About Ruth

ruth schimel

Ruth Schimel Ph.D.

Career and Life Management Consultant, Author

Experience, credentials, and range that reflect the head and heart

Ruth Schimel respects and enjoys the complexity and uniqueness of the over 2,000 individuals, groups, and organizations she has assisted. With proven, innovative processes, she continues guiding clients in how to appreciate and integrate their strengths and possibilities to make the most of accelerating change. That initial focus within not only assists clients and readers to realize their true capacities, but also makes transition processes authentic.

Integrating optimism with reality testing, Ruth’s doctoral research and seven books show how people can access their capacity for courage for their own and others’ benefit. Like many of her clients, she has no simple, linear story. So, skim the following information, as you wish.


Ruth’s varied experiences in work and other cultures contribute to her empathy and commitment to encouraging continuous learning and growth. Examples of interdisciplinary interests are biology, social sciences, and the humanities, all beneficial for appreciating human potential. They also provide anchors for clarifying meaning, directions and purpose in work and relationships.

Not a fan of rigid categories and labels given life’s dynamism, Ruth enjoys this teasing description by a 35-year-old who knew her for 10 years: “a mature millennial.” She prefers the flexible lifespan or even better healthspan view to life stages. As a result, Ruth collaborates with each client to identify where they are in that process as she assists them in how to act on refreshed vision and goals.

Deepening appreciation that supports her career consulting work and writing is Ruth’s family’s broad ethnic and religious background. Cultures and places where she lived and worked include Turkey, Guatemala, India, and Ecuador. In the US, Ruth grew up in the Bronx where she attended Bronx High School of Science. During many summers she wandered in and learned from the deep woods of western Orange County in New York State. Thanks to experiences escorting several Brazilian women and other short-term assignments for the Foreign Service, she traveled to cities throughout the U.S., including Austin, Boston, and Gary, Indiana.

The theme of courage in her doctoral dissertation animates her practice, books and articles, and other professional activities. That includes consultations, talks, and guided collaborations by phone and online, enhanced by over 250 how-to guides and seven books (last one published early 2021).

Ruth’s 1989 dissertation led to the only research-based, one-sentence definition of courage accessible to most people. For your immediate inspiration and use, courage is a process of becoming involving the willingness to realize your true capacities by going through discomfort, fear, anxiety, or suffering and taking wholehearted, responsible action.

Summary of Experience and Services

Career and life management consultant: Ruth has consulted with over 2,000 career and life management clients of all ages and backgrounds. Building on and beyond conventional approaches, she provides a wide range of original materials, tools, processes and inspiration, including art, storytelling, and poetry.

Her tailored guidance shows clients how to appreciate and further cultivate their strengths and true interests, taking action to meet goals as they continue sustaining self-sufficiency. She is also committed to preparing and training others to become career consultants using her materials and processes as well as their own ideas, experience, and education.

Author: Since 2013, Ruth has published seven books on Amazon, starting with Choose Courage: Step Into the Life You Want based on her doctoral dissertation. That addresses the process of becoming courageous in an immediately accessible, user-friendly way. Also, in softcover and ebooks, five related handbooks provide action-oriented, practical guidance for professional and personal development. They support readers’ self-defined definition of success and efforts to sustain effective relationships.

Also available online, Happiness and Joy in Work: Preparing for Your Future, is a unique book about the future of work designed for each reader’s own transitions and actions. Descriptions of all seven books and access for purchase are at the books page dropdown on her website and Amazon.

Among over 70 articles published by YourTango since 2015, some were syndicated in magazines such as Prevention and PsychCentral; the majority are distributed among online sources and will appear in original form for her blog. Her over 250 digestible, adaptable guides and blog articles ease and encourage clients’ and inquirers’ progress in their professional and personal lives. Keeping current with AI, a recent blog article is Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Your Work Situation: Creating Meaning and Purpose When Talents and Technology Are in Continuous Transition.

Soon to be published by YourTango is a series of video collaborations with a professional colleague that range from working effectively with clients to using conflict creatively to using humor in work.

Recent facilitation and content design work with the Coast-to-Coast chapter of The Transition Network (ttnwomen.org) includes telling one’s own stories for insights into purpose and meaning in life. Partcipants requested a peer group follow up continue collaborating. Ruth is currently a member of the planning group for creating a process to encourage purposeful intergenerational connections which she will co-facilitate. In another organization, she participates in climate action group.

Since late 2022, Ruth has provided a monthly Newsletter for anyone who requests it. One pithy page contains curated ideas, information and inspiration with intriguing choices for expanding explorations to serve recipients’ interests. One new article from Ruth and other links are provided each month.

Foundation and Nonprofit Work:  In honor of her parent’s values and teaching, Ruth developed The Schimel Lode with her mother, Beatrice, in 1998. She now leads and manages its interdisciplinary working Board. Using creative combinations of processes and subjects, this nontraditional foundation promotes collaboration and innovation for the public good in the Washington, D.C. area. The website is www.TheSchimelLode.net.

Management Consulting and University Teaching:  Ruth continues consulting with individuals and groups primarily by phone and online. Original aspects are “unlearning” by reaching beyond what’s comfortable to productive, inspiring processes and outcomes.

Previously, she designed and led over 20 organizational development and learning processes for a range of organizations from the State Department to the Cornell Entrepreneur Network. Many of her original, short guides are relevant for and accessible to current clients. Examples range from mutual mentoring to self-assessments of leadership and management skills.

Ruth taught human resources and related subjects in the business schools at Georgetown and American Universities. For continuing education students at George Washington University, she taught negotiation skills; at American University, she helped design and teach in their now discontinued nonprofit management program. At Marymount University in Virginia, she was an associate professor in the human resources master’s program.

Diplomacy: As a U.S. Foreign Service officer, Ruth worked at Embassies in Ecuador and Guatemala, and as chief of the consular section at the Consulate in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. At the Department of State, she was chief of the human resource management division and of executive development, organized and managed selection boards, did research and intelligence analysis, and worked on desks for Latin American countries. She continues to speak Spanish.

Education: Ruth’s three degrees are:
Ph.D. in public administration, workforce development, and gerontology, George Washington University (GWU): Dissertation topic: Becoming Courageous: A Search for Process

M.A. in behavioral science, government, and human resources, GWU

B.S. in industrial and labor relations, Cornell University, ILR

© by Ruth Schimel, Ph.D., Career & Life Management Consultant, Author

www.ruthschimel.com         ruth@ruthschimel.com         202.659.1772