Jim Austin

Lecturer The Wharton School

Jim Austin, a former senior executive at Baxter Healthcare, combines business strategy and organizational development theory with extensive industry experience. As a Consultant at the Aresty Institute of Executive Education, Wharton Business School, Jim tailors senior-level seminars for a number of leading entities including SIFMA, Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, Lincoln Financial, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, McKesson, Seminarium Internacional, Pearl River (China), China Minsheng Banking Company and Hitachi.  At Wharton, Jim’s seminars include finding new growth opportunities, building a vision for leadership, developing leadership strategy, strategy execution and driving change, and improving strategic decision-making under uncertainty.

Since 2013, Jim also teaches at Brown University where he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, heading a graduate Leadership & Management course.  From 1996 through 2016, Jim was a Business Management Professor at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management where he received the “Most Distinguished Corporate Education Faculty Member” (2009-10) and the “Learning Excellence” (2015) awards.  From 2013-2016, he was an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Health Systems Management, College of Health Sciences, Rush University (Chicago), where he taught a graduate seminar on Healthcare Ethics.

Jim’s book, Transformative Planning: How Your Healthcare Organization Can Strategize for an Uncertain Future (Health Administration Press, 2018), helps healthcare leaders drive transformational change. In June 2016, Springer published his book, Leading Strategic Change in an Era of Healthcare Transformation, co-authored with two other Brown University faculty.

From 2005-2016, Mr. Austin worked at Decision Strategies International, leaving as a Senior Principal. There he led numerous projects including scenarios of the future for a Medical Devices firm; R&D priorities for a major consumer products company; a strategic plan for the American College of Radiology; scenarios of the future for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions; a new vision/priorities at RAND Health and Board strategic planning facilitation for the United Nations Federal Credit Union. Jim now heads his own Executive Education and Strategic Planning firm, JH Austin Associates, Inc.

Prior to joining Decision Strategies, Jim worked for 12 years at Baxter Healthcare, the last four as Vice President of Strategy Development for the Renal Division. Jim identified new business opportunities, facilitated annual strategy planning processes and worked with senior management on organizational development for this rapidly growing, nearly $2B Division. Before Baxter, Jim was Assistant to the President for ANCHOR HMO, a subsidiary of Rush Medical Center, Chicago. Prior to his move to Chicago, Jim worked as a Consultant for Arthur D. Little, Inc., where he led a number of large-scale planning, business development and strategic positioning studies. Between college and graduate school, Jim spent four years as an Economist/Planning Officer in the Ministry of Finance, Botswana.

Jim holds a BA in Economics and Politics from Yale University. He was a Special Student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Urban Studies Department, and received a joint Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Jim was past Chairman of the Strategic Leadership Forum, a Board Member of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, a past Member of the Board of Directors for the University Club of Chicago, Treasurer of LaSalle Language Academy and Member of the Admissions Committee for the Latin School of Chicago.