Unlocking the Power of Behavioral Science

1. Understand the Psychology Behind Financial Decision Making

Gain insights into why people make certain financial choices and learn how to leverage this knowledge to your advantage. Behavioral science adds a human element to financial practice and economic theories, allowing for a more realistic understanding of decision-making processes. By incorporating psychological insights into economic analyses, we can make more accurate predictions and develop better-informed strategies.

2. Apply Behavioral Insights in Economic Analysis

Discover how behavioral science can enhance economic analysis by considering human behavior as a key factor. Incorporating psychological factors into financial and economic models allows for more accurate predictions and better policy recommendations.

3. Promote Sustainable Practices through Behavioral Interventions

Leverage behavioral science strategies to maximize sustainable strategies in companies and government. Unlock the potential and encourage sustainable behaviors among individuals, organizations, and communities. By understanding the motivations behind sustainable actions, you can design effective policies, practices, and interventions that drive positive change.

4. Look to Tradition to Drive Innovation

It might seem counterintutitive to many today, but tradition can provide a solid foundation upon which new ideas and concepts can be built. Tradition provides a sense of continuity between past, present, and future. It connects us with previous generations by carrying forward their wisdom. We learn from their struggles, triumphs, and lessons learned. These insights can stimulate our own creative thinking process and inspire us to come up with fresh ideas.   

5. Take a Global Approach with a Human Focus

Tradition plays a significant role in shaping our identity and connecting us to our past. A comprehensive perspective on behavioral science considers established traditions, global trends, and cultural nuances. If you combine scientific rigor with empathy, you can ensure that solutions are not only evidence-based and effective, but also human-centered.


Endorsements and Recommendations

Author of Practical Economics in an Ever-Changing World
A textbook combining behavioral science, sustainability, and economic theory
to better understand the reality of the world in which we live.
Find out more.

Recipient of the 2022 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award (Region IV)

Fellow of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment


 Rutherford Johnson-Roma-Rus', PhD, ALM, MSc, FRGS is an accomplished leader, educator, behavioral scientist, and cleric with over 25 years of international diplomatic and executive experience. He focuses on empowering others to form valuable collaborations that improve lives.

As an experienced chief executive and compassionate clergyman, Dr. Rutherford is known for his positive, data-driven, people-oriented approach that helps teams surpass expectations. He also has a unique talent for building relationships with donors. Also, he regularly leads teams that provide expert policy advice to the United Nations General Assembly and Economic and Social Council on critical global issues such as humanitarianism, economics, sustainability, and social matters. 

Throughout his work, Dr. Rutherford prioritizes authentic diversity, equity, and inclusion to create a sense of belonging for all individuals. With versatility gained from experience in government, diplomatic service, and academia, he effectively turns challenges into opportunities.

Dr. Rutherford adapts his leadership style to suit the needs of organizations and stakeholders while maximizing team effectiveness. His guidance has propelled several organizations to international prominence. As an educator, he strives to bring out the best in his students by preparing them for success beyond the classroom.

Dr. Rutherford is also a skilled behavioral scientist specializing in behavioral economics and psychology. He holds degrees from Harvard University Extension School, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. Having lived and worked globally, he maintains a global outlook with a human focus.

Also, Dr. Rutherford is a popular international speaker, consultant, and author whose academic research interests include environmental and social sustainability as well as behavioral economics and the economics of culture and religion. He is also a retired high-altitude alpine mountaineer and mariner with certifications in navigation and maritime search and rescue.

With a strong dedication to linguistics related to his heritage and beyond, Dr.Rutherford speaks Italian, Russian, Spanish, French, German, and Korean at various levels of proficiency.


Endorsements and Recommendations

Professional and Academic Degrees

University of Kentucky
    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Agricultural Economics
           (Focus on health information and psychology on financial decision-making.)

