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George Nichols III, President and CEO, The American College of Financial Services

George Nichols III, CAP® currently serves as the 10th President and CEO in the storied history of The American College of Financial Services. He continues to draw motivation from founder Dr. Solomon S. Huebner’s pioneering 1927 vision while empowering The College to usher in the next century of excellence.

A life of private sector experience and public service brought Nichols to The College, and he shares its commitment to benefit society by educating and influencing the financial services profession. He joined The College after a 17-year stint at New York Life, where he held principal roles in sales, strategic initiatives, and public policy. In 2006, Nichols was named to the company’s Executive Management Committee, a group of senior executives tasked with assisting the CEO in setting company policy. He also served as Executive Vice President in the Office of Governmental Affairs: a position encompassing all of the legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues at the company. 

Prior to joining New York Life, Nichols was the State of Kentucky’s first Black insurance commissioner, leading regulation of the state’s $10 billion insurance industry through his expertise in health insurance reform and financial services integration. He gained this knowledge through stints as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Health Policy Board, Vice President of Marketing for Athena of North America, Executive Director of Product Development with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kentucky, CEO of Central State Hospital in Louisville, and Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Mental Health Services. In 2000, Nichols was also named the first Black president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Nichols has been acclaimed for his efforts to drive transformative change in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the financial services profession and elsewhere. He has made the list of “Most Influential Black Corporate Directors" by Savoy, a leading Black business and lifestyle magazine, three times: in 2012, 2018, and 2021. He was also named to Forbes's inaugural 2021 edition of "The Culture 50 Champions," which identified models of business excellence in various industries who uplift Black and Brown communities through their craft and philanthropic efforts. Nichols joined household names such as Dwayne Wade, Issa Rae, and Colin Kaepernick on this prestigious list.

Because of his bold leadership in launching The College’s Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality and its Four Steps Forward plan to promote upward mobility and wealth creation for Black America, Nichols was honored as one of “The Ten to Watch in 2021” by Additionally, Nichols is the inaugural recipient of the Alonzo Herndon Award by Business Insurance Magazine. This award is in honor of the founder of Atlanta Life Insurance Company, one of the United States' largest and most successful black-owned businesses.

Nichols currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for City Year, a non-profit organization committed to partnering with teachers and school leaders in urban areas to provide high-impact student, classroom, and school-wide support. He also sits on the Boards of Reinsurance Group of America, Main Line Health, and Republic Bank—a regional bank based in Nichols’s home state of Kentucky. He is a member of the Board of Regents at one of his alma maters, Western Kentucky University.

Nichols received his associate’s degree from Alice Lloyd College, a faith-based liberal arts school in eastern Kentucky, before earning his bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University. He began his career in financial services after receiving his master’s degree from the University of Louisville.

He continues to lean on the love of his family—wife Cynthia Jean “CJ” and three children—and his unyielding faith to navigate the journey that brought him to this distinguished institution.

Download George Nichols III's, CAP® bio


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What George Nichols III reading, watching, listening to



People learn and absorb knowledge in different ways, but reading truly is a fundamental path for absorbing information and expanding my horizons. I tend to favor non-fiction books that advance my knowledge on certain topics of interest. Here’s what I’m currently reading:

The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy, by Steve Stoute

These Truths: A History of the United States, by Jill Lepore



There’s a lot going on: political, social, and cultural events that impact the way we think, act, and live. Sometimes I’m enthralled with it, perhaps due to my time on Capitol Hill. And other times, I need to escape from it, which is evident in my TV viewing habits below. Here’s what I’m watching these days:

News, News, News

Marvel + DC Comics movies



Music is all about the stories of triumph and hardship. It can provide such profound teaching moments and also serve as a mental and emotional escape – yes, I love music that soothes the soul. Here's what I love listening to:

R&B, Jazz, Rap, and Country Music

NextGen in 10 and Wealth, Managed Podcasts - and you should too!