La Follette School’s director joins prestigious ACUS assembly

Portrait of Susan Webb YackeeThe La Follette School’s director, Susan Webb Yackee, was one of seven new public members appointed to the assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) earlier this month.

The ACUS is an independent, non-partisan federal agency within the executive branch dedicated to improving administrative law and federal regulatory processes. Becoming a permanent agency in 1968, its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Many of the ACUS’ findings and recommendations have resulted in reforms by federal agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States.

In addition to teaching and serving as director for the La Follette School, Yackee researches the U.S. public policymaking process, public management, regulation, and interest group politics. She recently finished work on a $500,000 Innovations in Regulatory Sciences Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to study regulatory policymaking and public participation at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Being appointed to the ACUS is a considerable honor for me. It will allow me to share my research directly with policymakers, which is an important part of what we do at the La Follette School,” Yackee said. “I am especially excited to share my quantitative social science perspective, since these appointments are typically lawyers or legal scholars.”

Yackee is now one of just 40 public policy experts from around the country who make up the public members group in the ACUS assembly. Under a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed chair, members of the assembly develop recommendations in committees and then meet in regular plenary sessions to consider and vote on recommendations.

Recent impactful recommendations made by the assembly include guidance (pdf) issued on July 19 by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) that encourages federal agencies to use ACUS resources to broaden public participation and community engagement in their regulatory processes.

“ACUS is committed to creative, participatory, and evidence-based problem solving that leads to better public policies,” Yackee said. “These are the same priorities of the La Follette School, so I am eager to bring our school’s perspective to this important organization.”

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