James Hanks - Governance Committee Chair

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Attorney, Ahlers Cooney Law Firm - Des Moines, IA

Jim joined the NSFA Board in 2017. He is an Attorney with Ahlers & Cooney, in Des Moines, Iowa and has been representing school districts for over forty years.  As a member of the firm's Education Law Practice Area, which represents over 250 Iowa K-12 school districts, area education agencies, community colleges, colleges and universities, Jim works with clients on a wide range of complex issues. Jim combines extensive education knowledge with a public/private sector employment and traditional labor practice and served as the Chief Negotiator in State collective bargaining for former Iowa Governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver. In his education practice with Iowa schools, Jim has proven to be a valuable advisor to his clients as a strategic problem-solver on a diversity of issues, while being sensitive to the mission of education organizations. Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was the Chair of the Council of School Attorneys for the National School Boards Association and is the author of three books dealing with school violence and school bullying. He was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship in 1972 by the University of Iowa.