Jim Lanier has a rich blend of higher education and philanthropic leadership experience. His hands-on perspective is overlaid with extensive insight gained through assisting boards and institutional advancement leaders throughout the country identify factors that limited performance, and then realign institutional and fundraising priorities toward key results areas that fit institutional and constituent narratives.
Lanier has worked with small privates and large public universities. He led award-winning advancement programs at Louisburg College and later at East Carolina University, where he was vice chancellor of institutional advancement and president of two foundations. His programs were characterized by collaboration with constituencies inside and outside the university community to establish a shared vision for the future and an understanding concerning the impact philanthropy played in achieving those objectives. As a result, volunteer engagement and ownership more than doubled, and total gifts to the institutions reached unprecedented levels.
Lanier was invited to AGB as a senior fellow to establish and launch the AGB Consulting initiative. He helped train the early consultants in “process consulting” as a means of using one’s professional job skills to assist clients identify problems and find solutions to their own unique issues rather than simply telling them what to do. This program flourished. Since its launch hundreds of member institutions and their boards have been assisted to improve their performance in all sectors of governance, and the consulting group is now lead by an AGB vice president.
Lanier has personally consulted with over 70 AGB-member institutions. He has been invited to speak and lead workshops at AGB's National Conference on Trusteeship, CASE and NACUBO, and in 2012 he was selected as a senior instructor for the Duke Non-Profit Center. He has also served and chaired numerous for-profit and nonprofit boards and governmental commissions.