Rusty graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in Chinese Language Studies. He was invited by Nankai University to be the first American undergraduate student from the University of Minnesota to spend the academic year at Nankai in 1980s. He joins the China Center with more than 30 years of international experience and twenty years living and working in China. After graduating from the university, Rusty started his career working in China tourism and later worked for the former Northwest Airlines (now Delta Airlines) during which time he successfully inaugurated the flights to Beijing. Later he moved into a career in Corporate Real Estate when he joined AT&T China and continued his career with Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent. During his tenure in corporate real estate he had several assignments working in China, Saudi Arabia and South America. Rusty speaks five languages including English, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, French and Spanish.