Professor Faith Rivers James served as the Assistant Provost for Leadership, the Department Head for Leadership Studies, and a Professor of Leadership Studies at The Citadel from 2017-2022. She now serves as Executive Director for the Coastal Conservation League and as an adjunct for Leadership Studies.
Rivers James received her J.D. at Harvard Law School and her A.B. from Dartmouth College. After law school, Rivers James practiced legislative law in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and served as Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to the Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives. Rivers James later served as Executive Director of the South Carolina Bar Foundation. She began her teaching career on the environmental faculty at Vermont Law School. Before joining The Citadel, Rivers James served as Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and Leadership and Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law.
Rivers James teaches courses in leadership and professionalism, public policy and legislative process, nonprofit organizations, administrative law, and property law. Her administrative experience in collaborative program development, strategic planning, and competency-driven curriculum reform have placed her at the forefront of many groundbreaking initiatives in the independent sector and higher education. She is an advocate of experiential learning and civic engagement and has been a leader in the property preservation movement.
Rivers James’ teaching and scholarship on nonprofit leadership are informed by her experience providing executive leadership and governance to nonprofit organizations. She served on several national, regional, and statewide boards and taskforces. Rivers James was honored to accept several awards with the organizations she served, including the American Bar Association’s Smythe Gambrell Award for Professionalism, the National Conference of Bar Foundations Award for Excellence in Programming, the Council on Foundations Wilmer Shields Gold Award; and the South Carolina Public Relations Association Executive Excellence Award.
Rivers James is an expert on the preservation of African American property ownership in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. She was instrumental in the creation of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in Charleston, S.C. She is a mentor to many young lawyers, public servants, and community leaders across the country.