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March 27, 2018

GMMB Opens a New Office in San Francisco  

GMMB announced today that it has opened a new office in San Francisco to support its long-standing and rapidly expanding work with philanthropic organizations, change-makers, start-ups, technology companies and institutions based in California. The new GMMB office is led by Matt James, an experienced and nationally respected strategist, who has joined the firm as Senior Counselor.

“Matt is not only a great strategist, communicator and innovator, his work has always been pointed toward a better world,” Jim Margolis, a GMMB senior partner, said. “From health reform, to education, to the environment, to corporate innovation, to guiding non-profits in new directions, Matt has used his media and organizational skills to push change forward. He is also a great guy who brings out the best in people. We are thrilled to be working together.”

GMMB, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has a Seattle office, has worked with Bay Area clients ranging from the Hewlett Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation to Kaiser Permanente, Omidyar Network, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Next Generation, the University of California, College Futures Foundation, Summit Public Schools and the startup Handshake. We’ve engaged on subjects including technology, education, data privacy, health, water, climate, immigration, social justice, public policy, public health, science and housing, as well as global health and development.

GMMB led media strategy, advertising and media buying for Proposition 56, the Save Lives California campaign, which increased tobacco taxes to fund anti-smoking and health initiatives, the first such increase in California since 1998. Save Lives California was outspent by Big Tobacco by a 2-1 margin, but ultimately, Prop 56 won 63 percent to 37 percent.

Matt James brings more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications across issues including public health, health policy, water, climate and social justice, as well as children and family well-being. He has advised some of Silicon Valley’s leading philanthropists. Most recently, he was scholar in residence at the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. He co-founded and directed Next Generation, the non-profit responsible for “Too Small to Fail” and “The Risky Business Project.” Previously, he was executive vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, where he helped pioneer new forms of media partnerships and helped launch Kaiser Health News.

“I’ve been a GMMB client and collaborator, and I’ve always been impressed by the ability of the firm to deliver impactful, high-quality work on difficult issues. Over and over, GMMB has successfully informed and influenced the public discourse on issues that matter, ones that improve lives,” said James. “I’m delighted to join GMMB in this mission.”

Interested in working with us? Contact us here.

GMMB San Francisco is located at 55 Union Street, Fourth Floor. Phone: 415-276-8750


Meet Matt James and learn more about +GMMB in San Francisco:
Full transcript is below video. 


I’m Matt James, Senior Counselor at GMMB.

I think what make GMMB unique is, first of all, the passion that people bring to the work that they do here. The issues that they take on, the clients that they align themselves with. GMMB is one of those firms that really thinks about the clients they take on, delivers great value, and then you combine that also with people looking for different solutions, tech solutions, to some of the most pressing social problems that we have in this country and indeed in the world…People coming together and opportunity coming together, frankly, at a time when I think we really do need new ideas and new solutions.

Doing well & doing good
You know, I really do think we’re entering a new era of corporate social responsibility. Consumers, particularly young people, are really looking at companies for something different, they want more than the bottom line, they want to know: are they protecting the environment? Are they treating their employees well? Are they giving back to their communities? Are they helping with housing? Are they helping with transportation?

That creates new opportunities for corporations and nonprofits to join together on some of these problems that have seemed intractable…You can’t just come in as any agency and say all of a sudden, ‘I’m going to be up to speed on reproductive health, or homelessness, or climate change. GMMB really has the chops, they’ve been doing this for a long time.

Opportunities by the Bay
So, California is interesting politically for a lot of reasons…What happens in Sacramento is different than what happens in the Bay Area, is different than what happens in Los Angeles. So, you need to have a firm that actually understands the politics in California—and GMMB actually has the understanding, I think, to navigate that landscape and deliver.

World of opportunities
One of the other exciting things about California is our access to the rest of the world from there. We sit on the Pacific Rim, there’s a real vibrancy of what happens between California and other parts of the world. And GMMB is well positioned, because of the work that they’ve done around the world, to take advantage of that, so I’m particularly excited about those opportunities.

Location, location, location
Where GMMB is located (55 Union Street) is actually a tremendous area. Lot of creative agencies in the area, small agencies that really are putting out some incredible work, digital work and other. Close to the Embarcadero, so, we’re really in a sweet spot to be able access the water, which is terrific because you can then do your walking meetings right on the Bay. So, it’s an ideal location, I’m very pleased that that’s where we’re going to be.

GMMB is a firm that I’ve admired for a long time…and so it just felt right to come to GMMB.

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