Issue One offers its most sincere condolences to the friends and family of former Congressman James “Jim” P. Moody (D-WI). Rep. Jim Moody was a member of our ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition composed of 200 former Cabinet officials, governors, and members of Congress advocating for solutions to fix our broken political system. He passed away Friday, March 22 at the age of 83.
Rep. Moody’s youth and early career were marked by international travel and service. After graduating from high school in Athens, Greece, he provided humanitarian aid in Iran and the former Yugoslavia, as well as established Peace Corps agencies in Pakistan and Bangladesh — the first in continental Asia. This global experience helped shape his path as an outstanding public servant. Prior to running for office, Rep. Moody worked as a loan officer for the United States Agency for International Development. Remarkably, he spoke Farsi, French, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish.
A distinguished economist, Rep. Moody earned a B.A. from Haverford College, an M.P.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught as a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Maryland School of Public Policy.
A Milwaukee Democrat, Rep. Moody was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1976, followed by the State Senate in 1978. In 1983, the people of Wisconsin’s 5th District elected Rep. Moody to Congress, where he represented them for a decade. Throughout his tenure, Rep. Moody drew upon his experience abroad, especially while serving on the International Trade Subcommittee of the influential House Ways and Means Committee. In Congress, Rep. Moody endeavored to improve government transparency, co-founding the National Security Archive Project. “He’s very idealistic about government,” said Rep. Moody’s mother, Jane Moody, shortly after he was elected; “he has a sort of messianic feeling about the job and serving people”.
Following his congressional service, Rep. Moody continued to work tirelessly for the public good. He upheld democratic values abroad while working as an independent elections observer in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine. With the United Nations, Rep. Moody fought to raise living standards in rural areas of developing countries. His work also included joining Issue One’s reform efforts and pledging to renew the Founders’ promise of a free, civil, and functioning republic.
Issue One is grateful for Rep. Jim Moody’s dedication to improving opportunities for every American. We will remember him for his commitment to enhancing government ethics and strengthening democracy in the international community. We extend our support to those closest to Rep. Moody as we remember his exceptional life and legacy.