Independent Institute Names Phillip W. Magness as the David J. Theroux Chair in Political Economy : News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
December 14, 2023

Independent Institute Names Phillip W. Magness as the David J. Theroux Chair in Political Economy

Oakland, CA— The Independent Institute has announced the appointment of Phillip W. Magness to the position of the David J. Theroux Chair in Political Economy. The position is named after the late Founder, President, and CEO of the Independent Institute, David J. Theroux, who launched the Independent Institute, an academic non-profit, public policy, research and educational organization, as the first “garage” think tank, in 1986.

Phillip W. Magness, Ph.D., was formerly the F.A. Hayek Chair in Economics and Economic History at the American Institute for Economic Research. He served as Adjunct Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy and Government at George Mason University, where he received his Ph.D. in history. For over a decade he taught economics, public policy, and international trade at the university level.

The leading economic critic of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, Magness authored the most influential assessments of its economic claims, as well as the top selling book, The 1619 Project: A Critique, and articles in popular outlets. He has authored and co-authored other books, including Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Bad Business Ethics of Higher Education (with Jason Brennan), and Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement (with Sebastian N. Page).

He was a participant in the “Great Barrington Declaration” conference of October 2020 that led to the first major organized pushback against the Covid-19 lockdown policies. He also broke a national news story on Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins’ email scandal, revealing their efforts to suppress and discredit critics of lockdowns during Covid-19, and most recently exposed the State Department’s funding of NewsGuard to discredit the Great Barrington Declaration.

An economic historian, Magness is also the author of groundbreaking studies on the intellectual dissemination of Marxism by the Soviet revolution, as well as a study measuring income concentrations in the United States, challenging the statistical claims of economist Thomas Piketty.

“The opportunity to be the very first to hold the David J. Theroux Chair is extremely exciting. I look forward to advancing the principles that David Theroux stood for, and promoting the ideas of freedom and independence to solve today’s crucial economic and social issues,” said Magness.

In his role as the David J. Theroux Chair, Magness will ensure the continuing integrity of all Independent Institute research activities and lead them in making significant impact in advancing Independent’s mission.

“We are thrilled to welcome Phillip Magness to this role,” said Mary L. G. Theroux, Chairman and CEO of the Independent Institute. “Phil is a proven intellectual entrepreneur, as David was, and will bring new energy and vision in showcasing classical liberal ideas, needed now more than ever.”

For more information, contact Robert Ade, [email protected], or (510) 635-3690.

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The Independent Institute is a non-profit, public policy, research, and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit

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