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Robert Rector is a Senior Research Fellow on Welfare and Family Issues at Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington D.C., where he has studied welfare, poverty, marriage, and family issues for the last 18 years. Mr. Rector has written over 100 articles and research papers, is the author of the book America's Failed $5.4 Trillion War on Poverty, a comprehensive examination of U.S. Welfare programs, and is the co-editor of Steering the Elephant: How Washington Works.

Graduating from the College of William and Mary, Mr. Rector later earned his master's degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University. Early in his career, he has worked as a legislative assistant in the Virginia House of Delegates, as a management analyst at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management., and as a commissioner on the Congressionally mandated Millennial Housing Commission.

In 1996, Mr. Rector played a leading role in creating one of the first major federal abstinence education programs in America. He wrote the legislative language authorizing and defining the new program, co-authored the report, Comprehensive Sex Education vs. Authentic Abstinence: a Study in Competing Curricula, and has since promoted legislation to strengthen marriage in low income communities as well.

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