Harvard University Extension School
     Master of Liberal Arts (ALM), Sustainability
     (Focus on policy and social-related sustainability applications of behavioral analysis.)
     Graduate Certificate (Grad. Cert.) in Corporate Sustainability & Innovation
     Graduate Certificate (Grad. Cert.) in Social Justice
     Graduate Certificate (Grad. Cert.) in Business Communications

Harvard Business School Online
     Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
    Master of Science, School of Economics
    Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics with Honor

Select Executive and Professional Appointments

URRC, Inc. (global humanitarian foundation in special consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC)
     President and CEO, 2008 – present

University of Minnesota Crookston

     Program Lead, International Business, 2017-present
     Senior Faculty – Lecturer of Economics, 2015-present
     Senator, University Senate, 2022 – present, (University of Minnesota System)
     Professional and Administrative Senator, 2020-present (University of Minnesota System)
     Member, Term Faculty Advisory Subcommittee, Committee on Faculty Affairs, University Senate (University of Minnesota System)
     Member, Systemwide Sustainability Committee (2021-present)
     Advisory Council on Diversity (2016-2019)
     ACBSP Business Accreditation Committee (Co-Lead, 2017-present)

University of South Alabama
    Adjunct (Research) Professor of Economic Geography, 2014-2017

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech),  Atlanta Georgia
    Visiting Faculty Scholar (School of Economics), 2010

SolBridge International School of Business, Daejeon, South Korea (AACSB Accredited)
     Assistant Professor of Economics, 2008-2011
     Campus Chaplain, 2008-2011
     Faculty Activities Committee (2008-2011)
     Convergence Management Faculty Group (2010-2011)

Select Academic Honourary Appointments

Royal Geographical Society, London, U.K.
    Fellow, Elected 2018 (FRGS)

University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
     Fellow, Elected 2023

West East Institute
    General Conference Chair, 2018-present

Real Academia e Institut d'Estudis Occitans
, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Honourary Presiding Chair “de Gabalie” & Honourary Professor of Liturgy and History, 2019

Select Academic Publications

Johnson, R. (2021). Understanding Local Perceptions to Guide Poverty and Housing Policy: An Urban Planning Case Study in Crookston, Minnesota. Journal of Urban and Landscape Planning, 6.

Lundbohm, R. & Johnson, R. (2022). Implications of Hybrid Courses on Perceived Learning of Undergraduate Students and their Anticipated Benefits in a Post-Pandemic Environment. Transnational Journal of Business, 7.

Johnson, R. (2021). Improving Police-Public Conflict Resolution to Improve Sustainability Decision Strategy. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 9(4).

Johnson, R. (2021). Strategic Behavior and Determining the Direction of United States Climate Policy. Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, 13.

Johnson, R., and Walker, E.G. (2021). Willingness to Pay for Recreational Land Use in Minnesota. International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics, 9(1).

Johnson, R. (2018). The Psychology of the Overview Effect and Global Economic Ethics. Psychology, 9(7).

Johnson, R. (2017). An Economic Multipoint Gravitational Model Expression of a Transactional Analysis Game:  An Application to Recreational Private Land Use Decisions. Journal of Applied Business Research.

Johnson, R. (2017). Choice Waves and Strategic Interaction. Journal of Technology Research, 7.

Johnson, R. (2016). A Probabilistic Demand Application in the American Cracker Market. International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics, 4(3).

Johnson, R. (2015). High altitude mountain economics: Measuring the effects of extreme conditions on consumer behavior. Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 8.

Johnson, R. (2015). A Spatial Application of Choice Waves: Decline in Church Giving in the United States during the Recession.” Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business. Vol. 8. 2015.

Johnson, R. (2012). The Choice Wave: An Alternative Description of Consumer Behavior. Research in Business and Economics Journal, 5.

Johnson, R. (2011). Can Educators be Motivated by Management by Objective Systems in Academia? Journal of Academic Ethics, 9(1).

Johnson, R., Hu, W., Pagoulatos, A., and Debertin, D. (2011). Response to General Health Information in the Food Industry: A Panel Case Study in the Domestic Cracker Market. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 17(1).

Hawtrey, K. and Johnson, R. (2010). On Moral Atrophy and the Global Financial Crisis. Journal of Religion and Business Ethics, 1.

