James M. Mayer (Jim) was born and raised in New York City. He attended the United Nations International School, Hunter College (CUNY), Harvard University, and received his PhD in 1982 from Caltech working with Professor John Bercaw. After 2 years as a visiting scientist in the Central Research Department of the DuPont Company, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington, where he taught for 30 years. He moved to Yale University in 2014, where he is now the Charlotte Fitch Roberts Professor of Chemistry. His research is in the fundamental properties of chemical reactivity in solution and of materials, especially PCET.