Friends of Africa International Advisory Board Member
James Strock, Author and Speaker
Founder & President of Serve to Lead, Inc.
James Strock is a recognized authority and renowned speaker on environmental, social and governance responsibilities and opportunities for 21st century leadership. He is a thinker as well as a doer, bridging the realms of thought and action. As founder and president of Serve to Lead, Inc., Mr. Strock serves clients across the U.S. and around the world, including companies in various sectors, NGOs, and government agencies. He is also a member of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s Solar Energy Advisory Task Force (2010-present; co-chair, 2011-12).
Immediately prior to establishing his company in 1997, Mr. Strock served for more than six years in California Governor Pete Wilson’s cabinet as the state’s founding Secretary for Environmental Protection. Following confirmation by the state senate, Mr. Strock led the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) to a focus on clean technology development, achieving significant, worldwide environmental, energy and economic impact. During his tenure, major advances were achieved in protection of air, land and water, and he was recognized with a $100,000 “Innovation” award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation. Other Cal/EPA achievements during his service include the adjudication and restoration of Mono Lake; significant reductions in air pollution from mobile and stationary sources; reform of pesticide regulation; and participation in international initiatives such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mr. Strock also served on the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Group to the U.S Trade Representative during this time. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed, and the U.S. Senate confirmed Mr. Strock to serve as Assistant Administrator for Enforcement (chief law enforcement officer) of the U.S. EPA. Mr. Strock led a major expansion and reorganization of the national program, while driving civil and criminal enforcement to record levels. He was instrumental in the development and passage of the Lieberman-Wilson Pollution Prosecution Act of 1990, and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Mr. Strock served as general counsel and acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (the federal government’s human resources agency), member of the California State Personnel Board, special counsel to the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, and a lawyer in private practice.
Mr. Strock is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has been cited in many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and appears on television and radio programs worldwide. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Authors Guild, and an adjunct fellow of the Pacific Research Institute. He is a senior advisor to Craton Equity Partners in Los Angeles. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Global Nature Fund/Living Lakes Network (Germany) and the Association of Climate Change Officers. Past board service includes Enova Systems, Inc. and the Environmental Law Institute. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and a guest professor at the University of Konstanz (Germany). Among the many recognitions he has received are the Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship (India), the commendation of the California District Attorneys Association for environmental law enforcement, and the Ross Essay Prize of the American Bar Association. He has extensive experience as a negotiator, facilitator and mediator. He received training from the Harvard Negotiation Project, the American Arbitration Association and other professional groups, and has served on the neutrals rosters of state and federal courts. His newest book is the Reagan Centennial edition of Reagan on Leadership. He is also the author of Serve to Lead—Your Transformational 21st Century Leadership System and Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership. Serve to Lead was recognized by the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, with top honors in the business category, and third-place Grand Prize in non-fiction.
Mr. Strock holds degrees from Harvard College (A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Charles Joseph Bonaparte Scholarship) and Harvard Law School (J.D.). During law school he served as a teaching fellow for Professor Richard Neustadt’s course on presidential leadership. He subsequently studied literature for a year at New College, Oxford, on a Rotary Scholarship. In 1985 he received the Ross Essay Prize of the American Bar Association. He served to captain in the USAR-JAGC.
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