Secretary Jim Nicholson Appointed by President to the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy

Secretary Jim Nicholson Appointed by President to the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce that Jim Nicholson, former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary under President George W. Bush, has been appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as a member of the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy.

Secretary Nicholson, senior counsel in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, will serve on the Board for the remainder of a three-year term ending Dec. 30, 2020.

Secretary Nicholson's practice includes counseling clients in public policy, veterans affairs, information technology, health care and international relations.. Secretary Nicholson is a West Point graduate himself, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1961 and was honored as a “Distinguished Graduate” by the Academy in 2005.

Secretary Nicholson is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, having served in the Vietnam War as an Army Ranger, earning a Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge for his service, among other decorations.

After his active duty Army service, Secretary Nicholson practiced law in Denver before becoming a developer and a homebuilder.  He is a Member of the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Homebuilders.

Secretary Nicholson was active in Republican politics in Colorado, and in 1997 was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee. After four years as National Party Chairman, he was appointed by Pres. George W. Bush to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.  

While serving as Ambassador to the Holy See, Nicholson was knighted by Pope John Paul II for his leadership on human rights issues in Europe, and in particular for the work he did on human trafficking.

After nearly four years in Rome, Pres. Bush nominated Nicholson to be Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and served as Secretary for three years, after which he joined Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schreck as Senior Counsel.

For more information on the U.S. Military Academy’s Board of Visitors, visit

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R. James Nicholson Senior Counsel T 202.652.2344