|Out of universe information|
- "The urge to inflict harm on this man was quite strong."
- —Teyla Emmagan
James Coolidge was appointed a member of the International Oversight Advisory, and was mistrustful of alien members of the Stargate Program and Atlantis expedition, including Teal'c, Ronon Dex and Teyla Emmagan and believed they weren't needed for Earth's protection.
To this end, he ordered all alien members of the respective projects to report to Earth for individual interviews. This, combined with his xenophobic and sexist tendencies, earned him the distrust and hatred of many on Atlantis, and further lowered the IOA's place in their eyes. Nevertheless, the interviews proceeded, until Ronon Dex's. Before it could proceed, the Wraith attacked the Midway space station and dispatched a horde of Wraith warriors to Stargate Command on Earth, rendering all personnel, including Coolidge and other IOA officials, unconscious with a Wraith stun bomb. Teal'c and Ronon, battling the invaders corridor by corridor, found Coolidge, groggy but reviving.
Refusing to trust the alien warriors to defeat the Wraith, he ordered them to bring him to a radio in the Stargate Operations room, where he called in a nuclear strike on the base to end the incursion. Coolidge's complaints and demands to help him escape finally caused Ronon to snap, and he yelled at him to save his own skin while he risked his life to save Teal'c and defeat the Wraith. Though Coolidge made a cowardly retreat to an escape hatch, he called off the strike when the invaders were defeated. Apparently resolving to turn over a new leaf after this incident, he appeared to become more open-minded and trusting of alien team members, passing Ronon's review after simply asking Ronon if he felt that he could follow orders to assist in the defence of Atlantis and Earth's interests. (SGA: "Midway")
The Sekkari AI device told Shen Xiaoyi (whilst impersonating an IOA member) that if she managed to get Richard Woolsey off Atlantis's command then James Coolidge would get the job as commander instead of her. This prevented her from filing a negative report against Woolsey as she was previously told she would get the job if she got him fired. The AI did this as a thanks to Woolsey for saving her people. (SGA: "Remnants")