Jim Shaffer is a life-long resident and native West Virginian. Originally from Clarksburg, he served six-years in the U.S. Air Force immediately after high school graduation. He then attended West Virginia University, majoring in history, economics and political science. Returning to Clarksburg, he took a position as marketing director, with the family business, then began his own marketing firm and moved to Morgantown.
Shaffer returned to Morgantown, entering state government with the Department of Health and Human Resources, appointed to serve as a member of the state’s Welfare Reform Committee and eventually assumed duties at the state-level, becoming one of West Virginia’s welfare reform spokesmen.
Shaffer left state government to assume leadership of West Virginia Family Connections, a non-profit formed to advance early childhood development and parental involvement issues. He also served as the social services initiative chairman for the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce’s Vision 2020, board member for Morgantown’s Christian Help, The Shack Neighborhood House, serving on numerous civic service boards.
Shaffer is a four-term member of the Morgantown Board of Zoning Appeals, a two–term Ballot Commissioner for Monongalia County, and 16 year Member of the WV Republican State Executive Committee.
In 2006, he founded the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, the state’s first think-tank. The foundation publishes academic books on timely public policy issues, including legal reforms, enhanced open-meeting laws and greater transparency in government. In 2008, the organization was the recipient of the Sir Anthony Fisher International Award for best academic publication in economics.
In May 2011, Shaffer was appointed leader of the newly formed Research Corporation at West Liberty University. In that leadership role he promoted entrepreneurial efforts such as the Emerging Minority Business Leaders program; providing support for faculty in federal, state, and private grant acquisition, as well as developing the Centers for Innovation and Energy Policy. He served two terms with the US Civil Rights Commission, State Advisory Group.
As a result of his experiences in state government and public policy, he has been a frequent guest on radio talk shows and television and he has delivered more than 100 speeches and presentations to local, state and national organizations. Shaffer is an alumnus of the Leadership West Virginia Class of 2000, and remains actively involved in a number of civic organizations.
He currently is president of a corporation promoting private-public partnerships with colleges and universities. He resides in Cool Ridge, WV.