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Professor K. Sabeel Rahman Appointed to Position with Biden Administration


Professor K. Sabeel Rahman, a widely published constitutional and administrative law scholar and an expert in democratic participation and civic engagement in the United States, is on leave to serve as senior counselor at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a division within the Office of Management and Budget. Since 2018, Rahman has served as president of Demos, a public policy organization focused on ensuring equality in the American democratic process and economy.

“From the pandemic to economic inequality to climate change to racial inequity, this moment of crisis will require a strong public policy response,” said Rahman. “I’m humbled to have the opportunity to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration, to help advance regulatory policies geared for this moment. I’m also grateful to be a member of the Brooklyn Law School community of scholars, teachers, students, and changemakers. Their work has helped inspire and inform my own scholarship and policy work in this area.”

“On our faculty and as president of Demos, Sabeel has been an important and insightful voice to ensure, and demand, that we secure the promise of democracy for our citizens,” said Dean Michael T. Cahill. “I am certain he will be an equally important voice in the administration to ensure that our institutions and representatives fulfill their promise, and their promises.”

Rahman’s scholarship has focused on the interactions between law, political economy, economic inequality and racial exclusion, and on the ways in which law can create more inclusive democracy. His book, Civic Power (Cambridge University Press, 2019, with Hollie Russon Gilman) explores new approaches to organizing, power, and institutional reform in the face of the current crisis of American democracy. His prior book, Democracy Against Domination (Oxford University Press, 2017) examines how democratic ideals fueled reform movements in the Progressive Era, and what their implications might be in today’s debates about economic inequality.

In a recent article, “The Institutional Design of Community Control,” 108 California Law Review 679 (2020), he and co-author Professor Jocelyn Simonson look at current movements proposing community control of the police and of economic development, analyzing how local government might shift power and attempt to redress inequality. In addition to his academic writings in law, political theory, and political science, he has written for a variety of venues including the Atlantic, the New Republic, Boston Review, Dissent, and the Nation.

Rahman previously was a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and New America. He has also served as special advisor to New York City on economic development issues and has worked and consulted for a variety of organizations on issues of democracy reform.


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Watch video interview on the 2020 election with Dean Michael T. Cahill