James M. Stone was educated in the public schools of Pelham, New York, and at Harvard University. At Harvard, Mr. Stone received The Allyn Young Prize for the best undergraduate economics thesis and the Goldsmith Prize for the best research paper presented to the Graduate School in Economics. He graduated with Highest Honors in economics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1969. Mr. Stone received his Ph.D. in economics in 1973 and was appointed Lecturer in Economics by the Harvard faculty, teaching a course on the economics of securities markets.
In 1975, Mr. Stone was appointed by Gov. Michael Dukakis to be the commissioner of insurance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Stone served in that position for four years. Mr. Stone was appointed chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. The CFTC is the federal agency vested with principal regulatory jurisdiction over derivatives trading in financial instruments and physical commodities.
In 1983, Mr. Stone concluded his term in Washington and returned to Boston, where he founded The Plymouth Rock Company. He currently serves as CEO of the Plymouth Rock group of insurance companies, with automobile and homeowners premium writings in excess of $1.2 billion annually. Mr. Stone was a co-founder of Cat Limited, a Bermuda-based reinsurer; a founder of Homesite Group, which writes home insurance nationally with annual premiums of over one billion dollars; and a founder of Response Insurance, a direct-to-the-consumer auto insurer. He is also a founding member of the Administrative Committee of Lindsay Goldberg, a New York-based private equity investment firm.
Mr. Stone served on the board of directors of The Boston Globe Newspaper Corporation from 1998 to 2006, and from 2012 to 2015 as vice chairman of Global Post, a web-based international news service. Mr. Stone served for 10 years as a director and chairman of the Board of Management Sciences for Health, a leading provider of humanitarian health infrastructure support in over 40 countries around the world. He is the chairman of the Academic Affairs and Commercial Relations Committees of the board of directors of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a nonprofit genetics institute; and he is the chairman of the School on the Move prize panel, which provides an annual cash award to the most improved Boston public school.
Mr. Stone is the author of “Five Easy Theses” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), and an earlier book on the securities industry, as well as numerous articles on insurance, finance and economics. He has served as an adviser to governments in three developing countries. Mr. Stone is married, with two children, and lives in Boston. He is a member of the Finance Committee and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.