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In the Executive Office of the President is a small office that most people outside the Beltway have never heard of. The Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviews agencies’ draft regulations, public information requests, surveys, etc. Across administrations — both Republican and Democratic — it has served as a check on excessive administrative zeal. The Joe Biden administration has yet to nominate someone to head the office.

Susan Dudley and Paul Ray served as the presidentially appointed administrators of the office in the George W. Bush and Donald Trump administrations, respectively. They shared their perspectives on the importance of this “obscure but powerful” office, and what the lack of a confirmed administrator means for the executive branch and its agencies.


  • Susan DudleyDirector, GW Regulatory Studies Center & Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University
  • Paul RayDirector, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.