Policy Documents

Padden, Mr. David H.

Heartland Institute staff –
August 28, 2002

David H. Padden is a Policy Advisor to and director and chairman emeritus of The Heartland Institute, an independent, nonprofit research center founded in 1984 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.


Mr. Padden founded The Heartland Institute in 1984 and served as its Chairman between 1984 and 1995. In 1997, he was awarded the organization's Heartland Liberty Prize in recognition of his efforts on behalf of The Heartland Institute and other free-market think tanks nationwide.


Mr. Padden is President of Padden & Company Inc., a Chicago-based investment securities firm. For the first 15 years of his business life, he worked in heavy construction doing public works for various government agencies. He changed his business career abruptly in 1963 when he purchased a local municipal bond firm specializing in financing local municipal improvements.


In 1969, Mr. Padden merged this firm with the UIP Corporation, a multi-industrial conglomerate in Milwaukee. He became chairman of the board and CEO of the Milwaukee-based company from 1971 to 1976 and stayed on as a director until the company was merged out of existence in 1979. He remained active in his municipal bond firm, repurchasing it in 1976. Since 1981, in addition to its underwriting of local improvement bond issues in Illinois and Indiana, Padden & Company Inc. through a related company has become a prominent firm nationwide in the field of municipal and commercial leasing.


Mr. Padden currently serves as a Director of the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Acton Institute, and the Bionomics Institute. He is a former director of the Foundation for Economic Education and the Center for Libertarian Studies, for which he also served as president. He is also a former member of the President's Committee of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and former director of St. Xavier College and the Epilepsy Foundation.


Mr. Padden holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and completed his undergraduate work at Loyola University Chicago. He and his wife of 50+ years, Joan Padden, reside in Chicago.