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Dr. Arthur C. Brooks
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Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

"Failure is likely — so face it, learn from it, and get stronger for next time. Without failure, there is no growth."

Professor of the Practice of Leadership, Harvard; Social Scientist; Bestselling Author; and Washington Post Columnist

Expertise In:

  • American Politics
  • Corporate Culture
  • Happiness and Mindfulness
  • Arts & Culture
  • Leadership

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Corporations
  • Non-Profits
  • Senior Management Groups
  • The Professional Services Industry

A behavioral social scientist and prolific author and speaker, Dr. Arthur C. Brooks delivers real-life strategies for ushering in a new era of American progress and improving happiness for all.

Arthur Brooks’s life is a living laboratory for the principles of happiness and success that he teaches.

He has reinvented his life and career multiple times, starting as a professional classical musician, earning a doctorate and teaching economics and entrepreneurship at Syracuse University, and then successfully leading one of the world’s top think tanks in Washington, D.C., for a decade.

Today, Brooks is Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Arthur C. Patterson Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School, and columnist at The Washington Post. He teaches classes on effectively leading others and oneself, appears frequently in the media, and speaks to audiences worldwide. In all of his work, he reveals the methods by which leaders — and all of us — can live happier, better lives, heal our nation, lift up others, and enjoy greater personal success.

Brooks is the author of 11 influential books, including the national bestsellers Love Your EnemiesThe Conservative Heart, and The Road to Freedom. The Conservative Heart offers a bold and aspirational new political vision for happiness, unity, and social justice. The Road to Freedom defends the free enterprise system and celebrates its moral basis in the ideas of earned success, equality of opportunity, charity, and basic fairness.

His latest work, Love Your Enemies, is a rallying cry for people hoping for a new era of American progress. Inside, he offers up a clear strategy for victory for the next generation of leaders – based on bridging national divides and mending personal relationships.

As a Washington Post columnist, frequent contributor to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, and host of “The Arthur Brooks Show” podcast, he blends cutting-edge behavioral research with ancient wisdom to explore complex and timely issues – like the morality of free enterprise, the search for happiness, the role of government, and economic opportunity.

In 2019, Brooks released a feature-length documentary “The Pursuit,” now available on Netflix, that captures his three-year search to answer the question: How can we lift up the world, starting with those at the margins of society? His journey takes him through the chaotic streets of Mumbai, a town in Kentucky left behind by the global economy, a homeless shelter in New York, a street protest in Barcelona, and a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. Along the way, he discovers the secrets not only to material progress for the least fortunate, but also true and lasting happiness for all.

As a speaker, Brooks engages his audience with bold, clear, and actionable ideas. Blending cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, philosophy, music, and art, Brooks reaches listeners in a format that is thought-provoking, unconventional, uplifting — and most of all, useful. An energetic and passionate believer in happiness as the key to fulfillment, he gives audiences across the ideological spectrum the concrete steps needed to improve their lives and repair our country.


Most people spend their days wishing their circumstances would give them greater happiness. Brooks reveals the scientific truth: That more of our happiness is under our control than we realize. Using straightforward principles, each of us can improve our lives and lead others to do so, as well. He offers practical strategies for people at every stage of life, from students to retirees to people at the top of their professions.

Relevant to:
  • Associations
  • Non-Profits

America is afflicted with a "culture of contempt," says Brooks. It is increasingly common for people to view those who disagree with them as worthless, instead of just misguided or incorrect. This is fomented by an “outrage industrial complex” in media and politics. Through ancient wisdom and cutting-edge behavioral science, Brooks provides a roadmap to the prosperity that comes when we choose to love one another – gaining strength from our differences.

Relevant to:
  • Corporations
  • Senior Management Groups

America's problem is not one of anger or incivility, but of contempt, says Brooks. To subvert this cycle, it will take more than people simply agreeing with one another. Instead, we must disagree appropriately and build a new social movement based in solidarity and love – even when we are treated with hatred.

Relevant to:
  • Associations
  • The Professional Services Industry

An economist, Brooks knows that one of America’s gifts to the world has been the spread of free enterprise – it has saved billions from poverty and given billions more the opportunity to build their lives. “For the sake of all people, our end goal must be to make free enterprise as universally accepted and nonpartisan as civil rights are today,” he believes.

Relevant to:
  • Corporations
  • Non-Profits

Featured Videos

Featured Experiences

National Renewal and the Prescription for a Better Future

In this age of divisive politicians, screaming heads on television, angry campus activists and twitter trolls, Arthur Brooks warns there is an “outrage industrial complex,” that profits by setting American against American.

“It turns out most of what we ‘know’ about the other side is wrong,” he says.

Public leaders and ordinary citizens alike are wondering how we can fight back against the bitterness and contempt washing over America. Conventional wisdom suggests that we need less disagreement, but Brooks recommends better, more loving disagreement.

It’s not that we shouldn’t disagree, Brooks says. “On the contrary, we shouldn't agree with each other, because we have a competition of ideas. That's a good thing.”

Drawing on history, cutting-edge social science, and a decade of experience leading one of the nation’s preeminent think tanks, Brooks shows that the country needs more love – not the mushy sentiment, but a commitment to the good of our fellow citizens.

Audiences will take home tangible lessons on how they can become healers in our nation, as well as happier people overall. 

The Pursuit of Happiness and True Success

How can you build a life that results in genuine human flourishing? How does happiness ordinarily change over a lifetime and how can we get happier as we age?

Arthur Brooks reveals the answers to these questions by exploring together the advances in behavioral economics and social psychology, ancient wisdom, and art and music.

Based on his book Gross National Happiness and his documentary “The Pursuit,” he extracts life lessons that can immediately help us pursue happiness, forge stronger relationships, and build more meaningful lives.

“To pursue the happiness within our reach, we do best to pour ourselves into faith, family, community and meaningful work,” Brooks says. “Further, we need to share it with others with joy and confidence.”

Audiences will take home tangible lessons on how they can be happier and more successful people – starting today. 

Aspirational Leadership: How Good Leaders Become Great

Organizational success begins with better leadership. So how can we become better leaders?

From more effective communication and self-management to risk-taking, Arthur Brooks lays out a series of practical strategies that can help each of us develop healthier leadership practices.

Relying on a quarter-century of academic study of entrepreneurship and ten years of management experience at the helm of one of the nation’s leading public policy institutions, he shows that by looking in unexpected places and embracing unconventional ideas, we can all become better leaders – and better servants – to those placed in our care.

Those in attendance will learn valuable lessons on how to become more effective and successful leaders, who aspire to be authoritative – not authoritarian – in their efforts.

“Coercive leadership is a surrender to misery,” says Brooks. “A real solution to our problems, one that lasts and works for us all, is authoritative leadership.”

“While coercive leaders drive people away by belittling and blaming, authoritative leaders garner their support by offering encouragement and trust,” he continues. “They foster a culture that affirms each team member’s importance to the work being done, and in doing so convince individuals to invest deeply in the long-term prosperity of the organization.”


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Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

The Pursuit (opens in a new tab)