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Palm Beach Atlantic University Names Knapp as Senior Director of Development

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – James A. Knapp has joined Palm Beach Atlantic University as senior director of development.

Knapp came to PBA last month from The Cushman School, a private, non-profit pre-K-12 school in Miami where he served as chief strategy officer. In that role, he worked alongside the head of school, board and faculty to build a vision and corresponding development strategy to meet the school’s needs and drive growth.

Knapp was instrumental in the revitalization of the school’s annual fund and the launch of a new fund to ensure no student would need to leave The Cushman School because of temporary financial challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, he led the most successful Give Miami Day in school history. The Miami Foundation hosts the annual online initiative as part of its mission to increase local philanthropy and provide community engagement opportunities; Cushman ranked No. 18 of 800 non-profits.

“In this new role, I’m thrilled to use my strategic thinking and relationship-building skills to advance Palm Beach Atlantic’s mission to produce leaders who make a difference,” Knapp said.

Said Executive Vice President for Advancement Laura Bishop: “James is a strong, gifted leader, and we’re blessed to have him on our team. He plays a pivotal role in advancing Palm Beach Atlantic’s vision to be the premier Christ-first university whose graduates change the world.”

Previously, Knapp served as director of community relations at Florida International University (FIU) where he managed the President’s Council — the university’s main community relations board — and developed strategies to build meaningful collaboration in key areas. Additionally, served as director of strategic partnerships in the Office of Engagement, director of development for the Honors College and academic coordinator for Athletics. He also worked as director of athletic academic services at Nova Southeastern University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management and a master’s in higher education from FIU and is finishing his doctorate in business administration at St. Thomas University.

He and his wife, Kristi, have been married for nine years and have a 4-year-old son, Jaxson.

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in West Palm Beach, Orlando and online. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service.

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