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Born on the Gower and graduating from Swansea University (Mech Eng), James worked for 32 years at CalsonicKansei (a major Automotive supplier) in UK, Europe and Japan, leading their Thermal Management Division ($2.5bn).

In April 2017, he became Chief Executive Officer of Industry Wales (an arms length body of Welsh Government), to bring the voice of Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing industry to Welsh Government and UK Stakeholders covering all sectors. Industry Wales is also responsible for four Industry sector forums: TechnologyConnnected, Aerospace Wales Forum, Welsh Automotive Forum and recently Net Zero Industry Wales charged with industry decarbonisation.

He was re-appointed on the Ministerial Advisory Board for Economy in Wales and has also completed terms on Valleys Taskforce and the Burns Commission for Transport.

His recent work has been on a major refresh on the Manufacturing Action Plan to develop strategies of support for Foundation Economy and Tradable sectors by aggregating demand and develop local supply chain capability to anchor activity, skills and market at community and regional level.

A Member of the Higher Education Funding Council Wales from 2018, he sits on Regional Groups - Swansea Bay City Deal Economic Strategy Board, Tech Valleys and Cardiff Capital Region Skills Partnership and is a Board Member of Respiratory Innovation Wales.