Hon. Paul Ray

Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

The Heritage Foundation

Hon. Paul Ray

Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

The Heritage Foundation

Paul Ray leads The Heritage Foundation’s work on regulatory and economic policy as director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.

Ray brings to the role wide experience at the highest levels of government and private practice, including service as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—the federal “regulations czar”—within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, to which position he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January 2020. As Administrator, Ray supervised the review of hundred of regulations and led federal efforts on regulatory reform.

Before his time at OIRA, Ray served as counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor and an attorney specializing in administrative appellate law. He began his legal career with clerkships for Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Samuel A. Alito of the United States Supreme Court.

Ray’s research focuses on administrative law and policy, the American Founding and constitutional order, and political philosophy, with a special focus on subsidiarity and the common good. He is a frequent speaker in Washington and around the country on the federal regulatory system.

In addition to his work at Heritage, Ray is a member of the Executive Committee of the Federalist Society’s Administrative Law Practice Group. He also serves on the Board of Innovations in Peacebuilding International, which promotes peaceful, ground-up solutions in war-torn regions.

Ray is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served on the Harvard Law Review, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College. Hailing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ray currently resides in Washington, D.C.

A person listed as a contributor has spoken or otherwise participated in Regulatory Transparency Project events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on the website does not imply an endorsement or relationship between the person and the Regulatory Transparency Project. The Regulatory Transparency Project takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. All expressions of opinion by a contributor are those of the contributor.

Contributions

Regulation and Red Tape: Tax Inversions: Unpacking the Pfizer Case

November 3, 2023

In episode four of the “Regulation and Red Tape ” series, experts provide an exposition of corporate tax inversions, spotlighting Pfizer’s case, and raise pivotal questions concerning the balance of powers when time-sensitive policy matters are at stake.

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Regulation and Red Tape: Boucher v. USDA: Navigating the Swampbuster Provisions

September 29, 2023

Have you ever received a notice from the government that you violated a rule that you didn’t know about?

In the 1990’s, the Boucher family removed nine trees from their property as an attempt to mitigate the buildup of trash and dumping on their land. This action triggered a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigation suspecting environmental damage. Consequently, the Bouchers lost eligibility for USDA benefits, including “Swampbuster” provisions. In Boucher vs. USDA, the government grapples with balancing natural resource protection and individual liberties. This case underscores the long and painstaking nature of government processes, emphasizing the time and diligence often required for justice and good governance.

In the third episode of “Regulation and Red Tape,” experts highlight the broader implications of Boucher vs. USDA and consider the balance between regulatory enforcement and individual rights.

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Regulation and Red Tape: Sackett v. EPA: A Tale of Wetland Regulations

September 15, 2023

At what point can Americans go to court to defend themselves against agency enforcement action?

This crucial question arose for the Sackett family when they embarked on the initial stages of constructing their home near Priest Lake, Idaho. EPA agents arrived on their property and asserted that it was a federally protected wetland. The EPA subsequently issued a compliance order that would subject the Sacketts to a fine of $37,500 a day. What followed was years of legal battles between the Sackett family and the EPA, culminating in two pivotal Supreme Court decisions.

In the second episode of the “Regulation and Red Tape” series, experts delve into the story of the Sackett family, their experience with the EPA, and the due process questions raised by the story.

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Official Trailer: The Regulation and Red Tape Series

August 30, 2023

In this new video series from the Regulatory Transparency Project, leading legal experts will debate some of the most controversial regulatory issues in America today. Moderated by the Hon. Paul J. Ray, “Regulation and Red Tape” will tell true stories of how federal regulatory actions impact the lives of ordinary Americans and the economy they rely on. In watching this series, you will have the opportunity to learn more about how the regulatory process functions, consider how and when regulatory action is necessary, and evaluate the trade-offs involved when the regulatory state acts.

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The SEC’s ESG Reporting Rule: Understanding the Debate over Climate-Risk Disclosure Requirements

May 3, 2023

In March 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a new rule that would establish climate-risk disclosure requirements for public companies.

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Deep Dive Episode 251 – FTC: Cost/Benefit Analysis of Proposed Rules – A Deeper Dive

February 13, 2023

A panel of experts explore how a federal agency undertakes the cost-benefit analysis for proposed rules, comparing independent agencies to those subject to OIRA review, and provide practical tips for lawyers and economists working on agency rulemaking comments.

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Deep Dive Episode 246 – Creatures of Statute: Administrative Agencies in Practice

December 22, 2022

In this episode, regulatory experts share first-hand the function of administrative agencies, and their role in the federal government.

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Creatures of Statute: Administrative Agencies in Practice

September 28, 2022

In this luncheon discussion, regulatory experts share first-hand the function of administrative agencies, and their role in the federal government.

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Who Is Regulating the Regulators?

August 11, 2022

Susan Dudley and Paul Ray shared their perspectives on the importance of this “obscure but powerful” office, and what the lack of a confirmed administrator means for the executive branch and its agencies.

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Deep Dive Episode 230 – Who Is Regulating the Regulators?

August 11, 2022

Susan Dudley and Paul Ray share their perspectives on the importance of this “obscure but powerful” office, and what the lack of a confirmed administrator means for the executive branch and its agencies.

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Deep Dive Episode 183 – The Path Forward on Agency Guidance

June 25, 2021

An expert panel discusses all things agency guidance – what it is, how and why it is issued, pros and cons of current guidance practices, and more.

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The Path Forward on Agency Guidance

June 21, 2021

On Friday, June 18, the Regulatory Transparency Project hosted a panel discussion on all things agency guidance.

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