James Norman has more than 45 years of leadership and management experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors. He is the immediate past President and CEO of Action for a Better Community, Inc., where he served in that role for over 25 years. In that time, he provided change leadership to the expansion of programming directed toward the promotion of self-sufficiency for individuals, families, and communities with low-incomes, in Monroe and Ontario counties. He has also served in leadership roles with numerous local, state and national boards concerned with community development, poverty reduction, human resources management, structural inequality, civil rights, racism, health care, community health improvement, higher education, arts and culture, volunteerism, program evaluation, organizational standards, disabilities, workforce development, juvenile justice, and leadership development.
James has been a consultant with Head Start federal program monitoring review teams and has participated as a speaker or workshop panelist at national and state conferences on topics such as Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA), advocacy, structural inequality, poverty trends, community action history, economic security, and not-for-profit governance. Since 2012, he has served as Co-Chair of Facing Race = Embracing Equity (FR=EE), a collaborative focused on dismantling structural racism in the Greater Rochester Community.
James is a graduate of LCCP Cohort I (2008-2009). His leadership style is informed by the principles of coaching, fully embracing the idea that the keys to one’s transitioning from a pattern of “rut stories” to a pattern of “river stories” lie within the story teller. James hold a bachelor’s in Psychology from Mercer University, and an MSW (with a concentration in Policy, Planning and Administration) from Western Michigan University, where he also completed extensive post-graduate coursework in Public Administration. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology at Monroe Community College and an Emeritus RIT Minett Professor.