Richard W. Parker

Professor of Law, Director of the Semester in DC Program and Policy Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law
Headshot of Professor Parker.
202-258-2617 (DC)
Campus Address: Hosmer 130
Semester in DC Program
3409 Patterson St., NW
Washington, DC 20015
  • Administrative Law
  • Regulatory Policy and Process
  • International Governance
  • Energy Law
  • Climate Policy
  • Trade and Environment
  • International Trade and Regulation

Richard Parker teaches and writes in the fields of administrative law and domestic and international environmental law. His scholarship focuses on strengthening domestic and trans-national governance in a variety of policy contexts ranging from energy, climate and ocean management to domestic health, safety and environmental regulation.

Professor Parker has published major articles or book chapters on international regulatory harmonization and cooperation; the design of fisheries management regimes; the use of trade leverage in oceans management; and the use of cost-benefit analysis in health, safety and environmental regulation.  A leading authority on transnational regulatory cooperation, he is currently advising the European Commission on a wide range of legal and policy matters relating to the negotiation of the Regulatory Cooperation chapter of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership -- a major free trade agreement between the EU and US now in negotiations that focuses on enhanced regulatory cooperation as one its principal deliverables.

Professor Parker is also one the nation’s leading practitioners of negotiated rulemaking, a multi-stakeholder collaborative process for developing major rules on complex and difficult issues of public policy.  In 2011, Professor Parker led a Department of Energy negotiated rulemaking to propose consensus energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers.  In 2015, he chaired a multi-stakeholder group that reached consensus on terms of a proposed rule to establish federal minimum training standards for entry-level drivers of commercial motor vehicles nationwide.  He is currently assisting the Department of Transportation with a negotiated rulemaking to improve the rule governing the accessibility of commercial aircraft for passengers with disabilities.  

Prof. Parker serves as co-chair of the American Bar Association Administrative Law Section’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and vice-chair of the Section’s Committee on Collaborative Governance. 

Prior to joining the faculty in 1995, Professor Parker served as assistant general counsel in the Office of the United States Trade Representative where he advised on the negotiation of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (the predecessor to NAFTA), and represented the United States in trade disputes involving Canada, Israel, Europe, and Japan. He also has served as special counsel to the deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where his responsibilities included assisting the deputy administrator in overseeing the agency’s international programs and coordinating the agency’s regulatory policy and trade and environment policy.

He holds a B.A. in public and international affairs from Princeton University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a D.Phil. in politics from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

Richard W. ParkerFour Challenges for TTIP Regulatory Cooperation23 Colum. J. Eur. L. 1 (2016)

Richard W. Parker, Grading the Government, 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1345 (2003)

Richard W. Parker, The Problem with Scorecards: How (And How Not) To Measure the Cost-Effectiveness of Economic Sanctions, 21 Mich. J. Int'l L. 235 (2000)

Richard W. Parker, The Use and Abuse of Trade Leverage to Protect the Global Commons: What We Can Learn from the Tuna-Dolphin Conflict, 12 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 1 (1999)