Jill Shaw Ruddock grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She was educated in inner-city state schools before getting a degree in Politics from Bowdoin College (class of 1977) in Brunswick, Maine. She then moved to New York City and worked in advertising and, later, in publishing for Inc. magazine and The Atlantic Monthly.
In 1983, Jill moved to London to co-head the consulting firm of The Government Research Corporation. In 1985, she joined the US investment bank Alex Brown & Sons and became the Managing Director of their London office in 1994.
In 1999, she retired from finance and became involved in the theatre world, fundraising and sitting on the main boards of The Donmar Warehouse and The Mousetrap Theatre Projects. She was also a trustee of Bowdoin College for ten years. Jill is married with two teenage daughters and lives in London.