James E. Nevels is Chairman of The Swarthmore Group, an investment advisory firm which he founded in 1991, and former Chairman (2009 to 2015) and Lead Independent Director (2015 – 2017) of The Hershey Company Board of Directors. He has more than three decades of experience in the securities and investment industry.
In addition to service at First Data, Mr. Nevels serves as Lead Independent Director at Westrock and is a member of the boards of Alcoa Corporation and XL Limited.
In December 2001, the Governor of Pennsylvania appointed Mr. Nevels as Chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to oversee the turnaround of the financially distressed Philadelphia School System, then the ninth largest school district in the United States. Mr. Nevels served as Chairman until September 2007.
Mr. Nevels was appointed by President Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and served a three year term, 2004-2007. He served as Chairman from 2005-2007. Mr. Nevels also served as a member of the Board of Tasty Baking Company, the Board of Trustees of the Gettysburg Foundation, the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, the Board of Berea College, the Board of St. Joseph’s University, the Board of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, the Board of Visitors for Temple University-Fox School of Business and Management, the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Advisory Board of Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, Baiada Center.
In addition having served as the Chairman and Lead Independent Director of The Hershey Company, Mr. Nevels has served as a director of Hershey Trust Company and the board of managers of Milton Hershey School. He has served as Chair, Deputy Chair and member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, member of the Board of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, member of the Board of MeadWestvaco, member of the Board of MMG Insurance Company, member of the Board of The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, member of the Board of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and corporate member of the Orange Bowl Committee. In addition, he served as a member of Council and President of The Pennsylvania Society.
He is an honors (cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) graduate of Bucknell University, and holds an A.B. degree in Political Science and Philosophy, a M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Nevels has also received four honorary degrees.