Jim has spent more than 20 years as one of the most respected experts and entrepreneurs on issues related to children's policy and media in the United States. As CEO, he is responsible for the overall leadership of Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the media lives of kids and families.
Prior to founding Common Sense, Jim was Chairman and CEO of JP Kids, a respected family media company. Before that, he served as President of Children Now, a leading national advocacy and media organization for children, which he founded in 1988. Jim began his career as an elementary school teacher and then became a public interest lawyer. He served as a law clerk for the California Supreme Court, as a deputy district attorney, and as a civil rights attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
In addition to his duties at Common Sense, Jim teaches popular courses on civil rights, civil liberties, and children's issues at Stanford University, and is a founding board member of the Center for the Next Generation, a nonpartisan organization supporting programs and policies that benefit the next generation of young Americans. Jim is also the author of two widely acclaimed books The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media's Effect on Our Children, and Talking Back to Facebook: A Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age (Scribner, 2012), a timely look at how digital media is effecting our children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. In March 2012, Jim was named a co-chair of the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission, along with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger; Co-Founder of TPG Capital James Coulter; and former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, with the support of the FCC and the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission is tasked with developing a blueprint detailing the opportunity for using technology as a catalyst to transform and improve American education.
Over the past decade, Jim has appeared regularly on a variety of national television and radio programs, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, CNN, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, Fresh Air, Morning Joe, and Larry King. He hosts a regular weekly segment, "Kids and the Media," on CBS-5 TV in San Francisco, and his work has been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal.
Jim grew up in New York City and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford. He received his JD from Stanford Law School, where he founded the East Palo Alto Community Law Project. Jim is the father of four children and lives with his family in the Bay Area.