The Legal Department

C-Suite Series: How to Partner with the Chief Human Resources Officer/CHRO Jim Dunn LD Human Capital Consulting

The Legal Department | Jim Dunn | Chief Human Resources Officer

Forget the stereotype of lawyers toiling away in isolation. Buckle up, legal eagles, because you’re about to become strategic partners with the C-suite! This episode of C-Suite dives deep with Jim Dunn, CEO and President of LD Human Capital Consulting. Jim pulls back the curtain on the Chief Human Resources Officer role, offering a treasure trove of practical advice for the legal department to become the CHRO’s ultimate wingman. Jim’s book, “101 Lessons in Leading with Laughter,” teaches us how humor can be a leader’s superpower. Plus, his recent Newsweek article champions trust as the cornerstone of any healthy business culture. Be ready to unlock the powerhouse partnership and join Jim Dunn to take your legal game to the next level.

Listen to the episode here

C-Suite Series: How to Partner with the Chief Human Resources Officer/CHRO Jim Dunn LD Human Capital Consulting

On this episode, I’m excited to welcome Jim Dunn. He is the President and CEO of LD Human Capital Consulting, and he’s a former EVP and Chief People Officer at Advocate Health. This is part of my C-Suite series, where we’re going to learn how to work with folks in the C-Suite. General counsel and in-house counsel work closely with HR. If you’re the GC, you work with the Chief Human Resource Officer. Jim, I am excited to pick your brain and learn more about how we can be better partners.

I am excited to be here. Thank you.

We know each other through a mutual friend. We haven’t talked so much before. This is going to be a lot of discovery for both of us. The HR and legal work closely together. A lot of times, we see the world the same way, but when we’re working together, we’re working through challenging times, hard things, and problematic employees.

We’re trying to fix it.

The Chief Human Resources Officer

We’re in a cleanup mode. The CHRO has a broad portfolio. There’s much more than dealing with the problem of children. Can you share with the audience what is on the CHRO’s plate every day? What are you dealing with so that we can better understand what you’re dealing with?

You could imagine, like most professions, this evolved over the years. I could look at what I’ve done in the last decade, and since COVID is quite different from what I was doing in HR several years ago. I will summarize and say that the modern-day CHRO is focused on several key high-level things. One, you hear all the time, attracting, developing, and retaining the right talent. That almost sounds like a buzzword, but there’s so much work that goes into each one of those.

The second priority is ensuring the right organizational structure for the organization. That’s the general structure. That’s the structure within the legal department. That’s the STR structure within marketing and operations, and working with C-Suite executives to ensure that they have the right structure to support the overall strategy of the organization.

The final thing, and one that’s near and dear to my heart, is balancing the right culture to drive the strategy. We have 3 to 5-year strategic plans all the time, but you still have the same people leading those plans. What needs to change? What do we need to stop doing, start doing, do more of, do less of? The CHRO is at the helm of making sure that the culture and the organization can shift to align with the strategy.

The final thing I’ll say is I always describe it as a three-legged stool for the CHRO. Many of my CHRO colleagues and I talk about this. They say, “I never knew that this what it would evolve to.” Most often, you’re serving as an advisor to the CEO. You’re the person the CEO is going to come to discuss any thoughts he or she may have regarding leadership. Sometimes, it’s around board-related matters.

Speaking of board-related matters, that is one of the stronger areas where CHROs will partner heavily with the GC, which often has board governance responsibility. The second leg of the stew is your advisor to your own C-Suite peers. You have to dance, play, and advise them. You have the larger organization. You’re responsible for all of the people at all levels to ensure the culture of engagement.

I’m a little worn out. That’s an intimidating portfolio.

It’s evolved to that. Back in the day, when it was much more transactional, CEOs would get the legal GCN and maybe finance or operations around the table. That was lead leading the charge. Human capital and people matters have come to the forefront of the boardrooms. During COVID, it escalated. You hear people say, “I want a seat at the table.” I was running from the table during COVID. I was like, “I don’t want any more seats at the table.” During executive team meetings, I’m doing most of the talking. It’s because everyone’s concerned about retention and staffing. It’s a lot.

