James (Jim) M. Shannon joined the board in 2009 where he currently serves as the board’s chairman. Jim previously served as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a leading advocate for fire prevention, where he gained extensive knowledge of fire safety and prevention.
At NFPA Jim launched a national effort that resulted in all 50 states adopting legislation requiring “fire safe” cigarettes. He also created a national campaign advocating requirements for fire sprinklers in newly constructed homes. Under Jim’s leadership NFPA became the first major standards developer to grant free digital access to all its codes and standards to the public.
Before joining NFPA Jim was elected Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a position he held from 1987 to 1991. As Attorney General he argued several cases on behalf of the Commonwealth in appellate courts including the United States Supreme Court and was an outspoken advocate for consumer and civil rights. Jim also served as Chair of the Antitrust Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
Before serving as Attorney General Jim was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the Fifth Congressional District of Massachusetts. He served three terms in Congress and was a member of the Ways and Means Committee. As a Member of Congress Jim was the original sponsor of the Research and Development Tax Credit.
Jim served a three-year term from 2017 through 2019 as president of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
He received his Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University and his Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School.