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Global Lead for Geo-Commerce

James Robinson brings more than 25 years of diverse international experience in communications, corporate affairs, sustainability, trade and policy. He has worked with some of the world’s most ambitious organizations developing strategy, engaging dynamic stakeholders, communicating purpose and managing complex societal and public affairs issues. As global lead of APCO’s Geo-Commerce offering, he is an advisor to some of the world’s most respected organizations, helping to develop strategy, engage dynamic stakeholders, communicate purpose and manage complex societal and public affairs issues and crises.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

— Nelson Mandela

Previously, James served as managing director for APCO’s Shanghai business where he led a team of approximately 30 staff and oversaw APCO’s Hong Kong presence. While in China, he helped clients in the technology, health care, consumer goods and financial services sectors as they entered, expanded in and navigated the China market.

Before returning to China, James was based in New York for more than a decade, where he led APCO’s trailblazing global sustainability and ESG practice. In New York, he was also client leader for several of APCO’s most significant global assignments, supporting public affairs campaigns, stakeholder and issues management efforts, communications initiatives and sustainability reporting programs. He has led several award-winning client campaigns and in 2016 was named to PR Week’s “40 Under 40” list of leaders in the communications industry. Between 2008 and 2016, he led the firm’s work for the Clinton Global Initiative. He also served on the firm’s North America leadership team.

Between 1999 and 2005, James served within the investment and government relations practice of APCO’s Beijing office, where he advised multinationals looking to enter and expand in the China market. He also spent a year in APCO’s office in Indonesia, where he focused on clients within the extractive industries.

James graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in China Studies from the University of Cambridge and speaks Mandarin proficiently. He is frequently asked to speak about the evolving role of business in society as well as the challenges faced by multinationals in China and is often cited by leading international media.