Harvard Law School Professor Jody Freeman has been selected as a public member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), an independent agency of the United States government tasked with improving the efficiency and fairness of federal agencies.

“These forty distinguished citizens, who together have hundreds of years of high-level experience in the government and private enterprise, have agreed to contribute their expertise and energies toward this project in collaborative governance,” said Paul R. Verkuil, chairman of ACUS. “[This] politically balanced group of experts from the public and private sectors will team up to make government work better for everyone.”

Freeman, along with the other public members, will join fifty senior federal officials and notable administrative law experts to form the Administrative Conference, an in-house federal laboratory designed to optimize the performance of federal agencies. The Conference’s mission is to improve the ways in which federal agencies interact with citizens and business in regulatory and adjudicatory functions.

Freeman, the Archibald Cox Professor of Law, is a leading scholar of administrative and environmental law and the founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program.

From 2009 to 2010, Freeman served in the White House as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change, where she contributed to policy initiatives on renewable energy, energy efficiency, offshore drilling, transmission policy, greenhouse gas regulation and comprehensive energy and climate legislation. She played a key role in the President’s historic national auto agreement, which set the first-ever greenhouse gas standards and stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Freeman is also a prominent scholar of administrative law and regulation, and a leading thinker on collaborative and contractual approaches to governance.

“What a superb recognition of Jody’s leadership, knowledge, and imagination! ” said Dean Martha Minow. “We are delighted that the Administrative Conference will have the benefit of Jody’s recent experience in Washington, where her work on American energy and climate change issues included interagency collaborations, and an historic agreement among the auto industry, California and key stakeholders on federal fuel efficiency standards and federal greenhouse gas standards.”

ACUS was recently re-established in March 2010 when the Senate confirmed Verkuil as chairman. The conference was first established by statute in 1964 as an independent agency of the federal government. The conference ceased operations in 1995, due to termination of funding by Congress, but the statutory provisions establishing ACUS were not repealed. Subsequently, Congress reauthorized the conference in 2004 and again in 2008, expanding the responsibilities of ACUS to include specific attention to achieving more effective public participation and efficiency, reducing unnecessary litigation, and improving the use of science in the rulemaking process.

-Greg DiBella