I will say that the pressure is that you’re in the people business. The thing about us as humans and people is that we’re somewhat unpredictable at times with our behavior, desires, and factors that affect what engages each individual. It changes and progresses along our careers, requiring a more nimble approach. What entry-level staff or an employee is concerned about is different than mid-level leadership. It is different for those in the C-Suite and people in later careers. You have to individualize what it will take for Stacy to stay and remain engaged in her role, which will be different or could be different from someone sitting right next door to you.

You’ve got to have the whole chessboard in front of you. Everyone is a consigliere. With those C-Suite peers, you may know things about them because of working with the CEO and know the things they need to work on. You’ve got to relate to the line worker, the middle manager, and the board. That’s a broad spectrum of stakeholder accountability.

It comes down to enjoying what you do. It’s a lot. You have long days and many conversations.

It must be all talking.

A lot of the transactional and operational things my direct reports are doing are keeping benefits, running employee relations, and some other things. For me, people have their emotions, whether they feel listened to, respected, or heard, and they want to talk it out. You have to be there to listen. Sometimes, it’s like, “Jim, can you meet me in the morning for breakfast?” Let’s meet for breakfast. They don’t want to talk in the office. Some of my peers do not want to come inside my office because they don’t want anyone to see that they’re going in to talk. Legal is about the same. We tend to be on the outskirts where people can get in and out, but it’s great. It’s what drives cultures and organizations.

I feel like there are some parallels. If you are a chief legal officer or a GC functioning at a strategic level, there are a lot of parallels in the role, which might be why we partner. Can we get a little more in the weeds? You mentioned benefits. In my experience working with HR, I might be working on big strategic things like rolling out some new benefit programs and the legal parts of that. More often than not, we’re dealing with problems, union organizing or negotiating union contracts, or sticky employee issues. There are things like blocking and tackling in HR that the CHRO needs to oversee, such as open enrollment and different things that happen for the calendar, which are pressures that are different from the more strategic issues you talked about.

It’s a team. The CHRO has a direct report and leadership team like the GC. You are the throat to choke if those things don’t go right. In addition to all of the conversations, you have one-on-one meetings each week with your direct reports to guide them and nurture them to make sure that they’re giving their best. Overall, the CHRO needs a chief legal officer. We need your judgment on human issues with legal implications. The GC needs the CHRO’s judgment on legal issues with human implications. We become sanity checks for each other on all aspects of social and political issues.

With the large workforce or, or any workforce size for that matter, those same issues that we have, hear, read, and listen to outside of the office, they walk into the office every day. In the last several years, I’ve had to partner heavily with the GC. We could talk through those things and how we communicate and make sure that we’re managing the risk to the organization as well as to individuals.

In both of my in-house roles, I’ve worked closely with HR. It sounds like the CHRO is the ear of the organization, or that’s a big part of the role. You’re closer to the feeling, emotion, and culture that’s happening from moment to moment in the organization. In legal, we’re a little bit distant from that.

You have to set up processes and systems to get that feedback because, like legal, finance, and operations, I’m in the same C-Suite in my office, going to meetings and doing different things. I have to have a feedback mechanism to make sure that my ears are close to the ground, and I have a way of seeing that engagement is dropping in one part of the organization.

What’s happening here is I see more people leaving these three functions. Is it a leadership issue? Is it a staffing issue? You have to go swoop down when you have to solve things, move it up to where it needs to be, but also partner with your C-Suite peers because all of these issues fall under them. I tell my colleagues all the time, “I’m not the only CHRO here. I only control those who fall within my HR organization. All the rest of the organization falls under you.” Therefore, I need to get into what my peers are doing or not doing, which is driving or not driving engagement.

That’s similar. Legal is a service provider to the business. HR can be looked at that way.

We are a service provider. We want to keep people doing what they’re doing for the functions and the careers they have. You don’t want people on the front line, particularly in healthcare. I want you focused on the patient. I don’t want you worrying about short-staffing. I don’t want you thinking about anything you don’t need to think about. Do what you are passionate about doing and what you took an oath to do as a nurse or as a physician. You try to get and keep those things out of their way.

My job in legal is to try to remove barriers.

We carry the burdens.

That’s why we had that pushback from that table. You had a nice way of describing this. You’re in the people business with an eye to legal risk. I’m in the legal risk business with an eye to the people. What are you looking for? What makes a good GC partner, given our complimentary missions or outlooks on the business?

What Makes A Good GC Partner?

