James T. “Jim” Currie grew up in Jackson, MS, and graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Mississippi with majors in history and political science. While at Ole Miss he received the Taylor Medals in both history and political science. These awards are given to one student per subject per year. He then attended the University of Virginia, from which he received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history and was commissioned through ROTC as a 2d Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of both the Army’s Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF).
Jim taught history at Mississippi College and Jackson State University and served as Historian of the United States Department of Education and Associate Historian of the United States House of Representatives. He served six years as a legislative assistant to Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., and was concurrently a professional staff member and Chief of the Latin America Division of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He served as the committee’s Press Spokesman from 1989-1991.
From 1991 until 2009 he was Professor of Political Science/National Security Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. At ICAF he directed both the News Media Industry Study and the Central America/Caribbean Regional Security Study and taught an elective on “Congress and the Legislative Process.” Students at ICAF twice named him “Educator of the Year.” He also taught in other National Defense University programs and courses: the CAPSTONE course for new general and flag officers, the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the Near East/South Asia Center, the School for National Security Executive Education, and the Reserve Components National Security Course. From 1994-2009 he organized and led the annual five-day ICAF trip to the Republic of Panama, taking over 100 students and faculty members to that Central American country each year.
From April 2014 until May 2020 Jim was Executive Director of the Commissioned Officers Association of the United States Public Health Service and of the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health. From 2011-2013 he was Legislative Director for the National Marine Manufacturers Association and from 2009-2011 he served as Director of Federal Relations for the National Association of State Treasurers. Jim is the author of three books and twenty-five articles. His OpEd pieces have been published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Des Moines Register, and other newspapers. He has also had two pieces published in the “Humor in Uniform” column of Reader’s Digest. From 1995-1999 he was moderator and host of the nationally-broadcast television program, America’s Army, sponsored by the Association of the US Army.
He has lectured at the Army War College, the Marine Corps University, the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, the Defense Systems Management College, the FEMA National Training Center, the University of Virginia, Georgetown University, Texas Tech University, the University of Kansas, the University of Rhode Island, Bucknell University, Morgan State University, Virginia Military Institute, the University of Houston, Jackson State University, the University of Richmond, and many other institutions. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA (AFL-CIO) and has appeared as a background performer in several episodes of both House of Cards and Homeland.
Jim served thirty years in the United States Army, retiring with the rank of colonel. Military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Army Parachute Badge. His last military assignment was with the Army’s Office of Legislative Liaison.
Jim lives with his wife Janis in Alexandria, VA. Their son Matthew is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA.