Deborah James

Global Economy Director

Public Citizen

Phone: 202-454-5103

Deborah James is the Director of the WTO Program at Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Public Citizen, founded by Ralph Nader in 1971, is a nonprofit public interest organization promoting health, safety, and democracy. Global Trade Watch is the leading U.S. progressive organization in the global citizen movement for fair trade and investment policy.

Deborah was most recently the Global Economy Director at Global Exchange, where she worked since 1993 to democratize the global economy. There she played a key role in the hemispheric movement to stop the expansion of NAFTA to the rest of Latin America through the Free Trade Area of the Americas. This work paralleled her efforts to stop the expansion of the WTO at its Ministerial meetings in Seattle in 1999, Cancun in 2003, and Hong Kong in 2005, with the global network Our World Is Not for Sale.

At Global Exchange, Deborah successfully improved the lives of coffee farmers in developing countries by negotiating agreements with Starbucks and Procter & Gamble to purchase Fair Trade coffee. This work grew out of her advocacy for a living wage and better working conditions for Nike and GAP workers and her promotion of Fair Trade chocolate to end child slavery in the Ivory Coast. Her outstanding public education efforts have distinguished Deborah as an exceptional leader who can strategically attack high-level corporate giants and multilateral trade agreements while inspiring the public by effectively promoting the visionary alternatives of Fair Trade.

In 2004, Deborah served as the first Executive Director of the Venezuela Information Office in Washington, D.C., an organization that reframed public debate of the exciting progressive social transformation happening under Hugo Chavez's leadership and successfully shifted US foreign policy towards Venezuela.

In 2000, Deborah was part of the largest foreign elections monitoring team in Mexico, and has also observed elections in Venezuela and Florida in 2004. She has led over 20 human rights, democracy, Fair Trade, and women's delegations to Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela since 1994. Deborah was a representative to the United Nations World Conference on Women in 1995 in China; part of the first American delegation to Afghanistan after the U.S. bombing in November of 2001; and a representative to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in 2002.

Deborah is a Senior Fellow at the Oakland Institute, and serves on the board of the California Coalition for Fair Trade and Human Rights, the Fair Trade Federation, and the Center for Corporate Policy.

Focus: Business, Democracy, Gender, Governance, Human Rights, Trade, United States, Americas


Selected Publications:

The Meaning of Hong Kong WTO,, January 14, 2006.

Will the WTO Strike Out in Hong Kong?, Dollars and Sense, December 13, 2005.

Corporate Globalization in Crisis,, December 10, 2005.

WTO Meeting in Hong Kong: Corporate Globalization,, December 8, 2005.

Summit of the Americas, Argentina: Tomb of the FTAA,, November 23, 2005.

China: Time for Grassroots Diplomacy, Not WTO Expansion,, October 26, 2005.

World Social Forum, Venezuela: Another World Is Possible,, October 4, 2005.

Investigating Pat Robertson,, August 25, 2005.

Next Stop Post-CAFTA: Summit of the Americas: Or, See You on the Beach in Argentina,, August 4, 2005.

Democracy Sold Out -- CAFTA Approved by Pork and a Hill of Beans,, July 28, 2005 and, July 29, 2005.

CAFTA Squeaks by Senate, By Tiniest Margin Ever for Trade Bill in History,, July 1, 2005.

Bush at OAS: Same Old "Free Trade" Tune,, June 8, 2005.

Yes to Democracy, No to "Free Trade",, May 31, 2005.

Comments on Luis Posada Carriles' actions, fate, Miami Herald, May 21, 2005.

Landless Peasants March in Brazil, Build a New Road by Walking,, May 20, 2005.

Letter to the Editor: Luis Posada Carriles, San Francisco Chronicle, May 20, 2005.

A Decade's Struggle Ends in Victory, Global Exchange, May 15, 2005.

The Walking Zombie of the WTO,, March 12, 2005.

Food Security, Farming, and CAFTA and the WTO, Global Exchange, March 11, 2005.

Language Fluency:


Last Updated: Sep 22, 2006

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