As I reflect on having sat six times in my career, I think, “Where have I had the most effective partnerships with the inside council?” The best partnerships have been when we have been agile and over-communicated with one another’s issues. It may be a legal issue, but you think it’s an HR issue. It may be an HR issue, but it’s a legal issue. Having frequent one-on-one meetings, there’s always a lot for HR and legal to discuss. We bring our list to the table and negotiate it. Having those weekly standing meetings is what helps keep the communication open.

The best partnerships have been when we're agile and overcommunicate. Share on X

Another thing I realized is when you have the GC and the CHRO, they’re not territorial. Check our egos at the door. Our conversation is always about asking what’s in the best interest of the organization. With that partnership between the GC and the CHRO, you model that behavior to your teams because people are watching the level below where all of the work is happening. They’re looking up and saying, “Jim and Bob don’t seem like they have a good relationship. You model that particularly for the CHR and the GC. You’ll begin to see the same alignment between the next level of legal and the next level of HR. They’re working together as they have seen the model behavior between the GC and the CHRO.

Those are some of the things that I can reflect on in the past. When that was not there, I didn’t have the alignment with GC I should have when I saw it as get out of my space. This is my HR space. You’re like, “You’re not an attorney. This is a legal matter.” I’m like, “No, it’s not a legal matter. It’s a people matter.” We negotiate that, you know. Sometimes I’m right. Sometimes, I’m wrong. Sometimes, they’re right. Sometimes, we’re wrong. It’s okay. We’ve checked our ego at the door, and we are having this conversation on behalf of the organization, not about who’s right or wrong.

I have a few colleagues who are GCs who also have HR accountability. That’s the last thing I want. I comment about being territorial. I do not want to be accountable to the people in the organization. That seems like a nightmare.

We’re trained differently, and we’re trained to look at things differently. While it’s not too common to see HR under Chief Legal officers, it’s becoming more common to see them as a direct report to the CEO and a peer. We’re both responsible for managing risk. We are looking at different parts of it. If legal was under HR or HR is under legal, it’s like you follow your boss, and one part of that is cut off.

You over-index on the risk avoidance.

Too much to the culture, not thinking about risk. Too much about risk, not thinking about culture. In the past, it has always been HR or legal, but nowadays, most things are both.

That gets to the next question, which we talked about before. Your comment was let’s not over-index on the risks of a particular decision because the business needs to do that. I want to give you a little background. I’m sure you know this after being CHRO six different times in your career, especially with new lawyers who are new to in-house or a new GC. Making recommendations or going along with a decision you feel has a lot of risk is scary. From the CHRO side of things, put on your advisor hat to me as a GC. How would you help me work through those feelings of fear and apprehension around a risk discussion?

I love that question because it works both ways. Some examples that come to mind for me are you have some employees who do not necessarily adhere to retention agreements or bonus agreements, and they leave owing the organization money. I’m the first one to say, on principle, that is wrong. I go to my GC. I’m like, “We have to go after that person to get that $5,000 back.” My GC counterpart will say, “Jim, I understand what you’re feeling. The juice is not worth the squeeze. Do you know how much I am going to spend to fight and litigate to get $5,000 back?”

This person doesn’t have it anyway.

We’re going after them. I’m like, “Let me calm down.” The flip side is that we have a hard position on something, or we’ve created a hard policy on some legal action that happened a decade ago. They’re like, “Jim, you don’t remember, but we were sued in 2000 by this employee?” Why is the rest of the culture suffering because 1 or 2 people did something a decade ago? That’s where compromise happens, where they’re like, “This is a little tight.” It goes both ways. I’ve been wrong and right. It is not about right or wrong. It’s about what is in the best interest.

It sounds like the communication piece is like, “Let’s talk it out.” There’s not necessarily a right or a wrong answer because, for your bonus example, we’re owed that money. We gave you that money-employee with the understanding that if you didn’t fulfill your end of the bargain, we’re going to get it back. I’m telling you practically, and I’m nodding my head as you’re recounting conversations you’ve had. What do you want to do with this person? They have no money.

I’ve heard that like, “Jim, let it go.” I’m like, “No, I don’t want to set precedence that people can come here and not adhere to our agreements.” They’re like, “I get it. I’m an attorney. Trust me. I believe in that, but we have to balance disrespect.”

