Keith Hennessey

Lecturer, Economics

Keith Hennessey

Lecturer in Economics

Academic Area:

Research Interests

  • American Economic Policy
  • Civics

Teaching Statement

Keith Hennessey teaches courses in American economic policy and civics.


Since 2010 Keith Hennessey has been a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business teaching economic policy and civics. He also serves as the David Rubenstein Leadership Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

Keith Hennessey spent 14 years advising senior elected officials on economic policy, including serving 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, he coordinated economic policy design and implementation for the president.

The last thirteen months of his time in the White House were by far the most intense, helping President Bush and his team respond to the financial crisis.

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

  • 2003 law that cut taxes on income, capital gains, dividends, marriage, children, small businesses, and estates;
  • 2008 economic stimulus, as well as tax cuts in 2004, 2005, and 2006;
  • Reforming the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Two energy laws that support nuclear power and other alternative energy technologies;
  • Eliminating the ban on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in certain areas;
  • “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 Administration’s response to the 2002 West Coast Port Strike;
  • Coordinating the Administration’s response to the 2002 Mad Cow disease outbreak; and
  • Creating the most popular economic policy change of President Bush’s tenure: the Do-Not-Call list

He was involved in budget and international economic issues, including all of the president’s budget submissions from 2003 to 2008, the president’s line-item veto proposal and earmark reforms, the G-20 summit of 2008, several free trade agreements, the Doha global trade negotiations, and the president’s open investment policies.

Mr. Hennessey is also a member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group.

Academic Degrees

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

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2010–present
  • Lecturer, Stanford Law School, 2010–13
  • Lecturer, Stanford University, School of Humanities and Sciences, Public Policy Department, 2013

Professional Experience

  • David Rubenstein Fellow, George W. Bush Institute
  • Member, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, 2009–11
  • Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director, National Economic Council for President George W. Bush, 2007–09
  • Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director, National Economic Council for President George W. Bush, 2002–07
  • Economic Policy Advisor for Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, 1997–2002
  • Health & Retirement Economist, Senate Budget Committee, 1995–97
  • Research Assistant, Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement & Tax Reform, 1994

Awards and Honors

  • MBA Class of 1978 Lecturer for 2021–22
  • MBA Class of 1978 Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2020–21
  • MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford GSB, 2014
  • MBA Class of '73 Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2013–14
  • Grand Prize Winner, Games Magazine Prophecy Contest, Games Magazine, 1980

In the Media

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

January 15, 2021
Pretending to be lawmakers, students hone negotiating skills that work in the boardroom as well as the back room.
July 28, 2020
The MBA admissions team delivers an innovative virtual program that introduced incoming MBA students to the school’s alumni, students, programs, and culture.
July 09, 2020
A new course paired teams of students to work remotely with different organizations supporting coronavirus relief efforts.
April 23, 2018
Two first-time political candidates talk about applying the lessons they learned at Stanford GSB.
February 27, 2018
“Effective leaders in the digital age will need to be mindful of the social consequences of technology.”
June 02, 2014
Students cited faculty members for their dedication and skill at teaching.