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James Stranko

Senior Advisor

James Stranko is a globally minded communications advisor with deep expertise across the tech, venture, and financial services sectors. For nearly 15 years, James has worked alongside companies at pivotal points in their life cycle, including scaling through investment rounds, founder transitions, brand and organizational transformations, M&A and crisis situations. He is passionate about helping organizations prepare for and respond to moments of profound change.

 

Immediately prior to joining Prosek, James served clients as an independent senior advisor to more than a dozen clients, focused on leadership and change communications for companies going through IPO/SPAC mergers, M&A, and bankruptcy.

 

Before this, James spent nearly five years working at McKinsey and Company, where he served clients and led marketing for several of McKinsey’s New Ventures, including Cyber Solutions and Fast Growth Tech (now Fuel by McKinsey). He also led media relations in the Americas, advising practices and groups across the firm, including the McKinsey Global Institute, on profile raising and reputational issues. He began his career at Brunswick Group in London and later worked in its New York office.

 

James has had his original writing published in a range of leading news outlets, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, PR Week, and the Irish Independent among other U.S. and global titles.

 

James holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in economics from Johns Hopkins - School of Advanced International Studies.


Q & A

What are you most proud of in your career?
Almost everywhere I travel worldwide, from Europe to Asia, Africa, and South America, I can count on a supportive local network of former colleagues, clients, and classmates that I now call friends. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding and keeping great people in your life and career.

Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
I was a Congressional Page for the GOP when I was 17.

How would your mother describe you?
She is convinced that I am a CIA agent.

What are your greatest strengths as a communications practitioner?

  1. Empathy: it’s impossible to communicate effectively without it
  2. Long-term thinking: the rush of a short-term win can fade very quickly
  3. Perception: if you listen closely, there’s almost always a signal in the noise

What is your favorite food?
I’m a terrible cook, so anything I didn’t make myself.

Describe your perfect client.
Someone who challenges me as much as I challenge them.

What three hobbies or activities do you enjoy most?

  1. Travel: I’ve been fortunate to see some far-flung places that have made my family very nervous, and more fortunate to write about my trips in places like the Boston Globe and Washington Post.
  2. Music: I love going to the Metropolitan Opera as much as I like seeing my college friends perform in chamber orchestras and cabarets here in New York.
  3. Collecting antique maps and vintage posters: It’s time travel for me.

What’s your favorite part of the workday?
I am a strong extrovert, and I love getting to know people. My favorite part of the workday is when I’m interacting with others, and often learning from them.

Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
My partner says Michael Fassbender, and that’s good enough for me.

What is your favorite quote?
“Alcinous, there is a time for making speeches, and a time for going to bed.” – Odysseus, Homer’s Odyssey