Keith Hennessey

Keith   Hennessey
Lecturer, Economics
Contact Info
KeithHennessey
Lecturer in Economics
Academic Area: 
Economics

Research Statement

I teach and write about American economic policy and the policymaking process.

Research Interests

  • American economic policy

Teaching Statement

Mr. Hennessey teaches courses in American economic policy and how it gets made.

Bio

I spent more than 14 years in economic policy roles advising senior elected officials, including for a time as the senior White House economic advisor to President George W. Bush. As Deputy Director and then Director of the White House National Economic Council, I coordinated economic policy design and implementation for the President.

The last thirteen months of my time in the White House were by far the most intense, helping advise President Bush on his Administration’s response to the financial crisis.

In addition to that work, here are some of the major Presidential policies that I helped design, enact, and implement:

  • the 2003 law that cut taxes on income, capital gains, dividends, marriage, children, small businesses and estates;
  • the 2008 economic stimulus, as well as tax cuts in 2004, 2005, and 2006;
  • successfully opposing repeated Congressional efforts to raise taxes in 2007 and 2008;
  • reforming the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • two energy laws that support nuclear power and other alternative energy technologies, and will reduce U.S. gasoline consumption 20 percent by 2017;
  • eliminating the ban on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas;
  • the “Major Economies” process that restructured global climate change negotiations to ensure participation by all large economies;
  • creating Health Savings Accounts and implementing health policies to improve price and quality transparency;
  • bringing private sector competition and market forces to Medicare and adding a prescription drug benefit;
  • providing loans to U.S. auto manufacturers in 2008;
  • coordinating the response to the 2002 West Coast Port Strike;
  • coordinating the response to the 2002 Mad Cow disease outbreak;
  • creating Terrorism Reinsurance after the 9/11 attacks; and
  • the most popular economic policy change of President Bush’s tenure: the Do-Not-Call list.
I was heavily involved in budget and international economic issues, including all of the President’s budget submissions from 2003-2008, his line item veto proposal and earmark reforms, the G-20 summit of 2008, several Free Trade Agreements and the Doha global trade negotiations, and the President’s open investment policies.
 
There are several policies which, while not enacted into law during the Bush Administration, I hope will serve as models for future reforms, including President Bush’s:
  • Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid reform proposals, with the goal of making these entitlement programs sustainable over the long run;
  • proposal for a standard tax deduction for health insurance and health insurance market reforms, to move toward market-based health care and make health insurance more affordable for tens of millions of Americans;
  • proposal to make our farm programs less trade-distorting and more fiscally responsible; and
  • proposals to make permanent the tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 and prevent future tax increases.

Before working for President Bush I was an aide to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS). I helped him enact economic legislation (and block other legislation) including the 1997 Balanced Budget Act and President Bush’s 2001 tax cut. I came to Senator Lott’s staff from the Senate Budget Committee staff, where I spent two years as a health and retirement economist working for the Chairman, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM).

I’ve got a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a B.A.S. in Math and Political Science from Stanford.

Academic Degrees

  • MPP, Harvard Kennedy School, 1994
  • BAS in Math and Political Science, Stanford, 1990

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford University, School of Humanities and Sciences, Public Policy Department, 2013
  • Lecturer, Stanford Law School, 2011-
  • Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2010-

Professional Experience

  • Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director, National Economic Council for President George W. Bush, 2007-2009
  • Assistant to the President for EconoDeputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director, National Economic Council for President George W. Bush, 2002-2007
  • Deputy Assistant to the PresidePolicy Director / Economic Policy Advisor for Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, 1997-2002
  • Health & Retirement Economist, Senate Budget Committee, 1995-1997
  • Research Assistant, Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement & Tax Reform, 1994

Awards and Honors

  • MBA Class of '73 Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2013-2014
  • Grand Prize Winner, Games Magazine Prophecy Contest, Games Magazine, 1980

Teaching

Degree Courses

2016-17

One of every four dollars in the American economy will be spent by the federal government this year. This course will examine how federal spending, taxes, deficits and debt affect the U.S. economy and global financial markets, and how the economy...

This is a skills/toolbox class. The goal is to teach future business leaders how Washington actually works so you can interact more effectively with it and be a better informed citizen and voter. This course is about the practice of policymaking...

This new course will look at ongoing and upcoming innovation in cars, driving, and mobility from three perspectives: (1) technology, (2) economics & business Models, and (3) policy. We'll survey changes in powering vehicles (e.g....

Economic issues permeate all that happens in government. This topics-based course will exam a variety of historic and current issues on the political agenda where economics is central to decision making. It is taught by faculty who served at the...

2015-16

This lecture course will explore the U.S.-centered financial crisis of 2008 and the ongoing European financial crisis.nnWe will examine the causes of both crises, policies implemented during the crisis, and options for reform.nnThis is an...

One of every four dollars in the American economy will be spent by the federal government this year. This course will examine how federal spending, taxes, deficits and debt affect the U.S. economy and global financial markets, and how the economy...

The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of what international economic policy means for business leaders. To do this, students will have to understand the economic forces that determine the patterns and consequences of...

Economic issues permeate all that happens in government. This topics-based course will examine a variety of historic and current issues on the political agenda where economics is central to decision making. It is taught by faculty who served at...

Other Teaching

In the Media

The Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2013
Keith Hennessey says Republicans ought to make Obama an offer that puts him at odds with his own party.
The Wall Street Journal, 12 4, 2012
Keith Hennessy discusses the federal budget, tax increases, and budget cuts in The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2012
The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2011

Insights by Stanford Business

October 17, 2013
Market reactions to eurozone unification led to divergent labor productivity rates.
January 31, 2013
Keith Hennessey and Christina Romer debate the debt ceiling, federal deficit, and growth at the Commonwealth Club of California.

School News

June 2, 2014
Students cited faculty members for their dedication and skill at teaching.