Cass Sunstein, a leading constitutional scholar, said on Thursday he had agreed to take the post of regulatory czar in the incoming Obama administration, overseeing all governmental regulations.
The Harvard Law School professor will lead the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an agency expected to assume a big role in Washington following recent financial scandals and turmoil on Wall Street.
“Confirmed,” Sunstein wrote Reuters by e-mail when asked if he had agreed to the job, which includes oversight of government agencies ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Sunstein, 54, an informal adviser to Democratic President-elect Barack Obama and longtime friend, is a pioneer in the field of law and behavioral economics, which seeks to shape regulatory policy around the way people behave.
Obama, who takes office on Jan. 20, has said regulatory reform would be one of his earliest initiatives and he would release a detailed plan for regulatory changes.
Like Obama, Sunstein is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and is well known in intellectual circles in Chicago. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School for 27 years before moving to his post at Harvard last year.
“Expect transparency to be a central theme in any Obama administration as a check on government and the private sector alike,” Sunstein wrote in the Huffington Post last March.