James Hooks Tech

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Comments from James’ teammates, peers, and other colleagues about his work.

Airbnb - Belong anywhere | DesignStudioJames is the creator and lead of Airbnb’s Learning Lab, an innovative high-touch leadership development experience focused on delivering rapid behavioral change in key skills areas. As learning partner for engineering, data science, and ITX leadership, he consults with Airbnb’s CTO and tech leadership team on opportunities to shape leadership competencies, manager effectiveness, and team development strategies.

Talent Leader
It is one thing to produce quality work for the sake of working, but it’s another thing entirely to listen with genuine empathy, be intentional in considering what exactly would be the best learning objectives for a population, and wanting to raise the bar to provide the best experience possible. You are incredibly thought-provoking and I find myself still mulling over your tidbits of wisdom! You are clearly a subject matter expert in the field and I am so excited to work more closely with you.

Senior Director of Talent
I really appreciate your work around Learning Lab. Your thoughtfulness in designing the curriculum, and EQ in facilitation are a recipe for success. Thanks for making this idea a reality, and for working so closely with our tech team leaders!

Manager, BizTech
Thank you for an engaging and impactful Leading with Belonging class. The content and exercises inspired the agenda for our team’s 3-day 2020 kick-off. It was received with overwhelmingly positive response! I am over the moon to have access to a coach and philosopher like you.

Core Values Lead
Thank you for creating time and space to support others during this uncertain time. You provided actionable steps and ideas so that we can collectively care for one another. I am so appreciative of the time you took to share your expertise around meaning making.

Safety Leader
Thank you for leading a thought-provoking Leading with Belonging session last week! I appreciated hearing your perspectives and experiences, as well as your inclusive facilitation style. Hope to get to attend something you lead again!


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At Facebook, James provided direction, oversight, and management of research educators, ensuring consistency in learning methodology and design principles across the entire research organization. He designed and facilitated company-wide learning programs focused on manager development, career design for ICs, and research culture, launching first of its kind research manager development, researcher safety, and mentorship programs.

Director of Research, Instagram
James has been a critical driver of the success of Facebook Research and an exemplary model of research management excellence. James leads through example, takes initiative, proactively communicates, and has raised the bar on leadership quality over my time partnering with him. James increased the capacity of our company’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, strengthening the pipeline for our future Research community, and strengthening the community among Facebook itself. It’s not just WHAT James did here, as powerful as all that is, it’s also HOW he did it that raises the quality bar. James also has such passion and drive for professional development, it’s fantastic to watch him have this role and lead the team, taking the company to the next level at such an intersection of passion and business impact. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have James here and his incredible impact as a core part of Facebook’s D&I work.

Research Program Manager
James is a unicorn: a highly competent

manager, great instructor and speaker, driven, kind and has a great sense of humor. When James sees an opportunity he runs with it, making sure to consult with the right people and communicate out his plans and objectives for the broader community. He has personally helped me navigate my own career concerns and I have witnessed him take time to meet 1:1 with others to provide them with guidance or advice in their own careers. He is one of the most ambitious and humble people I have ever met and I have no doubt that he will do incredible things in the future. Any company would be lucky to have him as a leader. 

IMG_0236Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Leader
James was my go-to whenever I needed a sounding board for a new idea or problem space. He’s a thought leader and extremely supportive. James is innovative and thoughtful in understanding the needs of his stakeholders and partners and does not shy away from pushing boundaries or shifting strategies as an organization evolves and its needs change. James is authentic and cares deeply about his colleagues.

Lead Researcher, WhatsApp
James is a natural leader – he knew when to lead from behind and motive us to action and to lead from the front when our focus spread too wide. His projects lit the spark that is leading in all of UX Facebook worldwide. He’s made sure everyone becomes a better
researcher and has a vision for creating a world-class research education program. There is tremendous forward movement in his efforts across the board, all complex programs with many dependencies and makes very mature discernments between speed, urgency, and getting it right. He’s brought a very high level of rigor and domain expertise to education programming/execution that hasn’t existed previously. I’d encourage others to look at him as a model for positive impact.

Research Manager, Messenger
I had the immense pleasure of working with James as he led, planned and executed the research education curriculum for the 2019 cohort. I am thoroughly impressed by his
tenacity and ability to mobilize complex programs so quickly. The intentionality he
brought to the programs has already made it eons better than before he started. He has championed cognitive diversity as the spokesperson for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and someone I have looked up to for his passion and commitment to the work.

Senior Researcher, Facebook News Feed
James excels at building bridges and creating programs from the ground up. This is clearly due to his passion for the work he’s doing. He is the thread that ties so much of the research community at Facebook together. His leadership on the research team has had such an immense impact on so many programs (from manager training to programs aimed at developing junior UX research talent). He has worked hard to build relationships and create strong partnerships within the org. He has also led by example and shown the rest of the community where we can be if we invest in fostering strong relationships.

Senior Researcher, Facebook App
James leads with inclusivity, openness to feedback, and is a compelling public speaker. I collaborated with James in planning and facilitating the “Navigating and Articulating your Career” courses. I have to say, it was one of the most useful classes I’ve seen at Facebook and fun to boot! It helps people set a vision for their career and identify steps to get there. James invented this course, created all the design, and executed it with finesse. In the course of an hour, participants came away with a renewed understanding of why they were choosing this path, what they wanted to learn, and a packet of questions to use in manager 1:1s to plot a course in how to get there. What a blessing to have a leader like James encourage this type of planning early in your career!


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Senior Learning and Development Facilitator
James is a pleasure to work with. He is extremely knowledgable in his field and I appreciate that he shares his knowledge with the team. He is an excellent facilitator and I feel my own skills improved since watching his style. He also takes the time to coach other team members and does so in a thoughtful and collaborative manner.

unnamed (1)APAC Engineering Leader
James was an excellent facilitator. I found his entire 3-day session very valuable and was engaged the entire time. I loved doing several iterations of our value statement, drive statement, long term goal, and development goals. I definitely could tell that I made progress by completing this the second time. I would like to have better support for creating development goals and checking in beyond the session.

Program Manager
James was the best coach ever! I strongly recommend his class!