James Watson

James Watson

Board Member

James is a co-founder of The New School, and currently serves on the board. James’s background in impact investing, education, non-profit leadership and as an entrepreneur has paved the way for many of the innovations at TNS, both on the admin side and curriculum side, and James’s network of entrepreneurs, business, arts and civic leaders in Atlanta and beyond has played a pivotal role in developing and executing on the school’s community engaged learning platform. Prior to The New School, James was instrumental in helping launch a network of impact accelerator programs on five continents, and a seed-stage fund facilitating peer-selected investments in more than 40 startups through his work as the first employee at Village Capital.

James also dedicates much of his energy to music creation and access. He was a dedicated board member at The Atlanta Music Project for seven years, and is now treasurer of the board at the ATL Collective and is the chair of the “With The Band Fund”, a crisis relief fund for working live musicians. James is also a studio musician, performer and arranger. His musical accomplishments include co-composer for The King of Pops musical, Musical Director for Dad’s Garage Christmas comedy play at the Alliance Theatre, and is a regular church musician and contemporary hymn arranger.

James grew up in Bristol, England, and upon graduating with 1st-class honors from the University of St Andrews, James was awarded the Robert T. Jones Memorial Scholarship for graduate study at Emory University. Atlanta has become his adopted home ever since, and he has been fortunate to be involved in a number of outstanding communities in the city. James’ was a member of the LEAD Atlanta class of 2018, the REALITY Community Builders Program 2018, and is a member of the Atlanta CEO Council. James also loves to host and hope his house – as an Airbnb Superhost, and through his dinner party series called “Bring Someone New”.

Fun facts: James has a “Bacon Number” of 2, a “Tiger Woods” number of 3, and has officiated 5 wedding ceremonies including Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Pagan ceremonies!