Brooks preparing to step down as AEI president

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur Brooks is preparing to step down next year after nearly a decade at the influential conservative think tank.

Brooks discussed his decision in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, writing that "social enterprises generally thrive best when chief executives don’t stay much longer than a decade."

AEI said in a statement that Brooks would remain in the post until the summer of 2019, but had asked the think tank's board of trustees to begin searching for his successor.

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In his op-ed, Brooks decried what he called an "attack" on "the competition of ideas," arguing that the free and open exchange of viewpoints has become increasingly discouraged in politics, college campuses and elsewhere.

"Much of the mass media has become polarized, meaning readers and viewers on the right and left are never challenged in their conviction that the other side is made up of knaves and fools," he wrote.

Brooks, who started as the head of AEI in 2009, led AEI through a dramatic expansion that included moving the think tank's headquarters to its current Massachusetts Avenue location in Washington.

Under Brooks, AEI's annual resources have also more than doubled, the think tank said in a statement.