James Wallner is a senior fellow of the R Street Institute and member of R Street’s Governance Project and Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group teams. He researches and writes about Congress, especially the Senate; the separation of powers; legislative procedure; and the federal policy process.
James joined R Street in July 2017 from the Heritage Foundation, where he was group vice president for research. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the politics department and the Congressional and Presidential Studies Program at the Catholic University of America as well as in the Department of Government at American University. Additionally, James is a Fellow at American University’s Center of Congressional and Presidential Studies.
Earlier in his career, he was executive director of the Senate Steering Committee during the chairmanships of Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Mike Lee, R-Utah. He also has served as legislative director to Toomey and to former Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
He is the author of two books, The Death of Deliberation: Partisanship and Polarization in the United States Senate, published in 2013 and On Parliamentary War: Partisan Conflict and Procedural Change in the United States Senate published in 2017.
James received both his doctoral and master’s degrees in politics from the Catholic University of America. He also holds a master’s in international and European politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Georgia.
He currently lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Kimberly; two children; and two golden retrievers.