John received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. He joined the Canadian Government in 1974 and worked for the Treasury Board and Privy Council Office. From 1981 to 1993, he was with Canada’s Department of External Affairs and International Trade, and served in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo in senior diplomatic positions. In 1994, John moved to Hong Kong as the President, Asia, of Bell Canada International, in charge of strategic telecommunications investments and M&A activities. In 2001, he became the President of Bombardier China, until he joined Esquel in 2003.
John was elected Vice Chairman of the China Cotton Textile Association in 2005 and Vice Chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Textile Import and Export in 2009. In 2011, he was appointed a Board Member of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation.
In 2012, the University of Western Ontario conferred an Honorary LL.D degree on John in recognition of his expertise in trade and labor issues.