Since 2009, James has been Chief Executive of VisitEngland, the official tourism body for England. He began his career in arts administration and theatre marketing before making the move to countryside recreation.
He has served as Tourism Officer and Assistant Director of Leisure Nottinghamshire County Council, Regional Director at the East Midlands Heart of England Tourist Board, Regional Business Manager and Director for Tourism at the Northwest Development Agency. James is Director of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and the National Skills Academy for Hospitality. He attended the City of London University.