A graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, James was the first and founder Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands. James has worked in Scottish Universities for most of his career as Secretary to the University of Paisley and Queen Margaret College (Now QMU) and previously at the University of Stirling. He is an elder in the in Kiltarlity Free Church near Inverness. James has served on many Free Church central committees, and is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees. James is interested in leadership, training and loves transformational institutions and people.