Arthur Brooks

Heritage congratulates Arthur Brooks, a Syracuse University professor, on his appointment as the next president of the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks on the succeeds Christopher DeMuth, who has been AEI’s president since 1986. The New York Times reported the news this afternoon, noting DeMuth’s success and AEI’s impact.

In a statement announcing the news, AEI quoted Brooks about the appointment:

I am thrilled and honored to be asked to serve as the president of AEI. For the last two decades under Chris DeMuth’s visionary and selfless leadership, the Institute has had an extraordinary impact on public policy, from reforming a broken welfare system and improving our public education to dramatically strengthening our national defense. With research ranging between prophetic ideas and technical policy details, AEI has always acted as a steward of American ideals of private liberty, individual opportunity, and free enterprise. Time and again, AEI’s mix of great people and strong values has produced the right ideas at the right time for America and the world. To serve as the Institute’s president in the coming era is a truly wonderful and humbling opportunity, and I am fully committed to building on the Institute’s amazing record of success.

Brooks, 44, is well known in Washington for his recent books, “Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America — and How We Can Get More of It” and “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism.” He spoke at Heritage in May about his latest book (click here to watch) and on two previous occasions (here and here). In a speech before Christmas in 2006, Brooks said his book, “Who Really Cares,” was inspired by a lecture he gave at Heritage a year earlier.

Before entering academia, Brooks spent 12 years as a professional musician, playing the French horn in more than 1,000 concerts and recording seven albums. He studied economics and policy analysis, earning a doctorate from the RAND Graduate School in 1998. He has been on the Syracuse faculty since 2001 and became a visiting fellow at AEI in 2007.

Brooks will become the 11th president of AEI on Jan. 1, 2009. He plans to teach at Syracuse this fall.