Deborah James

Deborah James is the Director of International Programs of Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives.

Deborah was most recently the Director of the WTO Program at Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, where she organized global campaigns to stop the expansion of the WTO with the global network Our World Is Not for Sale.
Deborah was previously the Global Economy Director at Global Exchange, where she worked for over a decade 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.
At Global Exchange, Deborah successfully improved the lives of coffee farmers in developing countries by organizing consumer pressure that led Starbucks and Procter & Gamble to purchase Fair Trade Certified 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, DC, an organization that reframed public debate of the exciting progressive social transformation happening under Hugo Chávez'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 US bombing in November of 2001; and a representative to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in 2002.
Deborah currently sits on the Board of Directors of Global Exchange.
Bolivia's Evo Morales Wins Hearts and Minds in U.S., Deborah James and Medea Benjamin,, October 1, 2007.
Dems Had Better Listen to the Public's Anger Over Our Failed Trade Policy, Deborah James and Todd Tucker, AlterNet, February 7, 2007.
Dems: Get The Message On Trade, Deborah James and Todd Tucker,, January 30, 2007.
Will the WTO Strike Out in Hong Kong?, Dollars and Sense, December 13, 2005.
Investigating Pat Robertson,, August 25, 2005.
Democracy Sold Out -- CAFTA Approved by Pork and a Hill of Beans,, July 28, 2005 and, July 29, 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.
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.
Florida's Palm Beach County Bracing for the Electoral Storm, and, November 1, 2004.
"Strategies from the South: The Alliances and Alternatives that Aim to Defeat Corporate-Driven Trade," Race, Poverty, and the Environment; a journal for social and environmental justice. Oakland, CA, Volume XI, number 1, Summer, 2004.
Summary of the Proceedings of the FTAA Trade Negotiating Committee, Global Exchange, December 4, 2003.
FTAA-Lite Leaves Corporate Lobbyists Going Home Hungry, Global Exchange, November 20, 2003.
Consumer Activism and Corporate Responsibility: A History of the Fair Trade Movement, Journal of Research for Consumers, Australia, September 2002.
Collateral Damage Made Real, in Nadia Batool Ahmad, et al, eds., Unveiling the Real Terrorist Mind, Students for International Peace and Justice, 2002, and, December 13, 2001.
"Ten Ways to Democratize the US Political System," in Kevin Danaher, ed. Democratizing the Global Economy: The Battle Against the World Bank and the IMF. Common Courage Press, Maine: 2001.
Justice and Java: Coffee in a Fair Trade Market," North American Congress on Latin America, Sept/Oct 2000.
"Ten Ways to Democratize the Global Economy," in Kevin Danaher and Roger Burbach, eds, Globalize This! The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule. Common Courage Press, Maine: 2000.
"Fair Trade Not Free Trade," in Kevin Danaher and Roger Burbach, eds, Globalize This! The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule. Common Courage Press, Maine: 2000.

“What's Going on at the WTO?: Opportunities and Risks Before the 9th Ministerial Meeting.” Huffington Post, November 18, 2013.

“Victory at UNCTAD XIII,” Huffington Post, April 29, 2012.

“Who should run the global economy?” Al Jazeera, April 13, 2012.

“WTO Turnaround: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Development First!”, December 6, 2011.

“Participant Story: Journey to Iran,” Global Exchange Reality Tours Blog, August 2010.

“New Funds Approved by IMF Would Worsen Global Economic Downturn,” The Hill’s Congress Blog, May 26, 2009.

Topics covered
  • Global Resistance to the World Trade Organization
  • Venezuelan Democracy, Development, and Latin American Regional Integration
  • Challenging Corporate Globalization

If you would like to plan a speaking event with Deborah, please email action [at] with the subject line: SPEAKERS BUREAU: Deborah James