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Dr. James Leiman

Partner/Director of Strategic Growth/Coach

Dr. James Leiman, an accomplished global business developer, transformational leader and experienced educator, has made impressive strides in driving growth, innovation and strategic change. With over two decades of experience, including ten years in an executive capacity, Dr. Leiman or just “James,” as he likes to be called, has successfully briefed heads of state, CEOs of multi-national companies and ministerial level leaders across the globe. His leadership acumen is further highlighted by his expertise in testifying before the U.S. Senate and several legislatures across the nation.

Specializing in change management and strategy, James has made significant contributions to community growth and workforce development. He owns a global consulting firm, offering financial and business development solutions for large-scale projects spanning Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. As the former Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, he executed a transformational economic and marketing posture for the state, which led to the development of $40 billion in projects, effectively transforming the state’s economy. This feat was achieved by skillfully overseeing six different divisions with a budget of $320 million. James has a passion for North Dakota and he remains highly engaged in growing the business community across the state.

Prior to his tenure as Commissioner, he served as City Administrator for the City of Ada, managing government and utilities, and significantly improving the city’s financial position. His leadership resulted in two Standard and Poor’s municipal rating increases and millions in grants, loans and investments.

In his earlier role at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, he led the transition from paperbound and manual systems into a Digital Operating Environment. His tenure saw the development of the nation’s third largest public logistics and supply chain program and network, which led to a significant reduction in VA Claim’s backlog, benefiting millions of veterans. James is also a proud Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, an active investor in private equity and has bought, grown and sold several companies.

A seasoned educator, Dr. Leiman has taught over 100 graduate and undergraduate courses at renowned institutions across the country in his areas of expertise, including International Business, Supply Chains and Logistics, Business Administration, Economics and National Security.

Dr. James Leiman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Transportation and Logistics, with a concentration in Supply Chain from North Dakota State University, and a Master of Public Administration with a focus on Policy Analysis from Evergreen State College. His academic credentials are further augmented by a Graduate Certificate in Identity Management from the Naval Postgraduate School.

With a solid career in leadership, strategic transformation, and global business development, Dr. Leiman continues to harness his multifaceted skills and expertise to drive impactful change, at the local, national and global level.


Service Area:

  • National
  • Virtual Options Available

My Big WHY:

I love helping companies and leaders achieve their very best! This has been the most rewarding aspect of my career- watching people and organizations realize their full potential.

James is a transformational leader and change agent who has made a tremendously positive impact on our state’s economy and business climate during his tenure at the Department of Commerce. Under his highly capable leadership, the outstanding team at Commerce will continue to support economic growth and diversification, helping our state to emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic.

Doug Burgum

North Dakota State Governor