Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program Fellow
James is a non-profit manager with expertise in programs for urban youth and a commitment to unleash their potential across Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and served as the President of the Students’ Representative Council during his time there. This was his first experience seeing how youth leadership can bridge racial and gender divides and tackle complex ‘adult’ issues. At Wits, James was awarded a Clinton Democracy Fellowship to study civil society and youth service in the United States. Through this experience he helped start City Year South Africa, a program that brings together young South Africans from all races for a year of community service and citizenship.
In 2011 James was named one of South Africa’s top 100 young people by the Mail & Guardian newspaper for his work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Through the NGO Grassroot Soccer (GRS) the project reached 80,000 at risk youth, taking 15,000 to see matches. James also lead the development of the Khayelitsha Football for Hope Center in Cape Town, the first of twenty FIFA centers across Africa that use football to link children to health and education.
James went on to become the Managing Director of Grassroot Soccer South Africa and saw the organization win platinum at the Impumelelo Social Innovation Awards and investments from Gates Grand Challenges and others. GRS has become a global leader in sport for development with programs and partnerships in over 20 countries reaching more than 1 Million young people.
James is joined in Cambridge by his wife Carin, a disaster and project risk management specialist, and his two sons, Quinn and Ash.