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.
Campus Address: Hosmer 130
Semester in DC Program
3409 Patterson St., NW
202-258-2617 (DC)
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, with a focus on collaborative approaches to policy development and governance.

Professor Parker is one the nation’s leading practitioners 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 as part of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks.

From 2006 to 2009 he founded and led the American Foreign Policy Project, which brought together twenty-one top diplomats, including three ambassadors, 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 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. He also has published major articles critically examining (and debunking) widely circulated claims that federal regulations are pervasively irrational and excessively costly in relation to their benefits.

Prior to joining the faculty in 1995, 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 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.

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.

Recent In The Media
Richard W. Parker in Waterbury Republican-American: Air quality continues to show improvement (Mar 6, 2019)