Nicole James Gilchrist ’03 Named New Mitchell Hamline Board Chair – News & Events

Nicole James Gilchrist ’03

Nicole James Gilchrist ’03 will become Chair of the Mitchell Hamline Board of Directors effective July 1. Gilchrist, who has served on the board since 2014, is currently vice-chairman. She will succeed Frank Harris ’75, president since 2020.

“Mitchell Hamline honors his history by continuing to work to find ways to expand access to legal education for all, and I’m thrilled to contribute to that work as Chairman of the Board,” Gilchrist said. “I look forward to helping the law school advance its important mission.

Gilchrist is Vice President and General Counsel of Thrivent. She has worked over 15 years in the financial services industry and is actively involved with industry organizations including the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Financial Services Institute and the American Council of Life Insurers. She is also a member of the Minnesota Corporate Pro Bono Council and provides pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations.

She will be the first black woman to chair the law school board.

“I am grateful for Frank Harris’s leadership on our Board during the COVID pandemic,” said President and Dean Anthony Niedwiecki. “He helped us plan our future well during uncertain times.

“I also congratulate Nicole on her historic election as President. I have enjoyed working with her and know that she will take on this role with the same enthusiasm and determination that I have seen on the board.

Jim Jacobson, senior vice president and general counsel at Medica, will replace Gilchrist as vice chairman of the board. Steven Kirsch ’76 and Gregory Buck ’87 will remain secretary and treasurer respectively. Harris will continue to serve on the board.

“One of the ways our school can expand access is through the scholarships we offer,” Gilchrist added. “This includes the new Lena Smith Scholarship, which reflects a new approach to how we provide aid based on financial need and strive to make law school and the legal profession more inclusive.”

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