Jim was born in Dundee in 1944 and educated at Harris Academy. He then attended Marine Radio College in Aberdeen before going to sea as a Radio Officer, sailing with a number of shipping Companies worldwide.
In 1971 he continued his career on shore, spending 23 years in Government Communications as a Radio Officer, Lecturer and Manager, both in the UK and overseas. He then spent a number of years, with his wife Janet, as Residential Home Owner/Managers.
In 2000 Jim was appointed Councillor for the Logie Ward of Dundee City Council, this becoming part of the larger West End Ward of the City, within which the Al-Maktoum College is situated. Jim became Convenor of the SNP Group on his Party taking charge of the Council Administration until his retirement from Politics in 2012. He was appointed as a College Council Group member of the Al-Maktoum College on 1st August 2009.
Jim was Commissioned by HM Queen Elizabeth II as Deputy Lieutenant for the City of Dundee on 16th. October 2012, and continues to fulfil those duties. Jim is presently President of Hillcrest Bowling Club and is a member and Past Boxmaster of the Fraternity of Masters and Seamen in Dundee.