Born in Cambridge, Jim was educated at Parkside School and Hills Road Sixth Form College; he gained a First Class Honours degree in Politics from the University of Newcastle in 1999. Upon graduation he took up a position at what is now the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust working with a range of NGOs, governments, multinational companies and individuals to fund outstanding international students at Cambridge. In 2002 he was awarded a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship for postgraduate study in Australia, but instead took up the opportunity to become a professional musician. Jim was appointed Executive Officer of the Gates Cambridge Trust in 2005 and then its Programme Director in 2013 - a role which forms part of the senior management of the Trust. As Programme Director, Jim works closely with the Provost and Director of Finance to determine and implement policy across all areas of the programme. He oversees the Scholar life cycle and programme staff, develops and manages certain strategies (e.g. outreach and communications), is responsible for most of the Trust's relationships with internal and external bodies and also sits on the Social Sciences interview panel to select Gates Cambridge Scholars. Jim is privileged to be a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge and has served on the College's Communications Committee.