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

George Nichols III currently serves as the 10th President and CEO in the storied history of The American College of Financial Services. He takes inspiration from founder Solomon S. Huebner’s pioneering vision in 1927, 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, where he shares its commitment to benefit society by educating and influencing the financial services profession.

He joined The College after a 17-year career at New York Life, where he held principal roles in sales, strategic initiatives, and public policy. He most recently served as executive vice president in the Office of Governmental Affairs, which encompasses all of the legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues at the company.

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.

Prior to joining New York Life, Nichols was Kentucky’s first African-American 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 and Blue Shield of Kentucky, CEO of Central State Hospital in Louisville, and executive assistant to the commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Mental Health/Mental Retardation Services.

Along with his role as Kentucky’s first African-American insurance commissioner, Nichols was the first African-American president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (2000) and the first African-American elected to New York Life’s Executive Management Committee (2006). He has twice made the list of “Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America,” (2018 and 2012), an honor given by Savoy, the leading African-American business and lifestyle magazine.

These accolades were born from opportunities that he is passionate about extending through The College’s diversity initiatives.

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.


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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 Podcast - and you should too!