Jim Bartell


Jim Bartell’s public affairs and public relations career spans more than thirty years and has consisted of leadership positions in numerous local, regional, state and federal administrations. Jim’s legislative and governmental background is extensive. In 1976, Jim served as staff assistant to a San Diego County supervisor. He then served as a chief of staff to a United States Congressman from San Diego for eight years prior to becoming a partner with a San Diego public affairs agency. Jim was also a mayor and councilmember in the City of Santee for six terms from its incorporation in 1980 through 2002.

From 1985 to 1997 he served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. In 2002, Jim was appointed by the San Diego City Council to the San Diego Regional Government Efficiency Commission, which provided recommendations to the California State Legislatures on the consolidation of regional transportation and land use planning agencies. This landmark legislation resulted in combining the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board and North County Transit Development Board with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). In addition, it created the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority which is responsible for airport planning and operates San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field. In 2003, Jim was appointed by the Governor of California to the San Diego River Conservancy Governing Board.

Jim was with Nelson Communications Group for thirteen years, where his primary responsibilities included managing the San Diego office, chairing the firms construction and land-use industry group, and planning and managing public relations programs for clients including strategic consulting, government relations, media relations, community relations and coalition development.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University and a Masters degree in public administration from National University. He served four years in the United States Navy, including three years in Vietnam where he received numerous commendations and medals. Jim is a member of the San Diego County Building Industry Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the San Diego World Trade Center, San Diego Master Chorale and the USO San Diego Chapter.



“Jim’s knowledge of the political landscape has helped us navigate numerous challenges as we processed and constructed our development projects.”
Lance Waite, Principal, Integral Communities