I love the example of changing our corporate policy based on an N-of-1, and maybe it was a traumatic lawsuit, for example. You’re saying, “It’s a good way to frame it. Are we going to be burdened with a bad decision or outcome from several years ago?” There’s a benefit to at least being open to a conversation that we could do things differently.

It comes down to the right mix and chemistry of the GC and CHRO in the ways where it was like, “I’m the smartest person in the room. It’s not going to work. It’s not going to be a great discussion.” You have the CHRO going to the CEO.

That is not a good look.

They pay the C-Suite too much money to have to babysit for that. That’s when I do the HR coaching. I’m like, “Let’s go to dinner. It was a little tense, but it’s not about you. It’s not about me. Let’s come together.” In most cases, I’ve been able to build and forge that relationship.

That is sage advice, Jim. It’s a theme. Through the episodes I’ve done, and even in my own career, I have learned that relationships are everything in a company.

Everything is built around relationships. The engagement, the culture, what people do, and how they feel appreciated are all people to people.

Everything is built around relationships. Engagement, culture, what people do, and how they feel appreciated are all people to people. Share on X

I want to talk about culture because we started off with that, and it is a theme through this conversation. I’ll share it, and you already know this, especially for lawyers moving out of a law firm into a company. Law firms have cultures, but a lot of times, they don’t talk about it. Michele Mollkoy, who I interviewed, talked about how culture is how things go around here. That’s how I like the way she put that. Do you have advice for attorneys who are new to an in-house experience on how to learn the company culture and how to adapt their approach to culture?

You have to understand that you will need to unlearn some practices and behaviors that may have proven beneficial for their career within a professional services firm. From what I understand from my many attorney friends, most attorneys are not trained in a team-based culture. You guys are conquered, compete, and win. That is not conducive to almost any culture.

I’m thinking about talking to you. I was reminded of an experience I had early in my career when I interviewed with the law firm in Washington, DC, for an HR leader role. They have beautiful offices. I saw the offices, and I was like, “I want to work here.” There were stunning views of the capitol. While I was sitting in the lobby area to begin a set of interviews with the partners I was interviewing with, I noticed no one spoke to me or said good morning as they walked past.

I’m the only person sitting there. They knew I was there for an interview. I had my name badge, which was a little sticky thing on. No one said a word, and the individual interviews felt largely rushed, where several asked me, “What are you going to do here?” I said, “Wow.” It reminded me of the difference in culture, but I also recall that they didn’t want an HR lead. They did not have an HR lead in the past. It was the senior most person who said, “Things are screwed up here. I want to fix it. Bring the person in.”

It was that experience that led me to believe that I didn’t want that role. You’re not going to win. They don’t want me here. They don’t know or appreciate what I’m doing. I only reflect on that because when you say attorneys or in-house lawyers coming from law firms, that’s the only experience. I was like, “If any of those partners that I met with several years ago were to come in-house now, they would not make it one month.” For new house attorneys, I would say, “Don’t do that. Unlearn some things. It’s okay to be competent and nice. They are not mutually exclusive.”

You could be the smartest person in the room. You may not be, but if you want to be, you could be that, but you could still be kind. You could still speak and appreciate others who are on different levels. I think about that when I think about in-person law firms. Hopefully, now that I am older, it would be great to get some clients in professional services. I would go in now. I’m older and not as afraid as I was back then to say anything. Now, I’m like, “Come on. Let’s talk. Let’s go to lunch.”

I love that you picked up on how we’re trained. My interview with Michele Mollkoy was you are trained to be the smartest in the room and to show it. You’re paid for solving problems. You’re expected. It is hard to unlearn that and be like, “We want you to get along and not show that you are better and smarter than Jim, but get along with Jim and solve problems together.” You’re asking a lot of folks who’ve been trained a different way.

Trust

I still would advise the new attorney starting in any new organization, particularly in an industry like healthcare. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care about others and for others. That’s not my saying. I forgot where I got it from. It was used by President Carter when I was at the Carter Center as head of their HR. I went with the mission of the organization.

The Legal Department | Jim Dunn | Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer: No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

We didn’t even put degrees and titles on the business cards because you were there for the mission of the Carter Center, which was around the elimination of disease and election monitoring. Your egos and resumes, and they didn’t have LinkedIn back then. People didn’t know. They knew that you were somewhere.

