Diana Schumacher was born in Burma of English parents, spent part of her life as a refugee in India and later came to England at the age of seven. She read History at Oxford University, worked for the British Council in the London HQ in the Education division and subsequently for the University of Chicago's Department of Business Studies. In 1979, together with her husband, she set up Schumacher Projects partnership, a management and environmental consultancy. She is now also a director of Work Structuring Limited, a company founded by Christian Schumacher focused on organisational renewal and the creation of 'whole' work systems.
In addition to the above, since the early 1970's Diana has been actively involved in the international and UK environmental movement. Her main interests are the 4 E's - Energy, Environment, Education and Economics - all intimately connected basics of a holistic approach to sustainability.
She serves or has served on the executive councils of over twenty five environmental and educational organisations including
- The Environmental Action Group for Europe (ECOROPA) currently (Vice President);
- The Parliamentary Alternative Energy Group (PRASEG);
- The Other Economic Summit (TOES) (founder member);
- The New Economics Foundation (founder member/trustee);
- The Centre for International Peacebuilding (Advisory Board member);
- The Green Alliance (executive member);
- The Institute for Social Inventions (patron);
- The Schumacher Society (founder member/trustee and President 1987-2000);
- The Gandhi Foundation (trustee);
- The India Development Group (trustee)
In 1991 she co-founded the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) of which she was Vice Chair until 1999, and is still very active as a Trustee and currently as Vice President. She maintains a very active role as a Schumacher Society Council Member and was the founder of the Annual Schumacher Awards and a founder member of the newly formed Schumacher Institute.
Diana is involved in local community affairs and was a school governor of the local Church of England Primary and Middle School for 15 years, and is patron of the Bletchingley Centre for Education and Arts.
In July 2002 she was runner up in the EU European Woman of Achievement Award in recognition of "an outstanding contribution to Pan-European understanding and progress that provides an inspiration to others".