Former Congressman John Tanner served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 22 years where he represented Tennessee’s 8th congressional district. While in Congress, John served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, where he chaired both the Social Security Subcommittee and the Trade Subcommittee. John also served on the House Armed Services and House Science Committees and served as Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Congress in the 109th, 110th, and 111th Congresses.
John retired from Congress in 2010. After his Congressional service, John served as Vice-Chairman of Prime Policy Group from 2010 to 2019. John is known and respected for his leadership as a co-founder of the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition and was a leader in Congress advocating for a fiscally conservative agenda, specifically directed at balancing the budget and decreasing the nation’s debt burden. John also chaired the U.S. House delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the alliance’s legislative branch, for several years. In November 2008, legislators from all NATO member nations elected John to serve a two-year term as esteemed President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Since retiring from Congress in 2010, John has joined the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Blue Dog Research Forum, the Concord Coalition, the Institute for Representative Government, and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Additionally, John serves as the Chairman of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation. He is also a Paul Harris Fellow and Rotary member.
Before he was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1989, John served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for 12 years. He served in the Tennessee Army National Guard from 1974-2000, when he retired at the rank of Colonel, and in the United States Navy JAG Corps, from 1968-1972. John has also served on the board of Visitors for the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy.
A native Tennessean, John received both his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. John and his wife, Betty Ann, maintain residences in Union City, Tennessee, and Washington, DC. They have two children and four grandchildren, all of whom reside in Tennessee.