James is a former Deputy Chairman of the ESU and now Chairs the Education Committee and the Lindemann Trust. James is a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Professor of History at the University of Essex.
He joined the ESU as a student, was twice an ESU exchange scholar and has served as a Branch Chairman, President, Member and as the Chairman of various Regional and National ESU Committees. He has served two previous terms as Governor, as a judge of numerous ESU speaking, literary and writing competitions, and is a regular speaker at ESU branches in this country and abroad.
He therefore joins the current Board with over 30 years’ experience at the ESU. He is also a member of the Pilgrims of Great Britain. James has a particular interest in furthering collaboration between international ESUs, as well as extending the reach and appeal of the ESU’s work in Speech & Debate and in scholarship and exchange opportunities for teachers and other professionals involved with young people, education and information exchange.
As a writer, academic and broadcaster specialising in literary culture, an internationally recognised authority in the history of the book, and a past and present Fellow of two Cambridge and one Oxford colleges, James has a longstanding involvement in promoting international educational, scholarship and partnership schemes and membership engagement. James is passionate about ensuring that the profile of the ESU is raised so that more benefit from the broad programme of charitable work.