James M. Brasher III

Jim has served as a chief strategist and implementing officer for a number of highly successful interventions, organizations and institutions. His areas of competence include: communications, strategic development planning, partnership development, resource mobilization and education in philanthropy. Jim was a pioneer in developing hands-on intergenerational learning for HNW philanthropic families worldwide as the Founding Director of the Global Philanthropists Circle at the Synergos Institute working with Peggy Dulany and David Rockefeller. 

Jim’s in-depth understanding of global health, economic development, conflict resolution, human rights, food security, and democratization is informed in part from his service as Special Assistant to President Jimmy Carter in the founding, development and expansion of The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta where his portfolio included, among other things, strategic development planning in the emerging field of eradicating and controlling neglected diseases.


As a senior non-profit executive and as a consultant, Jim has served leading organizations and clients with a broad range of professional counsel including providing comprehensive development and communications plans; managing capital campaigns; designing branding and positioning strategies; and organizing institutional development functions. His early work in helping to build organizations like the Carter Presidential Center from the ground up; manage fundraising in turn-around and spin-off situations like the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); and building development functions to meet the demands of dramatic growth — prepared him to serve a host of innovative institutions as they grow, diversify, and expand into new markets.


01/1977 to 01/1980
Leader of a Historic Capital Campaign
Capital Campaign Director 
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
New York, NY

Jim directed the historic Capital Campaign for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) chaired by President Jimmy Carter and General Motors CEO, Tomas A. Murphy – the largest corporate campaign for Higher Education in US history at that time. While this is “ancient” history, it is where Jim began working with leading corporations and their CEOs, the leaders of major foundations, and learned how to use the time honored “rules” of capital campaign fundraising. At this time, Jim was an officer and board member of the firm Marts & Lundy and was learning from legendary fundraisers with clients throughout the country. The volunteer Leadership Committee for the Campaign was made up of top US corporate CEOs and was convened and chaired by President Carter at the White House. At that meeting, President Carter declared the campaign a national priority. David Rockefeller, then Chair and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, challenged his fellow business leaders – to make the campaign a success because it was critical for the future of the country. The campaign for the 41 private historically black colleges exceeded its goal by 20% and, many say, saved these important American colleges and universities. 

07/1982 to 12/1996
Special Assistant to President Jimmy Carter
The Carter Presidential Center
Atlanta, Georgia

Jim was responsible for all fundraising for The Carter Presidential Center (CPC) and its related actives and foundations including the Carter Center of Emory University, Global 200 (where he worked with Dr. Norman Borlaug on Agriculture in Africa), the Carter Menil Human Rights Foundation, the Carter Presidential Library and Museum (for which he directed the original capital campaign), and the Atlanta Project. The size and scope of the Center’s fundraising success was recognized in an early edition of the Philanthropic 400 in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The CPC has remained listed there every year since. After directing the successful capital campaign to build the Center’s campus he returned to Washington, DC and served as the Chief Development Officer for Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for three years before returning to the Carter Presidential Center as its Chief Development Officer in early 1987. The Center experienced dramatic growth and fundraising success during his tenure. In the early 1990s he also managed a special needs campaign to add buildings, programs, and create the Center’s first endowment fund. 

03/1984 to 03/1987
Chief Development Officer
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Washington, DC

At the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Jim managed the resource mobilization effort that made the successful spin-off of CSIS from Georgetown University possible. He worked with the CEO to form a dynamic board of directors, greatly increased and diversified funding, established an effective development function, and managed a series of important vehicles for engaging global business leaders in the work and funding of CSIS. 

12/1996 to 09/2000
Special Assistant to the Secretary General
Religions for Peace International
New York, NY

Jim served as Special Assistant to the Secretary General for development and as Director of Worldwide Programs at Religions for Peace International. Known at the time as the World Conference on Religion and Peace, he managed projects in war-torn counties as diverse as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serra Leone. As the Chief Development Officer, he dramatically increased and diversified funding to include leading global philanthropists, major US foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, Mott, Hewlett, among others), and governments (Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Finland, among others). He built a global Board of Trustees and an effective development and communications function as Religions for Peace expanded on-the-ground operations worldwide.  

10/2000 to 08/2006
Chief Development and Communications Officer
The Synergos Institute
New York, NY

In addition to serving as the CD&CO of Synergos, Jim was the Founding Director of a completely new program within Synergos, the Global Philanthropists Circle.  He was a pioneer in developing hands-on intergenerational learning for High Net Worth philanthropic families worldwide working with Peggy Dulany and her father David Rockefeller. The GPC has provided an unparalleled philanthropic learning experience to hundreds of HNW families from over 60 countries. Now in its 18th year, more than 100 families are active members. Membership includes entire families and therefore thousands of individuals have participated in the programs, learning journeys and retreats of the GPC. Under Jim’s development and communication leadership Synergos was able to expand its programs, build an endowment, and diversity and enlarge its donor base. 

09/2006 to 12/2007
Senior Vice President
The Touch Foundation
New York, NY

As Senior Vice President at the Touch Foundation for development and communications he helped a young US Foundation (founded by a senior McKinsey & Company Partner) organize a fundraising effort for a medical school and center in Tanzania that has become a beacon for Human Resources for Health and Health System Strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa. He organized the development function as well as identifying and effectively soliciting individual, corporate, foundation and government donors to fund this path-breaking effort to educate doctors and other healthcare workers. He was particularly responsible for developing the relationship with the US State Department’s public-private partnership program (Global Development Alliance) which continues to be a strong working partnership for the Touch Foundation today. 

01/2008 to the present
Senior Partner
Project Resource Group/Development Vision/Development Counsel
New York, NY

Jim joined former Carter Center colleagues in Project Resource Group (PRG) in early 2008. PRG was a consultancy specializing in development and communications for national and international health, peace, agriculture, economic development, education, and humanitarian organizations. PRG later changed its name to Development Vision and continued to serve a series of innovative clients. Jim became an independent consultant in 2014 and currently uses the name Development Counsel. As a senior consultant and advisor to boards and CEOs, he has served clients with a broad range of professional counsel including providing comprehensive development and communications plans; organizing capital campaigns; designing branding and positioning strategies; increasing and diversifying funding bases; and organizing institutional development and communications functions.  

Additional Clients

Some of the clients served over the past 10 years include: the American Human Development Project/Measure of America at the Social Science Research Council, Artists for Humanity, the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Episcopal Relief & Development, Harvest Plus, icddr,b (world-renowned medical research center in Bangladesh), International Association of National Public Health Institutes, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, International Food Policy Research Institute, International Vaccine Institute (South Korea), MedShare International, The Menil Foundation, mothers2mothers (South Africa), National Geographic Society, Orb Media, Pew Charitable Trusts, Sustainable Food Laboratory, the US Diplomacy Center at the US State Department. Present clients include: Cielo Global Health Frontiers, Friends of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Future Generations University, the Global Fund for Children, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the worldwide Listen Campaign, PeaceTech Labs, The Rosa Parks Museum, and the University of Memphis.

Education & Training

BBA: Marketing, Economics, Management
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN, USA 

MBA: Marketing and Management
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN, USA

ABD (all but dissertation): Economics, Finance, and Marketing
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
Jim was a PhD candidate at the University of Alabama before becoming the Director or Men’s Activities at the Tuscaloosa Campus and Director of Student Affairs at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Activities & Honors

Member of The Giving Institute