President, American Enterprise Institute
Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a nonpartisan public policy think tank in Washington, DC. He is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in free enterprise at AEI and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.
Until December 31, 2008, Dr. Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government at Syracuse University. He taught courses in economics and social entrepreneurship and performed research on happiness and the economics of philanthropy.
At 19, Dr. Brooks left college to work professionally as a classical musician (a period his parents described as his "gap decade"). During this time he toured with the Annapolis Brass Quintet, recorded albums with jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd and others, and spent several seasons as associate principal French horn with the City Orchestra of Barcelona.
In his late twenties, Dr. Brooks returned to college by correspondence and studied economics, mathematics, and languages, eventually earning his B.A. while still working as a musician. He went on to pursue an M.A. in economics at Florida Atlantic University and a Ph.D. in public policy at the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California. His doctoral work focused on applied microeconomics and mathematical modeling. While earning his Ph.D., Dr. Brooks also worked for the RAND Corporation on theater-level combat models for the US Air Force. Upon completing his doctorate, he spent 10 years as a professor of public administration.
Dr. Brooks has published dozens of scholarly articles and 11 books on topics including philanthropy, military operations research, the future of conservatism, and the economics of human happiness. His latest book is the New York Times bestseller "The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America" (Broadside Books, 2015). Previous books include the New York Times bestseller "The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise" (Basic Books, 2012) and the graduate business textbook "Social Entrepreneurship" (Prentice Hall, 2008).
Dr. Brooks delivers more than 100 speeches annually around the US, Europe, and Asia. He appears regularly on radio and television and is a frequent guest host for programs such as "The Hugh Hewitt Show" and CNBC's "Squawk Box." He writes frequently for The New York Times and publishes featured pieces in other outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Magazine, and Foreign Affairs. As of early 2017, he is producing an international, feature-length documentary film that explores the relationship between capitalism and human happiness.
Dr. Brooks is a native of Seattle, Washington, and has been married for 25 years to his wife, Ester. They have three children and currently live in Maryland.