Associate - Cohort 009
Henry James “BJ” believes that good governance is only possible when communication and messaging is clear and can cut through surface level differences. He is committed to understanding the perspectives, opinions, and needs of all people and is deeply intrigued by opinion formulation. It is with this understanding that efficient systems and processes can be created to the benefit of everyone. BJ revels in creating and implementing these systems in order to help communities do their best work. He is at his strongest when he is left to plan and then quickly adapt.
Prior to joining Normal>Next, BJ worked as a teacher at a middle school in Harlem, NY. As an associate, and later lead, teacher, he taught US history and science. He also worked as an advisor and guided students throughout their year working to increase independence.
Before teaching, he studied Political Science at Duke University while picking up an Energy and the Environment Certificate. At Duke, he worked for Greenpeace in the research department, focusing on the impact political donations had on representatives’ policy positions related to climate change.
It was at the Niskanen Center that he developed an interest in climate and environmental policy. He studied the potential impact and policy feasibility of implementing a nationwide carbon tax in the aftermath of the Paris Climate Agreement. He also worked with a bipartisan caucus focused on finding common sense solutions to climate change, supplying members with talking points on how to discuss the scientific and political realities of climate change in their communities.
BJ enjoys spending time running around with his niece and nephew, planning a weekend trip to a new place, and trying his hand at a new recipe from NYT Cooking while watching his favorite sports teams. He loves to hike and is an advocate of all things Pacific Northwest.