Jim holds a degree in accounting from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, an MBA from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University. He is admitted to the practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.
In 1978, Jim became an analyst for the Secretary of the Navy and the Navy Comptroller in the Pentagon. He reviewed procurement and research and development appropriations.
In 1983, he was selected by then-United States Senator Pete Wilson of California to serve as one of his advisers in his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 1985, Jim became the Military Legislative Assistant to then-United States Senator Robert W. Kasten, Jr. of Wisconsin. In 1989, he became the Senator’s Legislative Director and was responsible for managing all of the Senator’s legislative efforts. In 1991, he joined the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Until 1997, he served as Staff Director of the Military Construction Subcommittee and Professional Staff on the Defense Subcommittee. In his role as Military Construction Staff Director, Jim reviewed over $10 billion in military construction, Base Realignment and Closure, family housing, environmental restoration, and Navy shipbuilding appropriations.
In 1997, Jim was named Staff Director of the Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee. He worked directly for then-Chairman Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. Prior to 9/11, Jim drafted and passed legislation for, and oversaw the funding and implementation of, exercise, training, and equipment grant programs for State and local first responders to a terrorist attack.
In 2003, Jim became the Chief of Staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. As Chief of Staff, Jim managed a staff of sixty-eight and assembled, personally negotiated, and passed the fiscal year 2004 and 2005 Omnibus appropriations bills. To win passage of these bills, Jim worked closely with House and Senate Leadership, as well as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
After leaving the Senate in the winter of 2005, Jim founded the law firm of Morhard & Associates, LLC. He has also been a guest lecturer on the legislative process at Harvard University, the Naval War College, and Georgetown University. Jim is an adjunct professor at the Naval Post Graduate School and a member of the board of Saint Francis University. Jim also serves on the advisory board for the U.S. Institute of Peace.