Since 2017, NJCAA President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Christopher J. Parker is responsible for all oversight of the country’s second largest intercollegiate athletic association. Dr. Parker is charged with leading all aspects of the association and its over 500 member colleges, while enhancing the opportunities for student-athletes and member institutions. Dr. Parker's daily duties are to provide overarching leadership of all aspects with special concentration on membership growth, financial stability, and organizational growth.
Dr. Parker gives national presentations throughout the country and works hard to represent every single region across the nation. He works closely with the board to make sure all aspects of the NJCAA remain in compliance with its bylaws and protect its not-for-profit status while creating a sense of growth and development. Dr. Parker is also responsible for working with other associations and potential sponsors to secure new and exciting opportunities, while serving as the spokesperson for the organization on the national level. Dr. Parker currently serves on the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board, the United States International Federation Board, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Governance & Nominations Committee, the United States Multi Sport Olympic and Paralympic Board, the Executive Committee of the Rural Community College Alliance, and Co-Board Member for USA Basketball. He is an active member and sits on councils within the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
The President has served many leadership positions in higher education and not-for-profit management. He has coached Division I baseball, while also starting the first ever NJCAA athletic program in the Virginia Community College System where he served as both the athletic director and head baseball coach. Dr. Parker also served PHCC in a number of other capacities to include: Director of Student Life, Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Academics, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Campus Life, and Athletics, Executive Director of the PHCC Foundation and Real Estate Foundation, as well as adjunct instructor. He also went on to serve Pfeiffer University as Vice President where he oversaw enrollment at all levels, financial aid, marketing, and public Relations. During his time at Pfeiffer, the university experienced the largest incoming freshmen class in more than 30 years. Dr. Parker has taught adjunct for more than 10 different institutions nationally, while specializing in sports management, leadership, and exercise. He also served as the assistant men’s director and the women’s director of Region 10 of the NJCAA for seven years, while also overseeing the treasury duties. In addition, Dr. Parker served as the Executive Director of the Patrick County Education Foundation under former Virginia Governor the Honorable Gerald Baliles.
During his time as president, Dr. Parker has successfully grown the national office staffing while moving its headquarters to Charlotte, NC from Colorado Springs, CO and more than doubled the annual budget and revenue. The budget increases were led by the charge to more than quadruple the association’s third-party partners and sponsors, while re-evaluating the organization’s way of spending. Organizationally, he oversaw the first governance restructure in decades to form the NJCAA Board of Regents, which is the official governance board of the NJCAA. Under his guidance, the association experienced its first time on national television in 2018 and continues to grow within the linear market. Dr. Parker has led the efforts to add 6 new emerging sports since he took over the helm, while creating new divisional opportunities for several sports already offered. He has been instrumental in reimagining NJCAA championships and bringing new technology and experiences to the association that heavily support the student-athlete experience. President Parker envisioned, then initiated and created the launch of the NJCAA Foundation from the ground up, which is a separate 501c3 philanthropic arm of the NJCAA that raises money to support the association, its member colleges, and its student-athletes. The NJCAA foundation also launched the official NJCAA Hall of Fame under his direction to celebrate the great history of the association’s finest.
In addition, Dr. Parker implemented and launched NJCAAe, of which he is the chair of the board and has seen exponential growth in collegiate esports. The notoriety of the NJCAA under his leadership is at all time high, with a huge increase in market share exposure of the NJCAA brand overall. He implemented the NJCAA internship program and the graduate assistantship program that has been overly successful in recruiting advanced students to the office with a goal of working full time in the field. Dr. Parker has also strengthened existing and created new relationships with outside entities such as MLB, NBA, NFL, NCAA, NAIA and others just to name a few. In 2019, he implemented a number of new councils, of which one was the Council for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and added a full-time staff position in 2021 as the Director of EDI to carry out the core mission of the work needed to promote EDI.
Since being in office, he was named the Marquis Who’s Who in Professional CEOs and has served as the keynote speaker for several events to include the graduation speaker for Mitchell College’s commencement and the Rural Community College Alliance’s Annual Convention. In 2010, Dr. Parker was awarded the Under Armour/NACDA Athletic Director of the Year Award and was featured in Athletic Business for his manuscript on Return on Investment in College Athletics.
Dr. Parker is a product of Halifax County, Virginia where he grew up on a very large tobacco farm and spent much of his time on the baseball diamond. Parker earned the prestigious American Legion Baseball Scholarship upon graduation for the most outstanding student-athlete (baseball) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a utility infielder, Dr. Parker went on to play college baseball and coach college baseball, as well as coach in several elite summer leagues. In the summer of 2002, he competed for the Rock City Red Sox where the team went on to take a top 10 finish in the annual NBC World Series in Wichita, KS, the highest finish ever by a North Carolina team. He also earned player of the week honors during his college career and was particularly known for his defensive skills, thus picking up the license plates ITURN2 and WEBGEM, a plate that he still has today. Dr. Parker is happily married to his wife Anna and they have one daughter, Leah Rose.
Outside of the workplace, Dr. Parker enjoys spending time with this family and always enjoys the game of baseball. One of his main goals outside of the workplace is to attend every single Major League Baseball Stadium in the country. He enjoys traveling with his wife and teaching his daughter how to play softball. Sports in general, especially college sports (Virginia Tech Football) keep his time occupied when not working. Dr. Parker still loves being outdoors whenever possible and spring is his favorite season because baseball season is upon him.