Dr. Goetz A. Briefs was born January 1, 1889 in Eschweiler, Germany. He was educated in Munich, Bonn and Freiburg, Germany, receiving a Ph.D. from Freiburg in 1912. He did research in London in 1912. Briefs has been awarded various study grants: a grant from the German foundation for Social Research to study in the United States (1928), a grant from the German Ministry of Education to study in Spain (1931), and study grants from the Volker, Relm and A. P. Sloane Foundations. Briefs' prior teaching experience includes lecturer at Freiburg, Germany (1913), substitute professor of economics at Giessen, Germany (1916-18), assistant professor at Freiburg, Germany (1919), professor of economics at Wuerzburg, Germany (1921-23), professor at Freiburg (1923-26) and professor at Berlin University (1926-34). He served as visiting professor during the summers of 1926-32 at the Universities of Vienna, Berne, and Salzburg.
Dr. Briefs came to the United States in 1934 and became a visiting professor at Catholic University in that year. He joined the Georgetown faculty as a full professor in 1937. Briefs served intermittently as a visiting professor at Columbia University Summer School (1938-48). He was appointed to the rank of professor emeritus at Georgetown in 1957. Briefs was a member of the American Economic Association, the American Catholic Economic Association, the German Sociological Association, the Mont Pelerin Society and the Association for Free Enterprise (Germany). He has received honorary doctorates from St. Mary's College (Calif.), 1946, the University of Milan, 1958, the University of Munich, 1959, St. Gallen, 1960, Freiburg, 1963, and the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, 1967. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1959.
Dr. Briefs has been active in government service, both in Germany and the United States. In Germany he was the economics expert for the Ministry of Interior, 1915-16, director of the Institute of Industrial Relations, 1926-34, and a member of the Unemployment Insurance Commission of the German Ministry of Labor, 1929. He was twice offered cabinet posts in the Weimar Republic. In the United States, Dr. Briefs has served as a consultant to the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, the Office of Strategic Service and the Department of Defense. He has given guest lectures throughout the Unite States and Europe, to university classes and to professional groups. Dr. Briefs also has delivered several papers in the field of economics. He is the author of numerous articles in the field of economics and on the 'ethos problem.' His articles have appeared in the Review of Politics, Social Order, Review of Social Economy, Max Weber's Archive, and Schmoller's Economic Yearbook. Dr. Briefs is the author of more than ten books, among them Decline of the West, Sociology of Industrial Enterprise, Proletariat: A Challenge to Western Civilization, and Unionism Reappraised.