James Brown

President & CEO

A native of St. Louis, James Brown was a high school student athlete, who along with two of his teammates, was named one of the country’s top 150 basketball players his senior year.  He received an NCAA athletic scholarship from St. Louis University where he also attended graduate school and was a two-time academic all-conference athlete.  He is a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Brown's UW career began as a campaign and planning director for UW of Greater St. Louis and then he moved to Houston. During this time, Houston became among the first UW organizations to create and fund inpatient HIV and AIDS programming, and assisted-housing programs for the chronically mentally ill. Brown later held leadership positions at Pikes Peak United Way before becoming CEO. While there, he was selected to participate in UW of America’s three-year leadership development program. Brown joined United Way of Tompkins County (UWTC) as interim CEO in September 1997.  In April 1998, he became president & CEO and continues to serve in this role.
In Tompkins County, he has served on the boards of numerous community organizations including Kendal at Ithaca, the Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation, Tompkins County Area Development, Rotary, and the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County, where he served multiple terms as board president. Today, Brown serves on the Cayuga Health System/Cayuga Medical Center/Schuyler Hospital Boards where he chairs the Planning and Community Relations Committees.  He also serves as vice president of the Tompkins Charitable Gift Fund Board.