Richard W. Parker

Professor of Law, Director of the Semester in DC Program and Policy Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law
Richard Parker
Campus Address: Hosmer 130
Semester in DC Program
3409 Patterson St., NW
202-258-2617 (DC)
Washington, DC 20015


  • Administrative Law & Policy
  • Domestic & International Environmental Law & Governance
  • International Trade Law & Policy
  • Health Care Regulation & Finance

Richard Parker teaches and writes in the fields of administrative law and domestic and international environmental law. A leading expert on regulatory policy, he has published articles critically examining and debunking widely circulated claims that federal regulations are excessively costly in relation to their benefits. His current research focuses on understanding the proper role of government finance and regulation in the supply of health care in the United States. 

During the Obama Administration, Professor Parker emerged as a leading practitioner of negotiated rulemaking, a multi-stakeholder collaborative process for developing major proposed rules on complex and difficult issues of public policy. In 2011, he led a Department of Energy negotiated rulemaking to propose consensus energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers. In 2016 and 2017, he led two successful negotiated rulemakings sponsored by the Department of Transportation. These undertakings brought together large groups of stakeholder representatives from industry, civil society and government to develop a consensus solution to a problem that the agency had been unable to resolve unilaterally in the past. He also advised the European Commission on ways to enhance trans-national regulatory collaboration with the United States as part of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks.

From 2007 to 2009 he founded and led the American Foreign Policy Project, which brought together twenty-one top diplomats and experts to develop and promote a plan for achieving a secure and peaceful resolution of the Iran nuclear challenge. The proposal developed by this group foreshadowed the U.S. - Iran agreement that emerged in later years.

Professor Parker has published 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.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Parker served as Assistant General Counsel in the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and then as Special Counsel to the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He is a section delegate and council member for the American Bar Association’s Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice and chairs its Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

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

Recent In The Media
Richard W. Parker in The Regulatory Review: Lessons From New Zealand’s COVID-19 Success (Jun 9, 2020)