James P. Schwarz

Compass Development & Governance Group, Inc.

Personal Information


Areas of Expertise

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Composition & Board Development
  • Structure & Culture
  • Board-Staff Relations
  • Assessments
  • Governance Design & Support

Jim Schwarz is president of Compass Development & Governance Group, Inc., a consulting and training company based in Jacksonville, FL, serving for-profit and nonprofit businesses and has served as a Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource.

Jim works with public charities, associations and foundations to build high performing boards through governance, group effectiveness, meeting dynamics, board development, team building, and strategic thinking. He has worked with a variety of organizations including Ford Foundation, International Code Council (developer of municipal building codes), Microsoft Philanthropies, Omidyar Network, Prudential, SCAN Health Plan, Golden Valley Electric Cooperative and Wikimedia (the foundation behind Wikipedia the online encyclopedia). Jim is also a regular speaker at the BoardSource Leadership Forum, the largest gathering of nonprofit governance practitioners.

Jim has been an active board volunteer at several nonprofits, including the Stamford, Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross and SoundWaters Environmental Education Center. He served on the Red Cross board from 2000 through 2006, including terms as chair and vice chair. He initiated and facilitated successful merger discussions with nearby chapters to improve operating effectiveness, encouraged a change in board leadership when conflict threatened to destabilize the chapter, and led the chapter through an executive director change. Jim also was vice chair and governance committee chair at SoundWaters. He is a past Chair and a board member of the St. Johns Riverkeeper in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jim received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary. Additionally, he has attended various education programs within his field, including Yale University’s Corporate Environmental Leadership Seminar, Myers Briggs Type Indicator training, Harrison Owens’s Open Space Meeting Technology, and Scott Peck’s Community Building Workshops.

Jim specializes in:

  • Governance reviews
  • Board assessments
  • Board chair & CEO coaching
  • Keynote speeches
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Board development workshops

Contact James

board self assessment