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Mobilizing Public Law: The Lost Wartime Origins of American Administrative Law


Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar is a professor and Deane F. Johnson faculty scholar at Stanford Law School, the co-director of CISAC, professor (by courtesy) of political science, a faculty affiliate of CDDRL, and a senior fellow at FSI. A member of the Stanford faculty since 2001, he has served in the Obama and Clinton Administrations, testified before lawmakers, and has an extensive record of involvement in public service. His research and teaching focus on administrative law, executive power, and how organizations implement critical regulatory, public safety, migration, and international security responsibilities in a changing world. In July 2010, the President appointed him to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent agency charged with recommending improvements in the efficiency and fairness of federal regulatory programs.  He also serves on the Department of Education’s National Commission on Educational Equity and Excellence, and the Department of State’s Advisory Sub-Committee on Economic Sanctions. 

From early 2009 through the summer of 2010, he was on leave from Stanford serving as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy at the White House. In this capacity, he led the Domestic Policy Council’s work on criminal justice and drug policy, public health and food safety, regulatory reform, borders and immigration, civil rights, and rural and agricultural policy. Among other issues, Cuéllar worked on stricter food safety standards, the FDA’s regulatory science initiative, expanding support for local law enforcement and community-based crime prevention, enhancing regulatory transparency, and strengthening border coordination and immigrant integration. He negotiated provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act, and represented the Domestic Policy Council in the development of the first-ever Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.

Before working at the White House, he co-chaired the Obama-Biden Transition’s Immigration Policy Working Group. During the second term of the Clinton Administration, he worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement, where he focused on countering financial crime, improving border coordination, and enhancing anti-corruption measures.

He has collaborated with or served on the board of several civil society organizations, including the Haas Center for Public Service, the Constitution Project, and the American Constitution Society. He has co-chaired the Regulatory Policy Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, and served on the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations.

After graduating from Calexico High School in California’s Imperial Valley, he received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford. He clerked for Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.