James Derounian is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire. James' teaching, action research and consultancy relate to local governance, rural social issues and community engagement.

James has undertaken consultancies for international (Romanian Historic Monuments' Commission), national (Carnegie UK Trust) and local (Oxfordshire Rural Community Council) organisations. He is particularly skilled at facilitating learning for part time, mature, distance learning students (many of whom work with/for parish councils). He publishes articles for the Guardian newspaper, on higher education and localism http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/james-derounian.

James has been selected and trained to undertake independent examinations of community-generated Neighbourhood Plans (NP) across England. He completed the first off-mainland NP examination in 2014 and has advised neighbourhood plan groups in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire. He is taking a key role in producing a NP for his hometown of Winchcombe.