I had the opportunity to moderate a discussion for the Scottsdale Institute with Dr. Tom Lee, who was the Chief Medical Officer with Press Ganey. The topic was on the importance of building social capital and healthcare. His points were that things are harder in healthcare management than ever before, with trust seemingly in short supply with leaders. They often feel that they are not being listened to or even respected. It was insightful and somewhat fortuitous.

I published a Newsweek article on the trust economy and why it matters more in business than ever before. Trust is eroding. People are busy. They’re competing. They’re trying to keep their heads down. They’re trying to balance hybrid, not hybrid, family work, and everything else. Like anything else that’s new, I would say to that new attorney or that attorney who feels that they have to show what they know. It’s listening more than you speak and looking for cultural clues and symbols to learn what’s important to that organization.

The Legal Department | Jim Dunn | Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer: Trust is just really eroding right now.

One of the most important things I tell people all the time is, “Don’t lead with your title or your position.” I may be biased as an exec coach myself, but it’s okay and often necessary to sometimes get external help to help people sort through how you might be showing up. We hear clients say, or I’ll say to them, “If you were stripped of your title, your organization, and who you report to, what’s left? Who are you?” That’s the person we want to show up, lead, guide, and align with.

That’s heavy. That’s a lot.

I’m rambling. It’s not heavy. I have been doing this for a long time.

I’m thrilled to get to know you better. On the trust point, I want to get a link to Newsweek article. Lawyers or GC have this imp premature of, “I’m somebody you can trust. I’m in that business.” I haven’t read your article yet, but do you have any insights on how to bring, show up, provide, and be somebody who’s viewed as trustworthy?

In the article, you will see that I quoted some research where a huge number of leaders, like 80%, believe that they’re trustworthy. When you survey folks, 40% believe that they are. We see ourselves as not that. You may see yourself as trustworthy, Stacey, and I’m sure you are, and I see myself as trustworthy, and I am. There are people in organizations who do not trust us because we represent legally in HR, and people have been taught not to trust us. They come to us for assistance, coaching, and guidance. You’ve walked into rooms or break rooms, and the conversation stops.

They say, “The lawyer is here.”

I’ll break the ice and say, “I’m coming to get a soda. I could care less what you’re talking about.” They laugh. You have to do things to build trust. That is the first part of culture. If people can trust that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do, that’s the one step. I give some tools in the article about how to begin to build that. First, you have to want to be trustworthy. Some people are okay. If you don’t trust me, it’s fine. I’m the boss. You don’t have to trust me. It has to matter. For culture, organizations, and C-Suites, it shouldn’t matter.

Let’s pull the string a little bit because you do a lot of writing. You’ve got a book you’ve written, and you’ve made some jokes as we’ve been talking, but the book is called 101 Lessons in Leading With Laughter. I’m curious about that. Can you share some of those, not all 101, but maybe a couple from that?

101 Lessons In Leading With Laughter

The Legal Department | Jim Dunn | Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer: 101 Lessons in Leading with Laughter.

I’m a lover of laughter. I’m fortunate that my life career has been marked by many experiences. Not all of them are funny or lighthearted, but laughing together at a joke or a funny story seems to make the brighter moment sweet. In the harder moments, shared laughter creates bonds that can care. I understand and respect that not everyone values humor.

I can’t imagine it because I don’t know that it builds trust, but I lead with a lot of humor, and I feel like it helps with connection.

I’ve had some people push back and say, “No, I don’t want to be perceived as silly or not professional.” I’m talking about appropriate humor. Historically, cultures around the world have used humor to connect, cope, and celebrate. If used appropriately, it could be a social facilitator. It could disarm tension, promote inclusivity, and aid in conflict resolution.

The book is divided into five different sections. Lessons in humility, endurance, commitment, resilience, and levity. I chose those five distinct areas because these are the key areas from which I feel we can learn. Humor’s application and driving humility, endurance, and some other things. Each section opens up with one of my own experiences. It took me a while for that because these are things that you think about, and it’s happening in your career, but you’ve never put it in writing. I was like, “I’m old enough now. Let me tell some stories that I haven’t thought about over the years.”

It starts off with my own stories and supportive research that ties humor to these five critical aspects of my personal life. There’s research in there on what humor does. This research is supported by the qualitative data from contributed stories, 101 to be exact, from people across multiple countries that relate to this. I did a call.

Did you interview 101 people?

No, I did a call of action to say, “This is the title of my book. This is the purpose and the scope of my book. If you want to submit for that to be included, you can include your name.”

