James has over 8 years of experience in the Higher Education sector, working at University of Melbourne and University of Southern Queensland in Strategy and Finance leadership roles. He was awarded the 2018 Universitas 21 professional staff award which enabled a 2 year global research project into strategy development in tertiary education, leading to the development of a framework for translating strategy into results. He specialises in business advisory services focussing on helping organisations navigate challenging environments through optimised use of resources.

He is responsible for the operational performance of the Institute, budget and HR management as well as strategic oversight of the Institute's work in the advancement of teaching and learning at UQ. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (UK).