Biography of Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson has more than 20 years of teaching, coaching and management experience working with a variety of individuals and groups ranging from emotionally-disturbed children to adults in the workplace.

He was Director of Stanford Business School's Public Management Program from 1987-1998. The Public Management Program was named the top nonprofit business management program in the nation by U.S. News in 1992. In April 1995 he also was appointed Director of the Global Management Program, a program to help prepare MBA students for a global economy. He conceived and developed the Global Management Immersion Experience, a program that placed MBA students in China during the summers of 1997 and 1998 in international and Chinese companies.

Thompson helped develop and co-taught "Learning to Lead," an innovative leadership course for Stanford MBA students, and teaches courses in leadership and coaching in Stanford's Continuing Studies Program. He teaches seminars on coaching, leadership and team-building for corporate clients and provides one-on-one executive coaching to organizational leaders.

From 1979 to 1984, Thompson was Conservation Division Administrator for the Oregon Department of Energy. He also worked in Silicon Valley for Tandem Computers and Hewlett-Packard developing high-tech marketing programs.

He has a degree in elementary education from the University of North Dakota's Center for Teaching and Learning. He taught children in a regular classroom setting and emotionally-disturbed children in St. Paul, Minnesota and Rock Springs, Wyoming for five years. He has a Masters degree in Public Affairs from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Stanford.

His experiences as a youth coach led him to write Positive Coaching: Building Character and Self-Esteem Through Sports. His second book on coaching and leadership, Shooting in the Dark: Tales of Coaching and Leadership, was published in 1998.

He serves on the board of Special Olympics Inc. and First Christian Church of San Jose. He was a charter member of the Santa Clara County (California) Task Force on Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility. In 1998 he was appointed a Fellow with the World Business Academy.

In 1998 he founded Positive Coaching Alliance, a movement of parents, coaches and youth sports organizations dedicated to "transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth." The PCA can be accessed at


Jim Thompson

The Interview:

Being a Leader
in a Non-Profit



   Search Help

Tell a friend about this webpage!