Jim Nicholson (Secretary of Veterans Affairs)
|5th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs|
January 26, 2005 – October 1, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Anthony Principi|
|Succeeded by||James Peake|
|United States Ambassador to the Holy See|
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Lindy Boggs|
|Succeeded by||Francis Rooney|
|58th Chairman of the Republican National Committee|
|Preceded by||Haley Barbour|
|Succeeded by||Jim Gilmore|
February 4, 1938 |
|Alma mater||United States Military Academy, Columbia University|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1961–1991|
Combat Infantryman Badge
Meritorious Service Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Air Medal (2)
Robert James "Jim" Nicholson (born February 4, 1938) is an attorney, real estate developer, and a former Republican Party chairman. He was the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs from January 26, 2005 until October 1, 2007.
Personal life 
Nicholson was born on a farm near Struble, Iowa. Nicholson has characterized his childhood as "growing up dirt poor in a tenant house without plumbing and sometimes without food". He is the brother of John W. Nicholson.
Nicholson has a Master's degree in Public Policy from Columbia University. He received a law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1972. In May 2005, he was recognized with the Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy Award.
Military service 
He is a 1961 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and served eight years in active duty. He was a paratrooper and Ranger-qualified Army officer. He fought in the Vietnam War, where he earned the Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and two Air Medals.
After thirty years of military service he retired in 1991 with the rank of Colonel.
Legal and business career 
Before becoming active in civilian government service, he practiced law in Denver, Colorado, specializing in real estate, municipal finance and zoning law. In 1978 he founded Nicholson Enterprises, Inc., a developer of planned residential communities, and in 1987 he bought Renaissance Homes, a custom-house builder. He now works in the Washington, D.C. office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.
Political career 
Nicholson has never held elected office, but has long been active in the Republican Party. In January 1986, he was elected committeeman from Colorado for the Republican National Committee (RNC). In 1993, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the RNC, and was the "surprise pick" for GOP national chairman in January 1997. He served in that role through the 2000 presidential election.
Between 2001 and his appointment as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2005, he served as United States Ambassador to the Holy See (the Vatican).
- U.S. Envoy Thanks Pope for Prayers and Closeness, a post-9/11 press release from the Zenit News Agency
- Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. "Nicholson to Leave VA and Return to the Private Sector - Public and Intergovernmental Affairs". .va.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- Official transcript of Nicholson's nomination, whitehouse.gov; Accessed March 13, 2007.
- College of Law History Alumni Image Collection from the University of Denver
- "Jim Nicholson, Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- Coloradan Nicholson to lead Veterans Affairs, a December 2004 Denver Post article
- Official biography from the Department of Veterans Affairs website
|Party political offices|
|Chairman of the Republican National Committee
Corinne Claiborne Boggs
|U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
|U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Served under: George W. Bush