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Distinguished Policy Fellow Richard Cordray visits Law School

October 30, 2019

Richard Cordray, the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will spend this coming week at the Law School as a Distinguished Policy Fellow as part of the Leo Model Foundation Government & Public Affairs Initiative. During his visit, Cordray will deliver lectures to the law school community and meet with students and faculty to further enrich the Law School’s intellectual life.

Before serving as the CFPB’s director, Cordray was Ohio’s Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Treasurer as well as a state representative for the 33rd Ohio House District. He was also the state’s Democratic nominee for Governor in 2018. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and Oxford University, Cordray clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also has taught as an adjunct professor at the Ohio State University College of Law.

The highlights of Cordray’s visit to the Law School include two major lectures open to all members of the law school community and the general public.

 On Monday, November 4 at 4:30 p.m., Cordray will speak on “Why Regulation is Good for Business” in the Faculty Lounge (Silverman 144) at an event sponsored by the Institute for Law and Economics.

On Thursday, November 7 at noon, he will give a lecture in Silverman 245 on “The Supreme Court and the Future of Agency Independence,” which will examine the case of Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Thursday lunch talk will be moderated by Professor Emeritus Colin Diver, former Penn Law dean.

In addition to his public lectures, Cordray will lead a faculty ad hoc seminar and guest lecture in Professor Diver’s Administrative Law class and Professor Cary Coglianese’s Regulatory Law and Policy seminar.

“As a distinguished public servant at the state level and as the first Director of the newest major federal regulatory agency — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — Richard Cordray has a wealth of experience to share with Penn Law students,” said Professor Coglianese, who serves as the chair of the faculty committee on government and public affairs.

Cordray will also meet with various students across campus to provide invaluable career insights, including a series of one-on-one meetings with law students and a conversation with an undergraduate student group. He will also discuss in a workshop with Penn Law faculty his forthcoming book, Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy (Oxford University Press 2020).

This is Cordray’s second visit to Penn Law this year, as he spent a week here in the spring term.

“We are thrilled that Cordray is returning to campus this week to engage with so many members of our community,” said Neta Borshansky, Associate Director of Public Sector Careers and Director of Government Programs.

“His visit this fall is extremely timely because of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear oral arguments in Seila Law,” added Borshansky. “In addition, the example he sets as a dedicated advocate for consumer justice and the guidance he will offer to our students across the university will certainly pave the way for them as they think about their role in society and how they can meaningfully contribute,” she said.

Through the Leo Model Foundation Government & Public Affairs Initiative, Penn Law is able to bring to campus a variety of attorneys, senior-level policy makers, and current or former government officials who share their real-world experience with students and faculty.

Past Distinguished Policy Fellows have included Troy Paredes and Kara Stein, both former Commissioners of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, along with Joshua Wright, former Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, and Nancy Nord, former Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In the Spring 2020, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will bring his 25 years of policing experience to the Law School as a Distinguished Policy Fellow. In addition to various meetings with students and other members of the Law School community, Ramsey will co-teach a seminar on 21st Century Policing with John Hollway, Penn Law’s Associate Dean and

Previously this fall, the Government Service & Public Affairs Initiative provided additional opportunities for students to interact with public leaders, having hosted on-campus student conversations with the Chair of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, and with Cheryl LaFleur, one of the longest-serving Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.