James is a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, serving 24 years on active duty, primarily as a Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot and operational planner. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of San Diego focusing on professionalizing leadership at the congressional level to reduce incivility, partisanship, and legislative gridlock. James’ military career includes various assignments ranging from flight instructor, Executive Officer, and Commanding Officer. After retiring from the U.S. Marines, James served as a Field Representative and District Director for two U.S. Congressmen in the Georgia 3rd Congressional District while also dedicating his efforts to serving in non-profit organizations. He held executive leadership positions in the southern Atlanta metro area including Toys for Tots, Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity, and Atlanta After School All-Stars. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is an active member of the San Diego Leadership Forum, focusing on empowering nonprofits and service-related organizations in San Diego County. James is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico.