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Robert Rector

Senior Policy Analyst
Welfare and Family Issues
The Heritage Foundation

Robert Rector examines such issues as welfare reform, marriage and illegitimacy, tax reform to assist families, and poverty in America. He recently authored America’s Failed $5.4 Trillion War on Poverty, which examines the failed welfare system. Robert played a large role in designing the welfare provisions in the Republican “Contract with America” and the new federal welfare law enacted in 1996. The Wall Street Journal declared, “to understand what Republicans are trying to do about welfare, don’t look to Newt Gingrich. Watch Robert Rector.” 

David Broder writing in The Washington Post has stated, “Money is an important ingredient in our elections and deserves security … but ideas are important too. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector [has] had more influence in the last decade than any fund-raisers or contributors, because candidates have turned to [him] for policy advice.”

Robert Rector frequently appears on television and radio. Articles by him have been published in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and hundreds of other newspapers. Mr. Rector’s writings have also appeared in National Review, Policy Review, The World and I, The American Enterprise, Insight, Human Events, The Harvard Journal on Legislation and other magazines. 

Rector also is the co-editor of Steering the Elephant: How Washington Works, a book which The Wall Street Journal said “illuminates” the workings of the Reagan presidency “better than any other book to date.”

Rector previously worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia House of Delegates and as a Management Analyst at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Mr. Rector earned his master’s degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University.


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