James D. Lester, III, IS ‘70

Former Global Technology Strategy Officer and CIO, Aflac, Inc.

Jim Lester is semi-retired following 39 years in the information technology business. In his most recent position at Aflac Inc. of Columbus, Georgia, Jim served as SVP CIO and later global technology strategy officer. At Aflac Jim created and embarked on a successful multi-year strategic plan to renew information technology at Aflac’s US and Japanese operations. Jim spent eight years at Aflac before retiring from the company in December, 2006. In 1999, Aflac acquired Jim’s software company, Portable Systems Technology where Jim and his staff created Smithsonian award winning software for field force automation. Jim founded PST, Inc. in 1992 prior to Aflac’s acquisition of the company.

Before starting Portable Systems, Jim as a software entrepreneur founded Advanced Business Systems, Inc. in 1979. ABS created and sold software systems to the insurance industry. Jim sold ABS to a large mid-Western insurance company in 1990.

Prior to embarking on his twenty year software entrepreneurial journey, Jim served as chief information executive at Scientific Atlanta, Medical Investment Corporation and Seabrook Foods, a division of Springs Mills. During his several years as a US Navy officer, Jim worked for Admiral Grace Hopper in the Pentagon.

Jim served for seven years on the Georgia Technology Authority board of directors for the state of Georgia. He was appointed chairman of the board in 2001 by Governor Barnes and reappointed chairman by Governor Sonny Perdue. Jim retired from the GTA board in July, 2007 at the expiration of his third term. In 2003, Jim served on the Governor’s Telecommunications Task Force chaired by Dr. Wayne Clough. Jim is a past member of the Georgia CIO Leadership Board and currently on the advisory board of the Columbus Regional Technology Center.

Jim received is BA from Emory University in Mathematics and his MS Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.