Dr. Charlie Nelms is a transformational servant-leader, a motivational speaker, and a consultant with 40 years of expertise in higher education. He is the former chancellor of universities in North Carolina, Indiana, and Michigan, and serves as a board member for leading educational associations and foundations across the US, including the C.S. Mott Foundation. He is currently a senior scholar at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, specializing in providing assistance to minority-serving institutions (MSIs). In addition to serving as an executive coach, he has been a consultant to nearly 100 colleges and universities and education-related organizations. Dr. Nelms is the recipient of numerous awards for his accomplishments in higher education. In 2012, President Obama honored him with the MLK Drum Major for Service Award for helping to address the most pressing needs in our communities and nation. He is a founding member of the Millennium Leadership Initiative and professor emeritus at Indiana University.
Dr. Nelms earned a BS degree and an MEd degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and an EdD from Indiana University. He also holds two honorary doctorates. Dr. Nelms founded the Destination Graduation Initiative, which aims to increase retention and graduation rates at HBCUs.