James Collins Director of 211
Inspiration: “Hope will never be silent.” — Harvey Milk
What working in this community means to me: “When I was a kid, I was taught a lot of things but mostly, I was taught to care. This mindset has stuck with me as I have charted my own professional path. Working in this community, combining caring with experience, skills, and action to create lasting change, is a privilege and an honor.”
James is the director of 211 and Lifeline Services at Greater Twin Cities United Way. In this role, he oversees the teams responsible for 2-1-1, United Way’s community and social services information and referral line, as well as the suicide prevention lifeline program, part of the National Suicide Prevention network.
Seeking a career with impact, James joined United Way in February 2017 after having worked in strategic marketing and internal consulting roles at Ogilvy & Mather and the State of Minnesota. He earned a bachelor’s degree in African studies and French from Texas State University, and a master’s degree in public policy in public and nonprofit leadership as well as an MBA in marketing, both from the University of Minnesota.
In the community, James has served on the board of directors at OutFront Minnesota and North Star Rotary Youth Exchange. Outside of work, he enjoys running, biking, CrossFit, and spending time on his front porch swing. James lives with his husband, Daniel, in St. Paul.