Johnson, R. (2009). The Loss of Religious Values Following "Excessive Affluence" and Its Potential Contribution to an Economic Crisis. Proceedings of the China Taiwan Trans-Sea Economics and Finance Conference. Suzhou, China.

Fleming, R.A., Johnson, R., and Pagoulatos, A. (2005). WTA for Consumptive and Non-consumptive Use Access to Private Lands when Affirmative Responses are Poisson Events. Proceedings of the W-1133 Regional Project. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Select Articles in Scientific Magazines

Rutherford Johnson and R. Barry Johnson. “The Trouble with Changing the Term ‘Statistical Significance [Letter to the Editor].’” Significance. Royal Statistical Society. December 2019.

Select Academic Presentations & Seminars

Lundbohm, R. and R. Johnson. “Student Preference of Learning Modality and Online Activities.” ACBSP National Conference. June 2021.

Lundbohm, R. and R. Johnson. “Assessing Learning in Hybrid Courses in Higher Education.” ACBSP National Conference. June 2020.

R. Johnson and E. Walker II. “Parallel Rationality in Strategic Land Use Decisions in the Hospitality Industry.” West East Institute International Academic Conference. Harvard Faculty Club. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. July/August 2019.

R. Johnson, O. Wieland, and A. Ahmed. "Reflective Learning: "Assessment Benefits of the Student Experience at the Global Case Competition at Harvard." Indiana University Purdue University Assessment Institute Annual Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. October 2018.

Walker II, E. Johnson, R., & Jones, M. D. "Differences among Northwest Minnesota residents and non-residents in willingness to pay for regional recreational activities." 2018 National Outdoor Recreation Conference: Building Resilient Communities, Environments, and Economies, Burlington, VT. April 2018.

O. Wieland, R. Johnson, and A. Ahmed. "Reflective Learning: The Harvard Global Case Competition as a Student Retention Experience." ACBSP Regional Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. October 2017.

R. Johnson. "Incorporating a Geocultural Dimension in Classroom Education." 2017 Annual Meeting of the ACBSP. Anaheim, California.

R. Johnson. "Beyond One-Size-Fits All: Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom." 2017 Teaching Professor Conference. St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Wieland, O.; R. Johnson; and A. Ahmed. "Reflective Learning: The Journey of the Harvard Global Case Competition." University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers' Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 27 April 2017.

Johnson, R. “A Multipoint Gravitational Model Expression of a Subconscious Transactional Analysis Game.” 2016 International Academic Conference on Business. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Johnson, R. “Choice Waves and Strategic Interaction.” AABRI International Academic Conference. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 2016.

R. Johnson. “A Spatial Economic Analysis of Potential Contributing Factors to Recent Declines in Church Giving in the United States.” Annual Conference of the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers. Athens, Georgia. November 2014.

R. Johnson. "Excessive Affluence and Its Potential Contribution to an Economic Crisis." American Economics Association annual meeting. Atlanta. January 2010.

R. Johnson. "The Loss of Religious Values Following "Excessive Affluence" and Its Potential Contribution to an Economic Crisis." China Taiwan Trans-Sea Economics and Finance Conference. Suzhou, China. May 2009.

W. Hu, R. Johnson, A. Pagoulatos, and D. Debertin "Response to General Health Information in the Food Industry: A Panel Case Study in the Domestic Cracker Market." Food Distribution Research Society Conference. 2008; Kentucky Economics Association Conference. 2007.

R. Johnson, S. Vickner, A. Pagoulatos, and D. Debertin. "Health Media Coverage and Consumer Choice: A Panel Data Econometric Analysis of the Domestic Cracker Market." Selected paper at the AAEA National Meeting, Long Beach, California, 2006

Select Academic Course Development

Developed, internationalized, and added sustainability components to courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Business Analytics, Global Trade Economics, International Dimensions of Business and Culture, Physics, Mathematics, Business Mathematics, and Business, Technology, and the Global Environment.





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