faculty student council and a student member of the faculty council. “It enriched my own experience and you also make a small contribution to a future university for the next generation. Moreover, I also took the VU Boardroom masterclass, which gives insight into how decisions are made in a large company.”

Ruben is now policy advisor at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. His main focus is on climate legislation. “The transition from fossil fuels to the use of sustainable energy sources is presenting government authorities and grid operators with new issues that need to be translated into legislation. This is complex material and itโ€™s something I like to get my teeth into.”

The alumnus is also a council member of the ChristenUnie in Zwolle, where his portfolios include Student Affairs and Energy & Climate. “For me, the energy transition also involves a careful approach to Godโ€™s creation. Sometimes I feel more pessimistic about whether all our efforts will be enough, and usually Iโ€™m enthusiastic about all the large and small initiatives around me.”