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Hon. Jim Cooper

Global Fellow


    August 31, 2023 — August 31, 2025

    Professional affiliation

    Former Member of Congress; Distinguished Scholar, Vanderbilt Law School
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    • Centrism and Civility in US Congress
    • National Security Space, including Space Force
    • US Health Care Policy from Clinton-care through Obamacare
    • Broad Business and Regulatory Experience

    Full Biography

     Jim Cooper is a Democrat who was re-elected to Congress for four decades from Tennessee, a Republican state, until finally being gerrymandered out in 2023. In Congress, he served on more committees (8) than almost anyone, including the national security committees, giving him wide knowledge of the reach of the institution. He knows both policy and politics across a broad spectrum.

    Jim is completing a book on the history of US national security space. A co-founder of US Space Force, Jim regards satellites as the “infrastructure of all infrastructures” in every nation, the central nervous system of the planet.

    Jim knows corporations as well as Congress, working today for a private-equity firm that specializes in US manufacturing and having taught for twenty years at Vanderbilt’s business school. He has also worked with some of the largest and most intractable bureaucracies in the US. He is very comfortable with financial statements.

    Jim graduated with highest honors as a Morehead Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a Rhodes Scholar from Oriel College, Oxford University, and from Harvard Law School.