John Phelps

Knowledge Specialist

John Phelps
Knowledge Specialist and Coach, Nonprofit Management Institute and American Express Leadership Academy

John Phelps is the owner and founder of Pathfinder Executive Consulting, LLC, a small veteran-owned business focused on helping organizations achieve success. Before establishing his own consulting firm, John served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of the State Bar of Arizona for 10 years. A nonprofit organization, operating under the authority of the Arizona Supreme Court, the Bar serves the public and enhances the legal profession by promoting the competency, ethics and professionalism of its 24,000 members and by enhancing the administration of justice.

Before returning to Arizona to take his position with the State Bar, John served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington, D.C. Prior to his service in Washington, John served as Chief Operating Officer of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross in Phoenix, Arizona. John also previously served as Deputy Director of the Arizona Office of Homeland Security in the Office of the Governor of Arizona.  

The son of a career Army officer, John served nearly 25 years in the U.S. Army. He retired from active duty as a Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 2003.  

John graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University in Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in Government. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law, and Master of Laws degrees from the Judge Advocate General’s School and the University of Virginia School of Law. John has been a member of the Arizona Bar since 1986. He is also a graduate of the Stanford Graduate Business School’s Leading Change and Organizational Renewal Executive Course.