Nicholson, R. James

Jim's practice includes counseling clients in public policy, veterans affairs, information technology, infrastructure, health care and international relations. Jim served as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs for three years. During this time, he was appointed by the president to serve as director of New Community Development Corporation and commissioner on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). Prior to his tenure at the VA, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See for four years. In this role, Jim served as chairman of the Federal Interagency Council on Homelessness, and Pope John Paul II knighted him for his leadership on human rights issues in Europe. In 2019, Jim was appointed by President Trump to the Board of Visitors at his alma matter, West Point, and he was subsequently elected vice chairman.  

Jim has also led an active political life, including serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997-2001. He has worked on a number of campaigns at every level, from county commissioner to U.S. president. As chairman of the Republican National Committee, Jim set records for fundraising, and in 2000 presided over his party winning the presidency and majorities in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, state governors and state legislatures.

He has led an active career in business as well. In 1978, he established Nicholson Enterprises, Inc., which became a nationally recognized land development and home building company. He has been inducted into the National Housing Hall of Fame. Jim served as a commissioner on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, director of St. Mary Land and Exploration Company, director of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado, Inc., and chairman of the board of the Volunteers of America of Colorado. He currently serves as director of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.; The Daniels Fund; Federated Funds; New Day USA; and is a fellow of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  • J.D., 1972, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • M.A., 1969, Columbia University
  • B.S., 1961, United States Military Academy at West Point
  • Colorado

Distinguished Graduate Award, U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Champion of Veterans Award, Paralyzed Veterans of America

2013 Adam Smith Award, Colorado Council for Economic Education

Lifetime Public Service Award, Colorado Nonprofit Association

Hall of Fame, National Association of Housing and Building

Saint Pio Award, Saint Pio Foundation

InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington's InterFaith Leadership Award 

Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve (retired)

Who's Who in American Politics





Congressional Country Club, University Club of Washington D.C.

Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C.