Jim Thompson is founder and Executive Director of Positive Coaching Alliance, a non-profit formed at
Stanford University with the mission to create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports
so that all youth athletes have a positive, character-building experience.
For more than 10 years, Jim was director of the Public and Global Management Programs at the
Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he also taught courses in leadership and non-profit
issues. US News named Stanford’s Public Management Program the top nonprofit business management
program in the nation in 1992.
He has a degree in elementary education from the University of North Dakota, a Masters in Public
Affairs from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from Stanford.
Since its founding in 1998, Positive Coaching Alliance has developed a network of more than 130
trainers across the U.S. who have delivered 5,000 workshops for youth sports leaders, coaches,
parents and athletes. Jim was named one of the Top 100 Sports Educators in the U.S. by the Institute
for International Sport in October 2007. Dan Doyle, IIS Executive Director, described PCA as “the
finest organization of its kind in the United States.”
In March 2004, Jim was named an International Fellow by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, an
organization that recognizes outstanding social entrepreneurs.
He is the author of five books: The Double-Goal Coach, Positive Coaching, and Shooting in the Dark:
Tales of Coaching and Leadership, Positive Coaching in a Nutshell, and his most recent Positive
Jim is a member of the faculty in Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program where he teaches
courses in coaching, leadership and sport and spirituality.