Bureaucracy and Presidential Administration: Expertise and Accountability in Constitutional Government

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that “the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.” More than two centuries later, constitutionally minded Americans still grapple with what this ought to mean in our own time.

What does “good administration” look like? How do we strike the right balance between “stability and energy” (to borrow a few lines from Hamilton’s co-author, James Madison)? What is the right mix of independent expertise and political accountability in our constitutional government of separated powers and checks and balances?

These are the questions that inspired us to convene this conference. And as its title suggests, we took a little additional inspiration from two famous studies: James Q. Wilson’s book, Bureaucracy, and now-Justice Elena Kagan’s article, “Presidential Administration.”

As usual, this public policy conference centers around significant new scholarship that the Gray Center has helped to incubate: on the history of civil service; on presidential power; on bureaucracy; and on several other important questions of expertise and accountability. We’re proud and lucky to have worked with these scholars, and also to host the other scholars and policymakers who are joining the discussion at this conference.


Agenda

All sessions held at the Hay-Adams Hotel, Top of the Hay

 8:15 – 8:55 am – Registration and Breakfast

 8:55 – 9:00 am – Welcome

Adam White, Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

9:00 – 10:20 am – Panel 1: Bureaucracy, the Presidency, and the Origins of Federal Civil Service

Andrew E. Busch, Crown Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow, Claremont McKenna College

Brian J. Cook, Professor Emeritus of Public Administration and Policy, Virginia Tech

Joseph Postell, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Moderator: Melanie Marlowe, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies

10:20 – 10:30 am – Break

10:30 – 11:50 am – Panel 2: Presidential Administration and Bureaucracy

Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, Founding Partner, Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC, and Distinguished Senior Fellow, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

Philip K. Howard, Senior Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP

Paul R. Verkuil, Senior Fellow and Former Chairman, Administrative Conference of the United States; President Emeritus, The College of William & Mary; and Distinguished Senior Fellow, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

Moderator: Jesse Panuccio, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, and Public Service Fellow, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

11:50 am – 12:00 pm – Break

12:00 – 1:00 pm – Lunch & Keynote Remarks

Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

1:00 – 1:10 pm – Break

1:10 – 2:30 pm – Panel 3: The Tools of Administrative Management

Christopher Carrigan, Co-Director, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, and Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration, George Washington University

Susan Dudley, Director, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, and Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University

Lisa Heinzerling, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Andrew Rudalevige, Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government, Bowdoin College

Moderator: Adam White, Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

2:30 – 2:40 pm – Break

2:40 – 4:00 pm – Panel 4: Non-Presidential Administration

Brian Libgober, Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer, Yale University

Maureen Ohlhausen, Partner, Baker Botts LLP

Bijal Shah, Associate Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Moderator: Adam White, Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Reception

5:00 pm – Adjourn