💼 Owner, SOLORICON Ltd
🎓 DPhil in Crop Physiology, University of Cambridge (1987)
James is former Minister for Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology in the Government of Saint Lucia, and a long-time champion of renewable energy.
James served as one of the primary high-level negotiators for the Caribbean and the Association of Small Island States in international climate change negotiations, and played a pivotal role in the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change in December 2015. He is also credited with leading one of the most ambitious sustainable energy programmes in the Caribbean, through an innovative model that leaned heavily on the creation of effective strategic partnerships.
His work in bridging the digital divide in Saint Lucia, stimulating digital entrepreneurship, and enhancing the management of water resources is also highly lauded.
In addition to running his consulting company, SOLORICON, James is now Head of the Transition Team to establish the Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica (CREAD).
How do you feel your Chevening experience has influenced where you are now?
Chevening provided me with me an opportunity to get a quality postgraduate education at a prestigious learning institution. For that I will be forever grateful. It also allowed me to form meaningful friendships that have endured. Although the Chevening community was not active during my period of study in the UK, reengaging with it during my professional years has been a great experience, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my own experiences and knowledge with the current generation of Chevening Scholars. Most importantly, my Chevening experience allowed me to gain exposure to myriad cultures and practices that have enhanced my own ability to function effectively in international environments and negotiating arenas.
What is the most important thing you learned during your experience?
Studying at the University of Cambridge exposed me to a multicultural learning environment, which was invaluable. Most importantly, however, it taught me the value of research and analysis, and the need to investigate a problem from different angles before arriving at a conclusion. Although this lesson was originally learned within a scientific research context, it has stood me in good stead throughout my professional career in a variety of circumstances.
What message would you share with the next generation of Chevening Scholars?
Enjoy and learn from the experience. Use it to form friendships with your contemporaries and take advantage of every opportunity to learn about the lives and cultures of your fellow Chevening Scholars, and fellow students. Whenever possible, step out of your discipline and your comfort zone, and try to learn something new, something different. The rapid pace at which technology is forcing us to evolve may cause you to have to transition into another discipline at some point in your career. The broader you can make your learning experiences now, the easier it will be to make that transition if it is required later. Study hard, but find some time to explore and experience your new host country.
Follow James on Twitter