James Lanier, Jr.

Jim Lanier is one of the five founding Search Consultants who helped launch AGB Search. His higher education leadership experience with university and foundation presidents and trustees has proved to be a valuable resource for search clients.  

Mr. Lanier joined AGB as Senior Fellow for Board Education and Consulting in 2005 to create the AGB Consulting Group to serve Association member’s needs for longer term governance and relationship issues. Later he led the team that revised and updated AGB’s successful programs of facilitated on-campus workshops to better fit the changing governance environment. His personal consulting has covered governance, Board of Directors and CEO assessment, planning and leadership transitions, as well as the president and board’s role in fund-raising. 

In the last eight years, Mr. Lanier has completed over sixty successful consulting and search engagements with boards around the country. Clients ranged from governing and foundation boards at major research institutions and state systems to small private colleges and community colleges.  

Mr. Lanier served for 23 years as Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, and President and CEO of the East Carolina University Foundation and the ECU Real Estate Foundation. While at ECU he expanded fund-raising capacity, planned and oversaw several successful campaigns, and strengthened volunteer leadership. During his campus tenure, he also served as a governance consultant for AGB and was a frequent presenter at regional and national meetings for AGB and CASE (The Council for Advancement and Support of Education). Lanier chaired a joint Taskforce for AGB and CASE to develop the National Illustrative Model Memorandum of Understanding between Universities and Foundations. It has become a national standard.

Before East Carolina, Lanier spent 12 years at Louisburg College, a 232 year old United Methodist school near Raleigh. There he held several roles, including admissions and six years as the school’s Chief Development Officer. He worked closely with the president and trustees to lead the College’s first ever successful major capital campaign.

Recent publications include undated 2nd  editions of his and E.B. Wilson’s popular AGB books entitled “The Board Governance Committee for Independent Colleges and Universities” and ”The Governance Committee for Institutionally Related Foundation Boards.”  He has also written articles for Trusteeship Magazine and CASE publications. The most recent “Building a Culture of Philanthropy: What Boards Can Do.” Lanier has served on many for-profit and non-profit boards, such as the Greenville Industries, Council for the Support and Advancement of Education, Eastern NC Chamber of Commerce, Harold H. Bate Foundation, Greater Greenville Community Foundation, and the LeRoy T. Walker Olympic Assessment Center. 

He has been invited to speak at national meetings hosted by AGB, CASE, NACUBO (National Association of College and University and Business Officers), IMN (Information Management Network) and the Association of American Schools of Central and South America.  He earned his B.S. and M.S. Ed from ECU, and has completed a number of postgraduate programs including the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard. Lanier also serves as a Senior Instructor for the Duke University Nonprofit Center.