James Schmeling co-founded the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University in July of 2011, where he collaboratively led its growth from six to nearly 50 staff members, who collectively impacted U.S. veteran policy and practice in all sectors of the economy. James strategically supported JPMorgan Chase’s Veteran Jobs Mission by developing leading practices in veteran career initiatives, ultimately resulting in the hiring of over 300,000 veterans by over 200 Fortune 1000 companies during the past four years. He built and launched the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business (CVOB) with First Data to create private sector supplier opportunities and promote veteran and military-family owned business. Coalition members include American Express, BP America, Dog Tag Bakery, Fleishman Hillard, KKR, La Quinta, Lockheed Martin Corporation, SunTrust Banks, USAA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Verizon Communications Inc., Walmart and Sam’s Club, and the Walt Disney Company. James also chaired the CNY Regional Economic Development Council workgroup for veteran-focused entrepreneurship and career agendas, including those included in the proposed plans for the Upstate Revitalization Initiatives. James is a thought leader, co-authoring academic research and policy papers, regularly writing blogs, and contributing to LinkedIn’s Pulse publishing platform.
James is a six-year U.S. Air Force veteran, serving from 1987 through 1993 and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. James is a committed servant-leader and volunteer, having engaged in each of the following volunteer service and non-profit leadership and service roles:
- Chair, Veterans Working Group, CNY Regional Economic Development Council, August 2014 to present
- Vice President, Board of Directors, Clear Path for Veterans, August 2012 to September 2014
- Advisory Board, Central New York Veterans Higher Education Resources Consortium, January 2012 to June 2013
- Interim Executive Director, Global Universal Design Commission, August 2011 to May 2012
- Advisory Board on Inclusive Higher Education, Syracuse University School of Education, April 2008 to July 2013
- Diversity Committee, University of Iowa College of Law, May 2006 to May 2007
- Advisory Board, Women in Science and Engineering, University of Iowa, June 2005 to May 2007
- Advisory Board, The Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation, University of Iowa College of Education, Spring 2003 to May 2007, and Strategic Plan Taskforce, Spring 2005 to May 2007
- President, Lifeskills, Inc., regional community rehabilitation provider employing over 20 staff with over $2 million annual budget, December 2001 to January 2007
James is a highly-rated and effective speaker, including to national and regional industry groups, educational institutions, business and industry, and to others. He is regularly cited and quoted in national media, including the Washington Post, NPR, Inc., the Washington Times, Military Times, USAA Magazine, and in 2013 James was named by Stars & Stripes as one of the most influential voices on Twitter for veteran programs and policy.
As someone who has built teams in three universities and with non-profit organizations as a volunteer leader, as well as with other working groups, James knows creating businesses or having impact involves finding the right team members, including intentional teaming with partner organizations.
Read more about James on his LinkedIn profile, where you’ll find his publications, projects, and information about his previous work experience and military service.