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2016 40 Under 40 Yearbook: Matt Blunt, 45

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Then: State representative, 139th District, Missouri
Now: President, American Automotive Policy Council

Life after his governorship has kept Matt Blunt close to politics. Since 2011, he’s worked as president of car lobbying group American Automotive Policy Council.

That shouldn’t surprise given his upbringing in a political family. Named Matthew Roy Blunt, after his congressman father, he was elected Missouri secretary of state shortly after Springfield Business Journal named him a 40 Under 40 in 2000.

At the time, the 29-year-old told SBJ, “People should do things at a young age when they have a lot of energy, optimism and enthusiasm. I have a desire to be part of something bigger than myself, which drives me forward.”

Blunt made good on that. He went on to work as Missouri governor 2005-09, board member for auto salvage company Copart, adviser for Tagg Romney’s New England-based private equity firm Solamere Capital, consultant for Washington, D.C., lobbyist Cassidy & Associates and as partner in former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s consultancy The Ashcroft Group.

Blunt now handles foreign trade issues for Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, the exclusive clients of the Washington, D.C., lobbying group he leads.

“The United States exports more vehicles and parts than any other sector of our economy,” he says. “Our trade relationships are global and highly diverse so every day brings new opportunities and challenges.”

Though he travels worldwide for the job, he and his wife Melanie still own a home in Springfield and try to visit often.

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