Ruth Swinney is a native of Colombia, S.A. She started her career as a bilingual teacher in New York City. In 1984 she founded one of the first dual language programs in New York City in PS 84, and subsequently became director of bilingual and dual language programs for a large District in NYC. In this role she supervised bilingual and ESL programs, and developed seven model dual language programs for the District. When she became principal PS 165 (Manhattan) she set up a nationally recognized dual language program at the same time that she turned around one of the bottom schools in the city. She has won numerous awards for her work with second language learners, and for her achievements as a principal. After retiring she worked with the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, heading the principal work, and the ELL department. Currently she works as a consultant.