James W. Gauss, Chairman of Board Services, has more than three decades of experience advising board members and CEOs on board succession planning, skill set evaluation and recruiting in periods of rapid change and transformation. He combines industry expertise and research in his work with not-for-profit, academic, healthcare and corporate boards across the country. In his previous role as president and CEO of Witt/Kieffer, Jim counseled hundreds of boards and search committees on succession planning and recruitment, organizational structure, core competencies for successful trustees and C-suite executives, leadership assessment, diversity and effective onboarding, among many other areas.
Currently serving on the National Board of Advisors for the American Hospital Association’s Center for Healthcare Governance, Jim thoroughly understands the culture of today’s successful boards as well as the needs of high-performing boards in the future. He has recruited business leaders from a broad range of disciplines, is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and has been widely-quoted on board issues both in the general business and health press, including Directors & Boards, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CEO Update, Trustee, Hospitals & Health Networks, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Diversity Executive, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Becker's Hospital Review and Inside Higher Education. He regularly presents to healthcare and business audiences nationally.
Jim’s executive search experience includes participating in more than 700 executive search consulting engagements during the course of his career. Named by BusinessWeek as one of the top 100 most influential executive search consultants worldwide, he has deep relationships with boards and industry leaders within healthcare, insurance/managed care, higher education as well as with a wide variety of other businesses and foundations. Jim assists boards in assessing where gaps exist in current areas of expertise; planning for future board member succession; and recruiting trustees and directors who have the vision and skills to achieve an organization’s strategic goals.
Jim has also been widely recognized for his work on diversity and disparities of care issues. He is widely published in this area and recently served two terms as a board member with the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity, and chaired a task force on Advancing Diversity in Governance and Leadership.
M.H.A., Washington University, Saint Louis, MO
B.A., Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI