James Connal is the founder of political lobbying consultancy JC Strategy.
According to the company's website:
- James founded JC Strategy in March 2008 following eight years working at the highest levels of international politics and corporate life. Among others, he has used his experience to provide advice to the Government of Georgia, Apax Partners, and the charity, Save the Children, on UK child poverty issues.
- From 2004 - 2007 James was Special Adviser to Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, providing strategic, political and presentational advice to the Minister in his capacities as Defence Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons and Europe Minister. His tenure covered sensitive issues such as the aftermath of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, UK relations with Russia, the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU and the run-up to the Lisbon Treaty on EU Reform. He briefed and accompanied the Minister on visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and numerous states in Eastern Europe and the CIS. He worked closely with political lobby journalists and was also the Minister's speechwriter.
- James was the Defence spokesman for the Labour Party during the 2005 General Election campaign and drafted sections of the defence chapter of the election manifesto.
- James was recruited from Government in 2007 by Lord Browne, the former BP Chief Executive and well known green energy investor, and became his chief adviser and speechwriter. James was based at Apax, one of the world's largest Private Equity firms, where he went on to become Head of Public Affairs. In this role he drafted speeches and provided political advice to dealmakers to guide them through the public policy implications of their work.
- James also had top level business experience at the beginning of his career, working from 2000 - 2004 James as chief adviser to Lord Stevenson, the then Chairman of two FTSE 100 companies.
In 2010 he was selected by the French Government to take part in the prestigious "personnalit d'avenir" programme. He undertook research in Paris on how the French Government responded to the global recession after meetings with senior political, trade union and business figures.
- From 2007-11 sat on the board of the Atlantic Council, a body created to explain NATO's role, co-opted by the President and former NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.
- sits on the Advisory Board of the British Georgian Chamber of Commerce 'and helps facilitate greater trade links between the UK and Georgia'.
- elected member of the Fabian Society executive from 2001-2004.
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