New Additions to Governance Studies at Brookings


New Additions to Governance Studies: Elaine C. Kamarck Joins as Senior Fellow and Director of The Management and Leadership Initiative at Brookings; Cass R. Sunstein and Douglas H. Shulman Join as Visiting Scholars.

I am immensely pleased to announce three exceptional new additions to the Governance Studies Program at Brookings: Elaine KamarckCass Sunstein and Douglas Shulman.

Across a variety of research disciplines, including government management, tax reform and implementation, constitutional and administrative law, behavioral economics, and federal budgeting, Elaine, Cass and Doug bring unparalleled expertise and insight that will further Governance Studies’ goal of delivering cutting-edge research and policy solutions to improve the performance of our national government.

A bit more about our newest scholars:

Elaine joins us from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she spent 15 years teaching government management and American politics, and she will be heading up our newest focused effort, The Management and Leadership Initiative at Brookings. Elaine is a widely recognized expert on government innovation and reform in the United States, OECD countries and developing countries. In addition, she focuses her research on the presidential nomination system and American politics and has worked in many American presidential campaigns. In the 1980s, she helped to found the “New Democrat” movement that vaulted Bill Clinton to the presidency. As a senior staffer in the White House, she created the National Performance Review, the largest government reform effort in the last half of the twentieth century. Her most recent books include Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System and The End of Government As we Know it: Making Public Policy Work.  Her forthcoming book will focus on American politics and public policy and is called How Change Happens: Understanding Success and Failure in Modern American Politics.

Cass most recently served as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and currently is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. While now based at Harvard, Sunstein also plans to participate in research projects and events at Brookings. He has authored a number of highly influential books including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Worst-Case Scenarios (2001) Deliberative Trouble? Why Groups Go to Extremes (2000) and (2001). His next book Simpler: The Future of Government will be released in April 2013. Sunstein began his career in 1978 as a clerk for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and then later for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. For over two decades, he taught at the University of Chicago Law School.

Douglas most recently was the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. During his tenure, the IRS played a major role in the nation’s economic recovery efforts by delivering about $300 billion—or 40% of the money of the Recovery Act—through the tax system. He was also intimately involved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and transformed the IRS’ use of data analytics to drive improvements in compliance and customer service. Under his leadership, the IRS also put in place $1 billion in budget cuts and annual operating efficiencies and reached the highest levels in the IRS’s history in its key customer service metric, the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Doug also launched and completed a major modernization of IRS’s core technology, allowing the IRS to process tax returns on a daily cycle. He came to the IRS from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA, previously NASD), where he served as Vice Chairman and, before that, President of Markets, Services & Information. 

We look forward to sharing with you these scholars’ forthcoming research and commentary, as well as showing you how their work is positively impacting U.S. domestic policy.