About me

Association Magazine photograph, 1999

Association Magazine photograph, 1999

I am a U. S. citizen living in Atlanta, Georgia, having grown up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I graduated in 1956 from Chattanooga (City) High School, then served in the Electronic Security Command of the U. S. Air Force. Afterward, I received a B.S. degree in business/economics and an M.Ed. in educational psychology, both at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, then completed a psychology Ph.D. in both research and direct clinical psychotherapy at Emory University, Atlanta. My internship in individual and family therapy was completed in the Georgia Mental Health Institute, also Atlanta. I served as CEO of public mental health facilities for nine years in Tennessee and in Texas, where I developed a driving interest in management and governance (board operation). I developed a unique theoretical framework for governance—Policy Governance®—and for 35 years worked as independent governance consultant worldwide to nonprofit, business profit, and governmental boards. In the spreading of this conceptual innovation, I published over 200 articles. In other writing as sole or co-author, five books of mine were published by Jossey-Bass/John Wiley & Sons. On two occasions I testified before committees of the U. S. Congress.

My philosophical identity is secular humanism, in complete awe of the universe and human potential. In furtherance of that identity, I am a member of the American Humanist Association, the National Center for Science Education, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Atlanta Freethought Society, the Center for Inquiry, and American Humanist Association. I am a Life Member in American Atheists, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and hold an invited membership in the honorary scientific research organization Sigma Xi.

Politically, I began in my mid-20s as a fan of conservative icons Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, William F. Buckley, Walter Williams, and Adam Smith. Although I was never a Democrat or Republican, my work led to associations with Republicans including Sen. Howard Baker (R-TN) and Rep. Bill Brock (R-TN), later Secretary of Labor and U. S. Trade Representative. By my late 30s, I moved closer to liberal values as the Republican party moved away from them. Still unaffiliated with any party, I am now more comfortable with mainstream Democratic ideology and more critical of the deterioration of the Republican party.

I have been married since 1995 to my best friend (and for years, business colleague as well), Miriam Carver, born in the United Kingdom, and naturalized in both the United States and Canada. I have two daughters and three granddaughters. My reading, other than fiction, is largely in history, philosophy, government, and light science. An enthusiastic international traveler for business and pleasure, I have been in at least 65 countries.