Sheila Murray Bethel, PhD
Advisor & Consultant to Leaders
- President Jimmy Carter 1979: Sheila first met President Carter when she was nominated to his historic (first time in U.S. History) White House Women’s Council. Sheila was one of the last three finalists. She lost to Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, and Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. The nomination itself was an honor. When he left office, he and Mrs. Carter gave Sheila an interview for her book, Making A Difference, 12 Qualities That Make You A Leader and personally edited the material. In 1998 President Carter helped Sheila with remarkable television footage of his work on Habitat for Humanity for use in her 1998 and 1999 National Public Television Specials, Making A Difference, Saving Our Kids.
- President George H.W. Bush 1990: For President George H.W. Bush, Sheila and her husband, Bill, were unpaid goodwill ambassadors and the first civilians to volunteer for President Bush’s Citizens Democracy Corp in 1990. She and Bill worked with the President, his White House Staff, and Poland Solidarity to design and conduct a series of 14 business seminars in Poland at the time of Lech Walesa’s election as Poland’s first President. They went to Poland and consulted for two weeks with business and the newly formed Chambers of Commerce. While there, they established the first Business Training Center in all of Eastern Europe.
- President Bill Clinton 1997: As Chairman of the Board of the Speakers Hall of Fame, Sheila worked with the Clinton White House to conduct (the first time in U.S. History) a White House Communication Seminar for non-media people. She brought 65 members of the Speakers Hall of Fame to the White House where Mark Guerin, Communication Director for President Clinton, spoke. They had a private tour of the White House and met with President Clinton. In 1998 the President created America’s Promise, a national youth movement to work with and rescue 15 million at-risk American youth. General Colin Powell became Chair, and he appointed Sheila to the Board of Advisors.
- President Gerald Ford 2001: President Ford was a signatory of the proclamation of American’s Promise. Sheila worked with him to host two events to bring America’s Promise to the Coachella Valley, California. He, like President Carter, gave her an interview and helped her promote her 1998-1999 National Public Television Specials.
- President George H.W. Bush 2001: In the first few months of his Presidency, President Bush hosted a breakfast at the White House for the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors for America’s Promise. The purpose of the event was to add his name to the presidential support for the organization. Sheila was one of the guests to the White house.
- President Barack Obama 2008: President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder had a unique program to work with the 300 most crime-ridden cities in the United States. Their goal was to build leadership teams from within to identify and solve local problems at the local level. Sheila’s book A New Breed of Leader was widely distributed, and she created a train the trainer course for city leaders.
- Frank Keating, Governor, Oklahoma: Sheila worked with First Lady and Governor of Oklahoma, Frank and Kathy Keating, on their annual women’s conference for the State of Oklahoma. Frank and Kathy have major interviews in her new book, A New Breed Of Leader. They supported her nomination (and award) for the DAR, California, Medal of Honor for Patriotism.
- George Deukmejian, Governor, California: When the Governor could not attend a conference as a keynote speaker, Sheila was asked to substitute for him. She worked closely with his office to prepare an appropriate presentation in his stead.
- Jim Sasser U.S. Ambassador to China and U.S. Senator, Tennessee: Then-Governor Jim Sasser invited Sheila to present and work with him and his staff on his annual entrepreneur’s conference. When Jim returned to the U.S. as ambassador to China, he gave Sheila an in-depth interview for her new book, A New Breed of Leader.
- The National Foundation for Women Legislators: The Foundation invited Sheila to address their national conference. Elected female officeholders from all 50 states and the federal government participated.
The U.S. Justice Department
- Attorney General Eric Holder: A.G. Holder, with President Barack Obama’s emphasis on community organizing, instituted a department within the Justice Department; Community Capacity Development Office, working to find ways to lessen and eliminate crimes in the 300 most crime-ridden cities in the U.S. Sheila’s new book, A New Breed of Leader, is used as course material. She designed and presented two leadership development programs to the national leaders and then the specific community leaders. This work was a pro bono project for Sheila.
- Council of Chief Judges of the Courts of Appeal: The Council, for the 50 United States, invited Sheila to conduct a leadership seminar at their annual conference.
Other Government Agencies
- Social Security Administration: Sheila completed a three-year intense leadership training program for the Social Security Administration. She trained every office manager in the U.S., created six satellite training programs, and designed and presented two Senior Executive Services programs for their highest level leaders.
- A Few of the Other Governmental Agencies With Whom Sheila has Worked:
- Association of Washington Cities
- Bethlehem Pennsylvania Area Chamber of Commerce
- Council of Chief Judges of the Courts of Appeal
- Department of Defense
- Lakeville Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
- League of California Cities
- League of Kansas Municipalities
- Michigan Municipal League
- Minnesota Department of Transportation
- National League of Cities
- Professional Housing Management Association
- U.S. Government Health Care Finance Administration
- U.S. Secret Service Agency
- Sheila has worked with all military services in the Department of Defense:
- Air Force
- Marine Corp
- Coast Guard
- Armed Services Radio
- Army Air Force Commissaries
- National Security Studies Program: From her involvement with Gen. Colin Powell, mentioned above, she has lectured at the National Security Studies Program, co-hosted by Syracuse, John Hopkins, and Harvard Universities. The other lectures were Carl Mundy, former Commandant of the Marine Corp, Former Secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig, Senator Bob Dole, and Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami.
National Boards of Directors
- General Colin Powell appointed Sheila to his Board of Advisors for America’s Promise, the Alliance with Youth, based in Alexandria, Virginia. It was a four-year rotating term.
- A three-year term on the BOD of The Money Lenders, a venture-lending corporation, based in San Francisco, California with $30 million working capital and $300 million in assets.
- Two one-year terms as Chairman of the Board of the Speakers Hall of Fame, National Speakers Association, based in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Two three-year terms on the National BOD for the National Speakers Association, based in Phoenix, Arizona.
International Boards of Directors
- During the time she served on the BOD of NSA, they formed four international affiliate associations in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Malaysia.
- The Board of Advisors, Anstead University, Malaysia.
Local Boards of Directors
- Desert Community Concerts Youth Program, two-year term on the Board of Directors, Palm Springs, California.
- Founding BOD Member and Director of the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential, three years, based in San Mateo, California.
- Founded and served three years on the BOD of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association.
Expertise and Experience:
- Successful Business Executive
- Thriving Entrepreneur
- Ph.D. in Communications
- National Best-Selling Author on Leadership
- Speaker Hall of Fame Member
- International Professional & Business Women’s Hall of Fame
- 36 Countries
- 4,000+ Presentations
- 2,000,000+ Audience Members