Did you do that on LinkedIn?

I did it on LinkedIn and pushed it out through my editors to a bunch of related HR and leadership forms. I’m not sure what I would get. It has over 400 or 500 stories. I chose 101 stories. People were like, “Why 101?” It sounds catchy. There’s this crazy TV show that I used to watch called 101 Ways To Die. It’s true stories about how people have had these freak acts. I like the gory stuff like that.

101 Ways to Die was one of my favorite little things to watch. I said, “101 ways of laughter. It didn’t matter what the number was. I wanted to group those stories around those five sections of humility, endurance, and all of that.” Thank you for bringing that up. I’m happy to have my first book. I write articles, but having that first book is a bucket list for me.

Leading With Humor

That’s amazing. It’s not an easy feat. When you have to crowdsource some of the material, it’s still a lot of work and an amazing contribution. I have to thank you for putting that out there. Is there anything else you want to say to the lawyers in the room? I do have a little bit of a mixed audience, but is there anything for them about leading with humor? I use it, however, to your point about not wanting to be perceived as silly or you feel like you need to bring a certain air of credibility to the room. Is there anything else to say specifically for lawyers about leading with humor?

I would say to lawyers or anyone looking to lead and connect with others, explore it as one of the tools in your arsenal. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work. Like any tool, you need to know how to best use it. I think about how many times you join a company, or you attend a team retreat, and you have to play some game.

Explore humor as one of the tools in your arsenal. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work. But like any tool, you should know how to use it best. Share on X

Lawyers hate that. There’s no icebreaker.

You have to play games. The point is we don’t play games because they’re fun. We play because humor can break the ice. Meeting new people can sometimes be awkward, and laughing is a natural way to ease attention and, sometimes, force interaction. It doesn’t take away from your overall functional expertise if done correctly. Try it on. It’s one art to know in your toolkit.

We play because humor can break the ice. Meeting new people can sometimes be awkward, and laughing is a natural way to ease attention and, sometimes, force interaction. Share on X

That’s good advice generally about any leadership tool. What’s the worst that can happen when trying something to see how it goes? Jim, thanks so much. I appreciate it.

This has been fun.

I feel like we have related functions, but they are different. I enjoyed getting to know you and hearing your tips. Thanks for being in the legal department.

Thank you.

Jim, if people want to connect with you, I know you’re doing consulting. You mentioned you are an executive coach. I believe you also do some organizational work. Where can they find you?

You could go to my website, www.LDHCC.com. Thank you.

Thank you. Jim Dunn, baseball stats.

My name is Jim Dunn. I am the President and CEO of LD Human Capital Consulting. My fun fact is that my friends refer to me as the three T’s. One, tacos. It’s my favorite food, and I could eat it almost any day. Two, Tito’s, the only adult beverage that I drink. Three, tennis. It’s the only sport I’ve ever played. I’m three T’s.

 

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About Jim Dunn:

The Legal Department | Jim Dunn | Chief Human Resources OfficerJim Dunn, PhD, DHA, FACHE, has spent over 30 years developing deep expertise in strategic human resources, leadership, and organizational development. He has led groundbreaking human capital initiatives, notably transforming people strategies and organizational culture, and has served as a sitting executive chief HR officer six times across multiple organizations and industries.
As a scholar-practitioner, Jim has taught and contributed to such significant academic institutions as Harvard University, MIT, Emory University, Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Jim’s leadership extends to his role as Board Chair for Central Piedmont Community College and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. His board membership for The Congressional Award and his earlier research roles with Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and Amoco Corporation reflect the diversity of his interests and dedication to societal development.
Honored several times by Savoy Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Corporate America, Jim’s influence is well-acknowledged by his achievements. Jim also shares his insights as a contributing writer with Forbes, Newsweek, and the CNBC Workforce Executive Council. Additionally, he is an Executive in Residence at the Scottsdale Institute.
Holding numerous professional certifications and degrees, Jim holds Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry and macro-environmental science from Howard University, a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a master’s degree in public health from Emory University. Additionally, he holds doctoral degrees in education, organizational development and healthcare administration from Emory University, Benedictine University, and the Medical University of South Carolina, respectively.
Jim Dunn has been noted as not just a national leader in his field but a visionary who has continually worked towards enhancing workplace environments and driving meaningful change.

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