James is a mariner and submariner; with four seagoing commands – three submarines and one frigate – in his thirty years of naval service. He is also a qualified Master in the Merchant Service. Thirteen years as Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board gave way to non-executive roles, as a Board member / Director of Scottish Ballet and as Chair of the Scottish Pensions Policy Agency.
Last year he completed a 3-year term of office as President of the Royal Institute of Navigation, a learned society and a professional body; he currently is a delegate to the International Maritime Organisation, representing all the Institutes of Navigation internationally.
James is Chair of Eddleston and District Community Council and he and his wife, Elizabeth, live in the Meldons.