James Higa

James was born in Indiana, grew up in Okinawa, educated in Palo Alto, and has a long and storied career in Silicon Valley. He reported directly to Steve Jobs at Apple, working to change the face of technology and consumer industries. He was a member of the original Macintosh team, and his work negotiating and launching iTunes changed music forever. He still has one foot in high tech as Mentor in Residence at Index Ventures, whose investments include Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, and Skype. But now as Executive Director of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, he aspires to make a dent in the universe through people and communities rather than products and technologies. His deep Japan connections include on-the- ground relief efforts during the 1995 Kobe and 2011 Tohoku disasters, USJC and TOMODACHI programs, launching Apple and NeXT Japan, and serving as advisor to UNIQLO and Lawson’s.

James received his AB ’81 in Political Science from Stanford University. He serves on the GRAMMY Foundation MusiCares Board, Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources Advisory Council, and Stanford Distinguished Career Institute Board. He is an extended faculty member of the Stanford d.school, and has served as arbitrator for the International Chamber of Commerce.