Rusman started his professional career as a junior researcher at the Institute for Research and Community Services at the University of Haluoleo and the Research and Empowerment Institute or widely known as RESYS. Prior to joining the fellowships programme at the TLFF, he was involved in several research projects launched by the Indonesian Ministry of Finance. He began working in the landscapes sector when he was involved in the preparation of a master plan for multi-landscape management conducted by the Penabulu Foundation, a development partner of the Regional Development Planning Agency of South Sumatra, for 1.6 million hectares in that province. During that period, he was tasked with facilitating cross-sector and cross-stakeholder communications involving the local government, private companies with a concession right, villagers and universities. Rusman holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business from the University of Hasanuddin in Makassar and a master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta.