Washington, DC (February 18, 2014) – American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur C. Brooks announced today the creation of the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture. AEI Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies Kevin A. Hassett will be the first scholar to hold the chair.
The Wilson Chair is made possible by a $3 million gift from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Named after late preeminent social scientist, longtime AEI trustee, and State Farm director James Q. Wilson, the chair will support research dedicated to AEI’s founding principles of freedom, opportunity, and enterprise. For the 2014 year, the chair’s focus will be continuing to build on Hassett’s research on the US economy, tax and fiscal policy, and the federal budget.
“My colleagues and I are humbled by State Farm’s incredible generosity and strong commitment to the ideals that Professor Wilson held dear,” said Brooks. “James Q. Wilson was not only among our country’s most influential social scientists, but he was also an esteemed colleague and friend. I can think of no one better suited to honor his exceptional legacy than Kevin Hassett.”
State Farm Chairman and CEO Ed Rust said, “We are pleased to honor Professor Wilson’s legacy and enduring desire for freedom and excellence. Through the establishment of this chair, we look forward to supporting thought leaders like Kevin Hassett and their outstanding work.”
Before joining AEI in 1997, Hassett was a senior economist on the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System, an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia Business School, and a policy consultant to the US Department of the Treasury during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He served as an economic adviser for a number of presidential campaigns including George W. Bush (2004), Senator John McCain (2000 and 2008), and Mitt Romney (2012). He is the author of countless books, journal articles, and op-eds.
“It is a true privilege to hold the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair at AEI,” said Hassett. “Professor Wilson was a devoted mentor whose impact on policy and politics will forever endure. I am truly humbled to honor his legacy and dedication to freedom, opportunity, and enterprise—and empirical, fact-based research—through my work.”