James Boothroyd, Principal

If, as an airport security officer, you unzipped the wheely suitcase of James Boothroyd, various hats would spill out:

  • Wooly toque: Jim (as most people know him) is Canadian – loves nose icicles, black flies and k.d. lang’s Juno Awards rendition of “Hallelujah.”
  • Grass-stained ballcap: in his childhood/youth, little Jimmy ran successful summer gardening and painting businesses.
  • Mortarboards: for degrees in History (BA, Simon Fraser), Spanish (Dip., Seville), Latin American Studies (MPhil, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge), International Journalism (MA, City University of London) — one too many, some say.
  • Fedora with PRESS label wedged into ribbon: Jim began as a reporter, feature writer and editor for British and Canadian media — minor (Police Review, McGill News) and major (daily papers, The Independent, London, and The Gazette, Montreal).
  • Blue beret: fluent in French and Spanish, Jim has worked for UN and government agencies such as the World Health Organization; Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and German Technical Cooperation (an arm of the German government) in Switzerland, Peru, Cameroon and elsewhere.

James is skilled at seeing the mines in the road ahead when planning a public engagement strategy. He is a lot of fun too!

Donald MacPherson
Director, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition,
Vancouver, Canada

Now, though, Jim is best known for his communications and engagement expertise at the busy intersection of public health and environmental issues.

As its director of communications and engagement, he led the largest department of the David Suzuki Foundation (2010–2012) in spearheading a major shift away from conventional advocacy (publishing reports, meeting with deputy ministers) toward public engagement (listening to and agreeing on solutions with tens of thousands of Canadians, including many who may not consider themselves “environmentalists”).

His consulting clients now include the Strathmere Group (12 of Canada’s leading environmental organizations), the Canadian HIV Trials Network, WHO and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

He is also the author of Project Green Bloc, sponsored by the Vancouver Foundation and Evergreen, which tests novel approaches (household ecological footprint surveys, dialogues, collective action) for mobilizing neighbourhoods to address hyper-consumption and climate change.

Off the job, Jim is regularly seen sporting a yellow latex swim cap (hideously early in the morning, doing lengths), a red bike helmet (later, commuting), and chef's hat (later still, cooking for his long-suffering partner, an English instructor at Capilano University, and evermore demanding teenagers: girl, boy).

Oh, and did we mention he can dance merengue, hat-less?

Seriously though, his professional associates are even more talented. These include Susan Mavor, Public Communications (design) and Neil McBean of Rival Schools (digital marketing). For more on them, see Associates.