Robert Nelson
(475) 235-1210 | email

Nelson Strategic Consulting


1025 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036 United States

About Us

Customizing designs for virtual meetings and retreats, or live experiences, NSC works with trade associations and professional societies to design high performance governance systems, strengthen board performance, develop strategy and craft strategic solutions to challenges. NSC collaborates with you to develop customized, practical, solutions for your governance or strategy development needs


NSC works with you to assess your governance challenges and enhance the performance of your board. Our goal is to create a high performing, strategic thinking board that add value to the organization and its stakeholders, while at the same time creating valuable experiences for the board members themselves.

We collaborate with you to design and facilitate board retreats, conduct customized board training sessions, restructure your governance system to create a nimble, high performing board, and strengthen your board orientation program. Our approach is strategic in nature and often begins with root problem analysis and painting a picture of your envisioned high performing board and governance system. We take a comprehensive approach and consider board structure, practices and policies in the context of your organization’s culture and / or the culture you would like to create.


NSC collaborates with you to design strategy development processes that result in strategies that provide a roadmap to your organization’s desired future outcome, whether it is an outcome for the organization at large (strategic plan), a grand challenge or a specific issue. We believe that strategies must be developed strategically and the development process must be congruent with your organization’s culture. Depending on your needs, we can design a highly engaging virtual meeting or retreat, or an in-person retreat/meeting. Of course, strategy needs to be integrated into the organization’s operation and aligned with the capacity potential of the organization to guarantee a win.

Although our strategy development approach itself is designed to build strategic capacity, we also provide additional counsel on further strengthening your organization’s strategic capacity. We help you to create an environment where strategic thinking permeates your organization from top to bottom.

NSC Services

  • Virtual & In-Person Meeting and Retreat Design and Facilitation
  • Governance / Board Training
  • Governance System Design / Restructuring
  • Organizational Strategy (Strategic Planning)
  • Strategic Problem Solving / Grand Challenge Strategy Development
  • Keynotes / Workshops

NSC Principal – Robert Nelson

Robert Nelson, a Certified Association Executive, (CAE), brings over a quarter-century of successful executive leadership experience, working with Boards and high-powered CEOs in a not-for-profit setting. Nelson brings hands-on experience guiding and facilitating the development of solutions to complex organizational challenges and global grand challenges for national as well as international organizations. He is adept at designing governance structures and an engaging Board trainer.

As a former association chief executive officer for almost two decades, Nelson understands the importance of developing practical, strategic solutions that work within the culture of an organization and are aligned with the organization’s capacity potential. His expertise also includes the development of complex government affairs strategies, including referendum strategies, at the local, state, federal and international levels and he has international negotiating experience in a multi-lateral setting.

What Clients & Retreat Participants Are Saying:

“Even more than a highly knowledgeable leader in strategic planning and association governance, Robert Nelson is a good listener. He readily adapted to meet our needs and culture. We were very satisfied with his thorough, timely, in budget performance. My Board could not have been more pleased with the process or results.” John Body, President & CEO, Corn Refiners Association

“Thank you for a great job. The board is inspired and engaged. Your presentation blew them away!” Pat Troy, CEO Nextwave Group

“[Your] practical, engaging and enjoyable board retreat and strategy sessions have definitely elevated the performance of our Board and organization.” Matt Bartel, President & CEO, American Financial & Legal Network

“[Your session] challenged the participants to look at and handle strategic thinking [at the Board level] in some different ways.” Jay Mattison, CEO, National Dairy Herd Association

“Thanks so much Robert  - can't wait to share it with our Board! You're awesome!” Rob Iacono, Board member, Rhode Island Occupational Therapy Association

“You did a phenomenal job … facilitating our senior staff retreat. Your ability to energetically engage the staff in productive dialogue was noted by all.” Norman Fortenberry, Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education

“You hit the nail on the head on so many levels.” Donna Lake, President, Michigan State Medical Society Alliance

“Your ability to strategically orchestrate, lead and animate the very diverse group of … professionals was remarkable.” Tim Schilling, Executive Director, World Coffee Research”

“It was especially impressive to see [you] keep such a large diverse group of leaders focused throughout the day, even more so considering the language barriers.” Miguel Zamora, Director, Fair Trade USA

“Your interactive / creative approach allowed us to effectively address current issues impacting our Board and organization, and learn and practice some new methods that will enhance the Board’s ongoing performance. All in all, a very satisfying experience.” Sarah Gabriel, Executive Director, National Association of Patent Practitioners