Experts/Clearly was founded by media veteran James Rea. When not busy with Experts/Clearly clients, James has the great honor, and fun, of serving as a Workshop Instructor for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.
For nearly 20 years now, James has worked at creating engaging stories based on the work of CEOs, chemists, engineers, attorneys, financiers, and other experts . He has studied their failures and their successes, looking for better ways to help more people disseminate their work with greater ease. James believes strongly that the world needs to hear more from these leaders and innovators. And he knows from experience that if they are properly equipped, it is the experts themselves who can most eloquently and powerfully share their work with the world.
James began this work in 1996 when he took on a communications role for the US EPA’s Design for the Environment Program. He helped craft messages about cleaner technologies, working to engage a variety of audiences, many of whom came to the information with healthy doses of skepticism.
This time at the EPA opened James’s eyes to the wealth of amazing work that was happening in the realm of sustainability. Yet it also left him frustrated that more of these innovations weren’t reaching the eyes and ears of the media, lawmakers, business leaders, or the public at large.
In 1998 James left the EPA to bring the stories of sustainability to a wider audience as an independent reporter and producer for WAMU 88.5 FM, one of Washington, DC's National Public Radio member stations. The more leaders and technical experts he interviewed for his stories, the more James was struck by a communications dichotomy that existed among his interviewees. A select few were very good at talking about their achievements. Many, many more were not. With this realization, the seeds that would later grown into Experts/Clearly were sown.
In 2001 James founded the multimedia web production company SiteStories, shifting his storytelling focus from radio to the internet. Early clients included the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute (GCI). At GCI, James helped former EPA colleague Paul Anastas spread the word about green chemistry and green engineering. James later followed Dr. Anastas to Yale to work on communications for the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale.
In his time crafting messages for EPA, NPR, GCI, Yale and others, James increasingly saw that if these stories are to be heard, it’s not enough for an audience to listen. Someone needs to talk, and do so effectively. Too many times he heard brilliant scientists, engineers and leaders of renowned organizations express frustration that they couldn't tell their stories effectively enough. Feeling the frustration himself, and seeing that he was in a position to help, James founded Experts/Clearly, and his current communications consulting practice was born.
James earned a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University and his M.B.A., with an emphasis in sustainable business practices, from The George Washington University.