First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano today announced that James E. Nevels has joined the First Data Board of Directors.
Nevels is the Chairman of The Swarthmore Group, an investment advisory firm, as well as Chairman of The Hershey Company Board of Directors. An expert in the securities and investment industry with decades of experience in finance, law and corporate governance, Nevels brings the number of First Data board members to eight.
"I am thrilled to announce that James is joining our board. His breadth of experience in the public and private sectors will make him a great asset to First Data as we continue to drive our transformation and growth in our business," said Bisignano.
In addition to The Hershey Company Board of Directors, Nevels serves on several other boards, including MeadWestvaco, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, MMG Insurance Company and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.
Nevels practiced law from 1978 through 1984 as counsel in bond transactions with the law firm of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, where he specialized in taxable, tax-exempt and government-assisted finance. From 1984 until 1991, he was Vice President of Prudential-Bache Securities and Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. In 1991, he founded The Swarthmore Group.
Nevels has performed public service throughout his professional career. In 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to oversee the turnaround of the financially distressed Philadelphia School System, a role he held until 2007. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, serving in that capacity from 2004 to 2007.
Nevels has served as a member of the Board of Tasty Baking Company, the Board of Trustees of the Gettysburg Foundation, the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, the Board of Berea College, the Board of St. Joseph's University, the Board of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, the Board of Visitors for Temple University-Fox School of Business and Management, the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Advisory Board of Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, Baiada Center.
Nevels is an honors (cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) graduate of Bucknell University, and holds an A.B. degree in Political Science and Philosophy, an M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Nevels has also received four honorary degrees.