25 Years of E.O. 12866

Photo of EO 12866 event stage

Monday, September 24, 2018
Jack Morton Auditorium
A discussion of Executive Order 12866’s impact on agency rulemaking over the past two and a half decades and what the future holds.  Featuring: OIRA administrators under presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump, along with thought leaders from the academy, executive agencies, and Congress.

Sponsored by:

Regulatory Studies Center      ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice     Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis     Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration


Event Recap

Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Principles Survive and Thrive for 25 Years - By: Mark Febrizio, Daniel R. Pérez, & Zhoudan Xie

  • GW Regulatory Studies Center policy analysts summarize our recent event co-sponsored by the American Bar Association, Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis, and Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration.

Panel One - Looking Back on 25 Years

Reflections on the E.O. 12866 Anniversary Event from a Bureaucrat Turned Academic - By: Bridget Dooling 

  • Bridget Dooling is a research professor at the GW Regulatory Studies Center. She moderated the "Looking Back on 25 Years" panel, and in this commentary she shares her key take-aways as well as her overall impressions of the event, informed by her tenure in OIRA.

Tracing Executive Order 12866's Longevity to its Roots - By: Sally Katzen (OIRA Administrator for President Clinton)

  • Sally Katzen was the OIRA Administrator when E.O. 12866 was signed by President Clinton, and in this commentary she reflects on how it came into existence and lays down the foundation for why it has thrived over the past 25 years of bipartisan administrations.

The Life and Times of Executive Order 12866 - By: Neil Eisner

  • Neil Eisner, former Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement, Dept. of Transportation, comments on the initial implementation and adoption of E.O. 12866, highlights four significant accomplishments it has had within the rulemaking process, and offers a few lessons learned.

Praising the Principles in Executive Order 12866 - By: Clark Nardinelli

  • Clark Nardinelli, Chief Economist at FDA and Vice President of the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis, comments on the philosophy underlying E.O. 12866 and the 12 principles of good regulation.

Panel Two - Q&A with Congressional Staff

Congressional Views on the Bipartisan Principles of E.O. 12866 - By: Shawne McGibbon

  • ACUS General Counsel Shawne McGibbon moderated the "Q&A with Congressional Staff" panel, and in this commentary she provides an overview of the bipartisan & bicameral support for E.O. 12866 and the ongoing efforts to codify its effects.

E.O. 12866 - A View from the House - By: Daniel Flores

  • Daniel Flores - Majority Staff member of the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law - lays out how Congress has been highlighting the need to codify the principles of Executive Order 12866.

Panel Three - Looking to the Future

The Future of E.O. 12866: Embracing Regulatory Humility - By: Susan Dudley (OIRA Administrator for President Bush)

  • Susan Dudley, former OIRA Administrator for President Bush, discusses how E.O. 12866 has lead to bipartisan consensus of regulatory principles, reviews the ongoing effects of this 25-year-old rulemaking process, and why it is likely to continue to make a significant difference well into the future.

E.O. 12866 - 25th Anniversary Remarks - By: Richard Revesz

  • NYU Law Professor Richard Revesz, although supportive of the bipartisan consensus of benefit-cost analysis, is concerned for the future of the principles behind E.O. 12866.  This commentary provides his opening remarks and ten examples of what he sees as concerning actions from the current administration.

The Bright Future of Executive Order 12866 - By: John Cooney

  • Former OMB Deputy General Counsel John Cooney moderated the, 'Looking to the Future' panel, and in this commentary he explains how this executive order struck a balance among competing ideas at the time and argues that its core principles will continue to govern the regulatory review process.

Panel 1: Looking Back on 25 Years

Panel 1 video link

OIRA Administrators from the Clinton (Sally Katzen), Bush (John Graham), and Obama (Howard Shelanski) presidencies, along with other former and current senior agency staff (Clark Nardinelli & Neil Eisner) discuss the history of Executive Order 12866, how it came to be, and the impact it has had over the past 25 years. Moderated by Bridget Dooling, GW Regulatory Studies Center.

Click here to watch Panel 1  -- 1 hour, 31 minutes

Click to play Sally Katzen's opening remarks

"It was a very enlightening experience for me, and I'm shocked that we're here today celebrating that it remains in existence." - Sally Katzen

Sally Katzen was OIRA Administrator and in the room when President Clinton signed EO 12866 - she shares her story as to how that moment came to pass.


Watch Sally Katzen's opening remarks   -- 13 Minutes

Sally Katzen


Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU Law School (OIRA Administrator 1993-1997)

John Graham

John Graham

Dean of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (OIRA Administrator 2001-2006)

Howard Shelanski

Howard Shelanski

Professor of Law, Georgetown; Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (OIRA Administrator 2013-2017)

Neil Eisner

Neil Eisner

Consultant (Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement, US DOT 1978-2013)

Clark Nardinelli

Clark Nardinelli

Chief Economist, US FDA (1995-present); Vice President, Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis

Bridget Dooling

Bridget Dooling

Research Professor, GW Regulatory Studies Center (OIRA 2007-2018)


E.O. 12866 event panel 1

Panel 2: Q&A with Congressional Staff

Panel 2

ACUS General Counsel Shawne McGibbon moderates a bipartisan & bicameral panel between two senior congressional regulatory policy staff members; Anthony Papian (Senate HSGAC) & Daniel Flores (House Judiciary).



Click here to watch Panel 2 -- 46 minutes, 56 seconds

Image of panel, click to play video

"We've really tried to modernize in ways consistent with EO 12866 - I think we'll get there." - Daniel Flores

Congressional staff discuss the ongoing prospects of codifying the principles in E.O. 12866.


Click - Will Congress codify E.O. 12866?  -- 5 minutes, 20 seconds

Daniel Flores

Daniel Flores

Chief Counsel, House Judiciary Committee, Subcommitte on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law - Majority Staff


Anthony Papian

Anthony Papian

Professional Staff, Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management


Shawne McGibbon

Shawne McGibbon

General Counsel, Administrative Conference of the United States; former Deputy Chief Counsel, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy


E.O. 12866 panel 2

Panel 3: The Future of OIRA Review

E.O. 12866 panel 3

Neomi Rao - OIRA Administrator, Ann Marie Buerkle - CPSC Acting Chair & Commissioner, Richard Revesz - Lawrence King Professor of Law & Dean Emeritus, NYU Law School, and Susan Dudley - OIRA Adminsitrator from 2007-2009 & Distinguished Professor of Practice at GW join former OMB Deputy General Counsel John Cooney to discuss the future of Executive Order 12866 and its principles in the rulemaking process.

Click here to watch Panel 3  -- 1 hour 30 minutes


Neomi Rao EO 12866 event"How I learned to stop worrying and love EO 12866." - Neomi Rao

Current OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao reflects on the initial views of Executive Order 12866 within the Trump administration, and the reasons why she thinks the principles of the EO are likely to continue far into the future.

Click here - Administrator Rao's opening remarks  -- 7 minutes, 59 seconds

Neomi Rao

Neomi Rao

Administrator, OIRA, 2017-present (former Associate Professor of Law; Founder, Center for the Study of the Administrative State, Antonin Scalia Law School)

Ann Marie Buerkle

Ann Marie Buerkle

Acting Chair and Commissioner, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2013-present


Richard Revesz

Richard Revesz

Lawrence King Professor of Law & Dean Emeritus, NYU Law School; Director, Institute for Policy Integrity


Susan Dudley

Susan Dudley

Director, GW Regulatory Studies Center; Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School (OIRA Administrator 2007-2009)

John Cooney

John Cooney

Partner, Venable LLP (OMB Deputy General Counsel 1984-1987)



Panel 3