Shenehon Center for Real Estate

Shenehon Center for Real Estate

UST Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

Anthony Downs, Ph.D.

2011 Keynote Speaker

Anthony Downs, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution


Anthony Downs is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where he has been since 1977. He also was a visiting fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco from July 2005 until February 2006.

Brookings is a private, nonprofit research organization specializing in public policy studies. The Public Policy Institute of California is a similar organization specializing in such studies about California. Before 1977, Downs was for 18 years a member and then chairman of Real Estate Research Corporation, a nationwide consulting firm advising private and public decision-makers on real estate investment, housing policies and urban affairs.

Downs has served as a consultant to many of the nation's largest corporations,  major developers, government agencies at local, state, and national levels (including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House), and many private foundations. President Johnson appointed him to the National Commission on Urban Problems in 1967, and HUD Secretary Jack Kemp appointed him to the Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing in 1989. He is a director or trustee of General Growth Properties and the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund. He was also a past director of the MassMutual Life Insurance Company, Bedford Property Investors, the Urban Land Institute, Essex Property Trust, the National Housing Partnership Foundation, Penton Media Inc., and the Counselors of Real Estate.

Downs received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. He is the author or co-author of 24 books and more than 500 articles. His most famous books are An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957), translated into several foreign languages, and Inside Bureaucracy (1967). Both are still in print. His latest books are Real Estate and the Financial Crisis (2009), The Niagara of Capital (2007), both published by the Urban Land Institute, Still Stuck in Traffic (2004) and Growth Management and Affordable Housing: Do They Conflict? (editor, 2004) from Brookings, Costs of Sprawl 2000 (co-author, 2002) from the Transit Cooperative Research Board, and New Visions for Metropolitan America (1994) from Brookings and the Lincoln Institute.