Jim’s broad practice covers corporate, legislative, education, governmental relations, economic development and municipal law. He previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Education under former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, and as domestic policy advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale.
Jim has established a significant regional presence in the business, education and government arenas. He is well respected for his experience in working with all components of the community and with both political parties, having been appointed to numerous important positions by Democrats and Republicans. He has established a network of contacts that assist him in handling complex and sensitive matters throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. His network includes numerous local, state and federal officials, educators and business leaders, especially in the Washington region.
He was included in Washingtonian magazine’s list of “150 Most Powerful People” in the Washington region. He was also named to the “Power 100” by the Washington Business Journal. He has also been named eight times by Virginia Business Magazine as one of the “50 Most Influential Virginians.” He was named by Washington Business Journal as the “Best Networker” in the region and as a Minority Business Leader Honoree. He won the J. Michael Brown award from DuPont for his accomplishments in diversity, recruiting and mentoring in the legal profession and he received the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In addition, he has received numerous awards and certificates related to education, government and community service.
He was elected chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade for 2010. The Board of Trade is the largest regional business organization in the Washington, D.C., area, advocating for the business community in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. During his term, he was co-chair of the Joint Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Governance Review Task Force. He was subsequently appointed by Virginia Governor McDonnell to be the Commonwealth’s representative on the WMATA Board of Directors where he served for three years and chaired the Governance Committee. He was then appointed by Governor McAuliffe as an At Large Member to the Commonwealth Transportation board which regulates and funds transportation in Virginia. He was then appointed to the State Go Virginia Board and the Virginia Research Investment Committee (VRIC) as well as the Transportation Service Delivery Advisory Committee (TSDAC). He was appointed by Governor Northam to the Board of Visitors for Norfolk State University. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Washington Gas Holding.
He is an active leader in the Northern Virginia business community having served as chairman of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable; president of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation; and chairman of the Emerging Business Forum, an organization focused on enhancing minority and women entrepreneurs in business.
He has served or is serving on various commissions and committees including the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), the Commission to Restructure Virginia’s Tax Structure, the Board of Directors of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors for the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Chairman of the Compensation Board, the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation (VA), the Governor’s Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting (VA), and as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia.
Jim has made hundreds of speeches nationally and locally on education, business, government and political issues, and has been interviewed on numerous television, radio and news programs. He has also been quoted extensively in a wide range of newspapers and other publications. Jim has taught classes on legal writing and business units at Howard University School of Law and “Government, Politics and the Law” at the University of Virginia Law School, as well as classes on other topics through a variety of organizations including the Virginia Municipal League, the National Organization of Legal Problems in Education, the Virginia Association of Secondary Principals, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and West Point Military Academy.
Jim graduated with honors from Howard University (including first in his Army ROTC class) and the Howard University School of Law and has earned honorary degrees from the University of Richmond, Virginia State University, St. Paul’s College, Randolph Macon College, Marymount University and Northern Virginia Community College. He served as law clerk to the Honorable Spottswood W. Robinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.