In a lecture marking his appointment as the Stanley S. Surrey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Tom Brennan ’01 delivered a talk titled “Focus and Perspective in Taxation.”
Brennan, who joined the HLS faculty in 2015, has served as a strategist in the capital markets strategy group at Goldman Sachs, as an associate in the tax department at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and as a professor at several universities. His research focuses on applying finance and economics to analyze and inform tax policy, using empirical methods to investigate the effects of tax laws and the strategic behavior of taxpayers. ...
Brennan’s endowed chair is named in honor of the late HLS Professor Stanley Surrey, a highly respected tax teacher and scholar who made extraordinary contributions to the improvement and modernization of tax systems in the United States, and in countries in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.
In his remarks, Brennan said it was an incredible honor to receive the chair in Surrey’s name. He also said it was an incredible honor to follow the first Stanley S. Surrey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Daniel Halperin, who was in attendance, along with many of Brennan’s other colleagues.
A professor at HLS from 1950 to 1981, Surrey combined theory and practicality, and was a dominant figure in world and tax policy in the mid-20 century. Prior to his career in academics, Surrey worked for the National Recovery Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, and then for a decade as tax legal counsel for the United States Treasury. A member of the American Tax Mission to Japan from 1949 to 1950, he helped develop a new tax system for that country.