James Clarke is an American businessman and dedicated amateur mountaineer. For more than two decades, he has combined his passion for climbing and interest in international cultures by interspersing expeditions with a professional career.
Originally from New York City, Clarke graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point with dual concentrations in engineering and foreign languages. Commissioned in the U.S. Army, Infantry branch, he initially served as a Rifle Platoon Leader in the 82nd Airborne Division and later transferred to Special Operations. During his time in the Army, Clarke received his first mountaineering training. He earned Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder, Jumpmaster, Senior Parachutist and Expert Infantryman qualifications. Clarke was awarded several U.S. and foreign decorations as well as commendations from 5th Special Forces Group and 1st Ranger Battalion.
After completing his military service with the rank of Captain, Clarke graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA degree. His two decades of executive leadership positions in private industry focused on e-commerce and media content development and distribution.
Clarke capstoned his full-time career with QVC (the world's largest video commerce retailer). After expatriate assignments in Tokyo, Japan and London, United Kingdom, he relocated to Beijing and led the efforts to establish QVC retail operations in mainland China. In 2012, QVC and China National Radio (CNR) established a joint venture. Clarke served several years as CEO of QVC China (and also CNR Mall) which broadcast 24-hour live and taped TV shopping programs to over 120 million Chinese homes.
Prior to QVC, Clarke held positions with Affinity Media (a pioneer in the virtual currency trading market) as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and as the President of Affinity’s eCommerce division. Based in Shanghai, as the company’s senior representative in Asia, he managed operations in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and South Korea supporting transaction and content websites comprising the world’s largest platforms for the trade of virtual items and currencies. Clarke has led the acquisition and integration of several private companies within Korea and mainland China.
Earlier in his career, Clarke held senior positions with American Vantage Media, YaYa Interactive and Omni Computer Products. He currently serves on the board of directors of VGL – one of India’s largest jewelry companies.
Clarke has climbed the highest peak in over sixty-five countries. He resides in Southern California.