A former professional dancer, Jim Nelson moved into professional nonprofit administration in 2000, when he became Houston Ballet’s general manager, before being named executive director of the company in February 2012. A native of Portland, Oregon, Nelson received his professional dance training here at Houston Ballet Academy before joining the Cincinnati Ballet. He returned to Houston to dance under artistic director Ben Stevenson for 6 years before leaving to join Ballet de Santiago in Chile. After retiring from performance, Nelson received his BBA from the University of Houston. He was selected to attend the Stanford university Graduate School of Business Executive program for Non Profit Leaders in 2005-06, and is a graduate of Leadership Houston Class XXVI.