Carole James was elected Leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party on November 23, 2003.
Carole served as President of the B.C. School Trustees Association for an unprecedented five terms, commencing in 1995.
She was elected to the Greater Victoria School Board from 1990 to 2001. She has also served at the national level as the Vice-President of the Canadian School Boards Association. Carole has been appointed to numerous provincial initiatives, including the Independent B.C. Budget Review Panel, the Public Education Restructuring Consultation, the Ministry of Children and Families Secure Care Committee.
In addition to serving a two-year term as the Director of Child Care Policy for the government of British Columbia, she has served on the Greater Victoria Region Social Planning Council, the City of Victoria Parks and Recreation Committee, and the Task Force on Violence Prevention.
In recognition of her work in the area of co-operative pre-schools, she was named an Honorary Life Member of the Vancouver Island Co-operative Pre-School Association.
In 2001, Carole moved to Prince George to serve as the Director of Child and Family Services for Carrier Sekani Family Services. As part of her management responsibilities, she coordinated the planning for regionalization of child and family services from the Ministry of Children and Families to an Aboriginal Authority. In July 2003, just prior to becoming Leader of the New Democrats, she became Coordinator with the Northern Aboriginal Authority for Families.
In May 2005, Carole was elected as the MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, and became the Leader of BC's Official Opposition in the BC Legislature.
Carole is the mother of two children, Alison and Evan. She was also a foster parent for 20 years, giving care to children and adults with special needs.