Mr. James Blair is the Founder and Managing Director of Navigator Consulting, a specialized consulting firm providing project management and site selection services to international companies looking to set up or expand manufacturing operations in North America. Mr. Blair has extensive experience working with European executives, but his clients have included Chinese and Japanese executives as well. The sixteen projects that Navigator Consulting helped located over the past three years announced 2,800 jobs and $1.7 billion in capital investment.
During his 25 years in site selection for the State of Georgia, Mr. Blair worked with over 175 companies whose U.S. subsidiaries currently employ more than 20,000 people. Client companies included global names like Porsche (Germany), UCB (Belgium), Randstad (Netherlands) and Saint Gobain (France), as well as mid-sized companies like ATEX (Italy), Balta (Belgium), Brugg (Switzerland), Glock (Austria), Hansgrohe (Germany), JCB (UK), Terma (Denmark) and WIKA (Germany).
Prior to founding Navigator Consulting, Mr. Blair was Managing Director of GACC South Services, the site selection consulting division of the German American Chamber of Commerce (Atlanta). From 2012-2014 Mr. Blair and his GACC team assisted eight German companies from diverse industry sectors in locating production operations in the U.S. resulting in total capital investment of over $100 million 600 new jobs.
From 2010 through 2012, Mr. Blair was Director of Foreign Direct Investment for Georgia Economic Development. In that role, Mr. Blair coordinated the international business recruitment efforts for Georgia’s FDI offices in Europe, Japan, Korea and China, leading a specialized team of project managers who worked with international executives seeking to locate new business operations in North America.
Mr. Blair began his career at Georgia Economic Development in 1987 as Executive Director of the state’s European Office in Brussels where he was the primary contact for European headquartered companies with existing U.S. business operations. He also served as Chairman of the Council of American States in Europe, the official organization representing the then 18 full-time FDI state offices in Europe. Mr. Blair was a regular presenter at prestigious U.S. investment conferences organized, for example, by “Capital” magazine (Germany), KBC Bank (Belgium), the German Chambers of Commerce (Germany), the Paris Chamber (France), the Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom) and Confindustia (Italy).