Jim Talent is a BPC Senior Fellow and is the co-chair of its Task Force on Defense Personnel. Talent specializes in issues related to defense and national security and represented the state of Missouri in Congress from 1993 to 2007.
Talent’s public service began in 1984, when at age 28 he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. He served there for eight years, the last four of which as the Republican leader in the Missouri House.
In 1992, he was elected to the first of four terms in the House of Representatives, where he represented Missouri’s Second Congressional District. During his eight years in the House, Talent co-authored the historic welfare reform bill, championed national security issues on the House Armed Services Committee, and enacted legislation to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods, both urban and rural. He was the Chairman of the House
Small Business Committee from 1997-2001, where he worked on regulatory reform issues and on legislation to lower health care costs for small business people and their employees.
In 2002, Missourians elected Talent to serve in the U.S. Senate, where he served on the Senate Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committees.
Since leaving the Senate in 2007, Talent has continued to work on national defense issues. In 2007, he joined the Heritage Foundation as a Distinguished Fellow specializing in military affairs and conservative solutions to poverty. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and was the director of its National Security 2020 project at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies.
Talent regularly writes and speaks on the subject of national defense. He frequently briefs committees and members of Congress. He is regularly contributes to National Review Online and appears weekly on the Hugh Hewitt show to discuss issues relating to the military and national security.
Talent earned his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. He is married to Brenda, a veteran of the United States Army. They have three children.