A Few Words About Smuggie

James “Smuggie” Mitchell is a 3rd generation native Charlottean and proud graduate of West Charlotte High School.  He received his Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems from North Carolina Central University.


James has spent nearly two decades serving the citizens of Charlotte where he has been a strong advocate for public-private partnerships. He was instrumental in acquiring funding for upgrades to the Carolina Panthers stadium, securing funds for and relocating the new minor league Charlotte Knights’ BB&T baseball stadium, and obtaining rezoning to build Northlake Mall.  He also championed the Charlotte Inclusion program, which will increase competition in city contracting and procurement opportunities for Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprises (MWSBEs).  James’s accomplishment echo across the city of Charlotte including the naming of Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd, bringing the CIAA basketball tournament to Charlotte, sourcing funds to build the Metro Police Station, and being an advocate for after-school programs among others.


James is also a graduate of the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and Leadership Charlotte.  He is the proud father of two daughters whom he affectionately calls his Blessings; Kayla, a public relations student at North Carolina A&T State University and Nicole, attends North Mecklenburg High School.  He is married to his “Queen”, Joan Higginbotham, a former astronaut, who is one of only three African-American women to travel to space.