Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government: Masters Degree in Public Administration – emphasis on economics and political communication; University of California at Berkeley: Bachelors Degree in Political Science
Jim, a native of California, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He has served as staff to the California Legislature, as an advocate with Common Cause and Consumers Union, and as a visiting professor at San Francisco State University and faculty at the Salzburg Seminar.
As the founder and executive director of The Democracy Center since 1992, Jim has led advocacy development programs in more than two dozen countries across five continents, training and counseling thousands of citizen activists across a wide range of social, economic, and environmental justice issues. He has worked internationally as a consultant in close collaboration with organizations including UNICEF, UNDP, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the International Budget Partnership and others. As an advocate, Jim has also helped lead a variety of victorious citizen action campaigns at the state, national and international level, including the campaign that forced the Bechtel Corporation to drop its $50 million legal action against Bolivia following the Cochabamba Water Revolt.
Jim is the author and editor of three books, including the award-winning The Democracy Owners’ Manual (Rutgers University Press, 2002) and Dignity and Defiance – Stories from Bolivia’s Challenge to Globalization (UC Press, 2009). His is also author of a variety of major reports on global public policy issues and his articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the US, Canada and Europe. His reporting on the Bolivian Water Revolt was named top story of 2000 by Project Censored.
Jim and his wife Lynn have three children and have lived in Cochabamba, Bolivia since 1998, where he also served for many years as president of an 80-child orphanage.