Dr. James Zaharis

Greater Phoenix Leadership

Dr. James Zaharis, Greater Phoenix LeadershipJim Zaharis is the Vice President for Education at Greater Phoenix Leadership, a CEO business organization. Jim served 15 years as the Superintendent of Mesa Unified School District No. 4 in Mesa, Arizona; 35 years in the district as a teacher, coach and district administrator. He served two years as the Special Assistant to the President at Arizona State University East. He is the sole owner and President of The Zaharis Group, a private consulting firm.


Dr. Zaharis brings 43 years of experience in education. Dr. Zaharis has served and chaired numerous boards and commissions in the fields of education, health care, planning and zoning, and economic development. He currently is a member of the Governor’s – P-20 Council and serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC); The Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona; Expect More Arizona and Teach For America. Dr. Zaharis is President, a founding member, and current member of both the East Valley Think Tank and East Valley Partnership. He has served on the Board of Advisors for the National Center for Family Literacy. Currently, he is a primary author and consultant to the P-20 initiative; “Expect More Arizona”, a statewide, multiyear communications campaign.


His community activities include President of the East Valley Partnership, member of: Mesa United Way Strategic Planning Committee, Board of Directors of ASU’s Arizona Educational Information System. He is also a past member of the Board of Directors of: First United State Credit Union, Mesa Bank, Good Samaritan Hospital Corporation and PreHab, and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Helaman House, Inc.


Dr. Zaharis has served as a consultant to various universities, school districts, and corporations in over 47 states and 5 foreign countries. He has served as a visiting professor at Arizona State University, Mesa Community College, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


Honors Dr. Zaharis has received include being named on the The Business Journal’s top 100+ for “The Valley’s Most Influential Business Leaders” in Education; one of “The Executive Educations 100,” as one of the best school managers in North America; All Arizona Superintendent; and Distinguished Professor, American Association of School Administrators’ National Academy of School Executives; Arizona’s CTE President’s Circle of Distinction; Teach For America’s Homeroom Hero award winner.