David Brady

“I have so many favorite memories of Stanford. The first I remember is coming onto the campus for an academic conference and walking down Campus Drive thinking how could a university be so distinguished and so beautiful, and then fourteen years later taking that same walk to sign the papers making me a faculty member—trivial , banal I know, but a dream come true.”


“I have two favorite quotes, which are tied together. First, from Arcadia by Tom Stoppard when Hanna says: ‘It’s wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we’re going out the way we came in.’

And TS Elliot from The Four Quartets:

‘The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.’

I like the two quotes because sometimes as professors at Stanford we think we know more than we do, and these quotes tell me about what and how much I can know, and that it’s not the knowing but the desire to know that matters. And thus, freshman and professors can desire to know equally.”

David Brady, Bowen H. & Janice Arthur McCoy Professor in Leadership Values, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at SIEPR and Professor of Political Economics at the GSB and, by courtesy, of Political Science

David Brady came to Stanford from Rice University in 1986 with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Business and Political Science. Additionally, he is now also the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. David was born in Kankakee, Illinois and lives with his wife, Carolyn, on the Stanford campus. They have three daughters who live in the Bay Area and seven grandchildren. David used to play basketball, tennis, and run, however, these days he is content to walk and lift a few light weights.

Photographed in his office on July 21, 2016.