Christen A. James is an award-winning, full-spectrum professional, who has spearheaded initiatives that have generated gains across multiple industries. Christen is proud to serve as CUP’s first COO in its 12-year history. Prior to CUP, Christen managed operations, global diversity & inclusion programming, C-suite communications, corporate sponsorships, and sales strategies with Delta Air Lines. Most recently, Christen served as a Board member, and the Chair of the Marketing & Communications committee for the Delta Care Fund, which garners 100% of its fundraising from an international employee base of 85,000.

Christen authored What I Know Is Me: Black Girls Write About Their World (Doubleday), earning praise from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist for her work as Primary Author and Managing Editor. She’s served as Board Chair of The Red Pump Project, Board Member of the National Youth Rights Association, and Advisory Board Member for Project People Foundation. Christen has received honors from the U.S. Army, Howard University, The Riverside Church in the City of New York, and the American Cancer Society amongst others. She has been featured in ESSENCE Magazine and The New York Times, with appearances on FOX, CBS, and Viacom Networks.

Christen earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Seton Hall University, graduating with the Servant Leader Scholar distinction and an M.A. in Theology. A classically trained creative, Christen is co-founder of The Band Noire, a diverse collective of musicians & artists. She’s performed across the U.S. and abroad - including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden.