GW Regulatory Studies Center Hosts Latin American Officials

Senior regulatory officers get training on best practices and countries’ reform initiatives.

Susan Dudley, director of the GW Regulatory Studies Center, addresses training seminar participants. (Courtesy of GW Regulatory Studies Center)
October 19, 2017

By Sydney E. Allen

The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosted a four-day training seminar for senior Latin American regulatory officials focused on regulatory best practices and supporting participating countries’ regulatory reform initiatives.

The regulatory officials came to GW in October from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Peru.

Susan Dudley, director of the GW Regulatory Studies Center and professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, said that collaboration among academic institutions, multilateral governing bodies and officials from different countries responsible for implementing regulatory reform “is valuable for all parties.”

“That dialogue helps turn ideas into practice, leading to more transparent, accountable and coherent regulatory policies,” Ms. Dudley said.

The first day of the seminar was held in GW’s Duques Hall and jointly hosted by the Regulatory Studies Center and the Center for Latin American Issues. Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ben Vinson, who is also a scholar of Latin American issues, welcomed the group to the university and emphasized the importance of a continued exchange of ideas and cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America to work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing policy issues. Dr. Vinson also underscored the significance of GW’s world-class faculty.

“Many of the [Regulatory Studies] center’s scholars are not only respected academics but have also held senior positions in government, which brings a unique perspective on government processes and challenges to their research and teaching,” Dr. Vinson said.

Monday’s training was led by Ms. Dudley, GW political science Professor Steven Balla, Regulatory Studies Center research Professor Brian Mannix and Federal Communications Commission Chief Economist Jerry Ellig. On the second day of the program, Daniel Pérez, Regulatory Studies Center policy analyst, led the visiting officials on a study tour to meet and share experiences with senior officials from the Administrative Conference of the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

The final two days of the program involved panel discussions at the IDB with high-level U.S. and international officials, including OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao, the OECD’s regulatory policy division leader Nick Malyshev, Pedro Farias, the IDB’s modernization of the state principal specialist, and Peter Ladegaard, the World Bank’s global leader on regulatory policy and management.

“The partnership between the Inter-American Development Bank and GW was very successful,” said Mr. Farias. “It allowed us to provide Latin American senior officials of eight countries with a broad view of the U.S. regulatory system and with some analytical tips that will help them to better regulate and to face the challenges brought on by the digital economy.”

Throughout the week, the group exchanged ideas on regulating emerging technologies, improving regulation to ensure dynamic, innovative economies and learning about promising results in regulatory reform efforts in the United States, European Union, Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries. Topics of discussion included understanding countries’ reasoning for pursuing slightly different regulatory approaches and accepting that early dialogue helps regulators in ways that result in real cost savings and safeguarding of the public interest.

Some key takeaways from the training conference were understanding that even countries with robust and sophisticated regulatory systems are dealing with regulatory reform issues and that regulators can not only take advantage of applying other countries successes but also can learn from their failures.

“As countries continue to improve their own regulatory systems, they benefit by learning from the successes and failures of others,” said Mr. Pérez of the Regulatory Studies Center. “All of the participants are committed to making sure that regulations provide necessary public protections in ways that don’t stifle innovation or economic growth.”

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