Gordon C. James
Gordon C. James is the founder and president of Gordon C. James Public Relations, a long-time friend of former president George H. W. Bush, and the former Director of Advance and Special Events in the Office of Strategic Communications for the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq.
James told PR Week, "I was living in Des Moines, Iowa, [and] in the real-estate management business. We used to make money off renting space to presidential candidates in town for the caucuses. At the time, Ambassador [George H. W.] Bush rented space from us in '78, and I just fell in love."
James' previous positions include Lead Advance Representative to President George H.W. Bush, Director of the American Bicentennial Inaugural Committee, and Director of Special Events for the 54th Presidential Inaugural Committee (for George W. Bush). PR Week noted that James' "association and ongoing relationship with the senior Bush yielded a lifetime's worth of government and political opportunities."
James described his work for the CPA in Iraq as "highlighting Ambassador (Paul) Bremer's work, trying to get a positive media spin out of what he was doing." He admitted to PR Week, "It was very rough work. Five little kids at a school handing the ambassador roses was not much of a picture compared to the chaos you'd find elsewhere in the country on almost any given day."
According to James, some of the "big events" he worked on in Iraq included "the signing of the Tal, their Declaration of Independence." He also worked on the "100 Days to Sovereignty," the countdown to the transfer of power from the United States to the official Iraqi interim government. "On June 28, that was really history," James told PR Week. "That was when Ambassador Bremer was able to hand over sovereignty," in a secret ceremony that James helped organize and attended. "Then we took [Bremer] to the airport, came back, and did the swearing-in ceremonies [for the new government]. That was a great day. That's what we were working toward the whole time," James said.
James has also worked on the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, assisting with "key whistle stops," doing key set-up work for the third Bush-Kerry debate in Tempe, Arizona, and planning the president's election night event.
- Douglas Quenqua, "PROFILE: James follows political passion - from Iowa to Iraq," PR Week (reg. req'd.), October 25, 2004.