May 12, 2009
The U.S. Senate hearing on the nomination of Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein ’78 to be administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, was held on Tuesday, May 12.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs webcast the hearing live at 10:00 a.m. A recorded video of the hearing is available on the committee's website (Click here).
The administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget oversees all governmental regulations. The job is viewed as one of the most crucial in the new administration, with responsibility for tackling many new regulatory issues, including an overhaul of the financial services industry, an attempt to pass universal healthcare, and new efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions.
A prolific scholar, Sunstein is known for his expertise in the field of law and behavioral economics, which seeks to shape law and policy around the way research shows people actually behave.
Sunstein has thought extensively about how laws and regulation should deal with some of the biggest hazards of the 21st century. In his most recent book, “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” Sunstein and co-author Richard Thaler discuss how people can be encouraged to make better decisions. He is also the author of the recent “Worst-Case Scenarios,” which discusses how citizens and leaders should assess dangers—ranging from climate change to terrorism—and react in ways that best protect present and future generations.
Sunstein joined the HLS faculty last year as the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, from the University of Chicago Law School.
Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Sunstein went on to clerk for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also worked in the Department of Justice as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel.