James has worked in HR for over 30 years, nearly 20 of those at Director Level. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
He has a track record of driving strategic and pragmatic business-focused improvements. He is a decisive leader and qualified coach with a reputation for developing successors and peers.
James started in food manufacturing working for a number of multinationals culminating in the role of HR Director for a major international biscuit organisation. He successfully transitioned to the finance sector leading large multi-business HR teams before specialising in Talent, OD and change leadership, and leading the HR Transformation of a FTSE 10 company.
Having run his own business for three years working with leading financial services and oil and gas clients, James joined DFID in November 2012 as Director of People, Operations and Systems.
He won the 2014 Civil Service Champion of Disability Award for his work on ending mental health stigma arising out of his own experiences of depression and anxiety. DFID HR also won the 2015 Scottish HR Network Team of the Year for its work on the Ebola crisis under his leadership.
James has been a mentor with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce providing pro bono support to SME and start-up businesses. He has served on the Board of Crew 2000 – an Edinburgh based drugs charity, the Scottish Book Trust and is currently a Board member of the Scottish Senior HR Leadership Group.
James joined the University of Edinburgh in January 2018 as Director of HR.