Anthony Downs is a noted scholar in public policy and public administration, and since 1977 is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C..
Downs has served as a consultant to many of the nation's largest corporations and public officials, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House. President Lyndon B. 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 officer or trustee of General Growth Properties and the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund.
His most influential books are An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957) and Inside Bureaucracy (1967); widely translated, both are credited as major influences on the public choice school of political economy.