James C. Hormel has devoted his life to the advocacy of basic human rights and social justice. His political and philanthropic interests are in supporting individuals and organizations advancing equality and fairness, and in promoting public service. He is recognized nationally for his ability to unite people of different backgrounds and perspectives around shared values and mutual interests.
Jim is an alumnus of Swarthmore College, where he has been a member of the Board of Managers since 1988, and where he established a faculty chair in social justice. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and later served as its Assistant Dean and Dean of Students. A life member of the Visiting Committee of the Law School, he established the school’s James C. Hormel Public Service program in 1986 to encourage law students to go into public service.
Jim served as United States Ambassador to Luxembourg from June 1999 to December 2000. He was alternate representative of the U.S. delegation to the 51st United Nations General Assembly in 1996. He also was a member of the U.S. delegation to the 51st U.N. Human Rights Commission, which met in Geneva in early 1995.
A recipient of numerous awards honoring his leadership and philanthropy, Jim has been instrumental in developing resources for organizations serving people affected by HIV and AIDS, substance abuse and breast cancer. He has served as a member of the board of directors of The American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. A former member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Jim was a founding director of the City Club of San Francisco, a club created to bring together community leaders of diverse backgrounds.
Currently, Jim is a member of the Board of Trustees of The San Francisco Foundation, Board of Directors of People for the American Way, Board of Governors of The Commonwealth Club of California, Board of Trustees of Grace Cathedral, Board of Managers of Swarthmore College, and a life member of the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony.
Dedication to public service is also reflected in Jim’s political activities. In 1992, he was a member of the Democratic Platform Committee and a Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention in New York. In 1996, he returned as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He was a member of the host committee for the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
Jim is chairman of Equidex, Inc., a San Francisco-based firm that manages his and his family’s investments and philanthropic activities. He has five children, fourteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Born in Austin, Minnesota in 1933, he resides in San Francisco with his life partner, Michael P. Nguyen.