James joined WBCSD in March 2016 on a long-term secondment from Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan’s largest general trading and investment company. During more than a decade at Mitsubishi Corporation James led teams across a variety of corporate sustainability, public affairs and investor relations roles in both Europe and Japan. He has an undergraduate degree from Durham University, an MBA from IE Business School, and is fluent in Japanese and Spanish.
Upon joining WBCSD in 2016, James took over the management of the organization’s business and human rights project until being promoted to Director of SDGs in October 2017. As Director of SDGs, James developed initiatives, tools and guidelines to support WBCSD members with the strategic integration of the Sustainable Development Goals. This included efforts to encourage companies to come together with peers at the sector level to develop SDG roadmaps as a means of guiding their industry’s shift to sustainable development. Between 2017 and 2021 James successfully convened over 70 companies to produce SDG Roadmaps for seven different industry sectors, creating important reference points that have helped to accelerate and optimize SDG impact.
In 2019 James took on the additional responsibility of co-Director of the Vision 2050 Refresh project, leading a team to develop Vision 2050: Time to Transform over a two-year period and via an extensive global engagement process.
In January 2021 James was made Director of the People and Society program with oversight over WBCSD’s work across a broad range of social issues including human rights, future of work, SDGs and health and wellbeing. In July 2021, James launched The Business Commission to Tackle Inequality, a high-profile initiative that is seeking to clearly establish the role of business when it comes to tackling the critical systemic challenge of mounting levels of inequality globally.