James C. Morgan is a bridge-builder between business and the nonprofit sectors. His transformational management style inspires people to achieve excellence and become outstanding managers and leaders.

Jim is one of the most influential nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in Silicon Valley. Possessing a rare blend of technological aptitude, business acumen, and leadership skills, he advanced the semiconductor industry worldwide. Jim led the semiconductor equipment giant, Applied Materials, for nearly three decades — one of the longest tenures of any Fortune 500 CEO. He recounts those years, and the many lessons he learned, in his first book, Applied Wisdom: Bad News Is Good News and Other Insights That Can Help Anyone Be a Better Manager.

Nonprofit and Philanthropic Contributions
As co-founder of The Northern Sierra Partnership, Jim spurred the formation of a pioneering collaboration by bringing five conservation nonprofits together to do what none could do alone. The partnership has successfully preserved over 90,000 acres in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. Jim also volunteers as a fundraising campaign chair and has helped raise more than $200 million for conservation efforts in Northern California.

Jim served as both a California and global trustee, as well as co-chair of the Asia Pacific Council of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a worldwide nonprofit focused on programs that “Protect Nature and Preserve Life.” He was honored with The Nature Conservancy’s prestigious Oak Leaf Award.

In 1993, Jim co-founded, along with his wife Becky Morgan, a former California State Senator, the Morgan Family Foundation. Their shared goal is to change lives and transform communities. They like to “give forward,” to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential.

Recognition and Awards

Jim has served as a technology adviser to three U.S. presidents, including George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. In 1996, he was presented with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Bill Clinton.

He was instrumental in creating The Tech Interactive’s Tech for Global Good awards and inspired the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, honoring individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating critical global problems. Past recipients have included Bill Gates, Gordon Moore, Al Gore, and Julie Packard.

Jim says of his work with Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector:

I hope to provide succinct leadership tools and techniques for people who work in nonprofit organizations, small or large, new or well-established, regardless of their position or title. My goal is to help them accelerate their development as leaders.

I have always believed that the best managers help people maximize their potential. Every person, regardless of education, training, or current position, is capable of improving his or her management skills; whether in a start-up, a global company, or a nonprofit that is rich in passion but limited in resources.

Jim and Becky Morgan reside in Northern California near their two children and five grandchildren.

Meet the team

Jim McDonough

Digital Strategy

Jim McDonough “McD” was introduced to Jim Morgan while working as the lead digital consultant for Applied Materials, where he has led the design, development, and support of its website, AppliedMaterials.com.

McD began consulting with Jim Morgan for the release of his first book, Applied Wisdom. It was during this time that McD was inspired by Morgan’s desire to make a difference in the world by supporting nonprofits both through his Morgan Family Foundation, and the publication of Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector.

McD has spent the majority of his career working with Fortune 500 companies to accelerate business transformation through digital strategies, with a focus on digital experience design and development as well as growth marketing through digital channels.

Thad McIlroy

Content Strategy

Thad McIlroy has dedicated his career to writing and publishing. Over four decades he has worked with dozens of authors and publishers, helping them to reach their goals, and to share their creativity and insights in book form, both print and digital.

Of Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector he says, “When Jim Morgan first approached me for assistance in getting the word out about his insights into organizations, whether nonprofit or for-profit, I saw a chance to work with a deeply insightful leader, with so much experience to share.” McIlroy approached the project fresh: “every new book is a startup, in search of the audience that can gain value from its unique message.”

Diane Parnes

Nonprofit consultant

In a 30-year career that’s taken her from fundraising to running two California nonprofits, Diane Parnes has committed not only to understanding the workings of the nonprofit world, but also to sharing that knowledge and educating others on the nonprofit sector. Based in Silicon Valley, Diane advises and coaches nonprofits and foundations nationwide.

With this new edition of Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector, Diane had the opportunity to contribute her insights, to better help today’s nonprofit leaders and emerging leaders. She was excited to work on the project because so little investment is allocated to leadership development at busy nonprofits — Jim’s booklet fosters the kind of discussion and exploration needed to strengthen leadership capacity throughout the sector.

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