|Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs|
July 18, 2017
Neomi Jehangir Rao
March 22, 1973
|Education||Yale University (AB)|
University of Chicago Law School (JD)
Neomi Jehangir Rao (born March 22, 1973) is an Indian American attorney, academic, and government official who currently serves as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Before assuming her current role, Rao was an associate professor of law and the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. Her research and teaching focused on constitutional and administrative law. President Trump has nominated her to be a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Rao was born to mother Zerin Rao and father Jehangir Narioshang Rao, both Parsi physicians from India, and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where she was educated at Detroit Country Day School (class of 1991). After graduating from Yale University with highest distinction in ethics, politics, economics, and philosophy, Rao attended the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and received her J.D. in 2000. She was the comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy for the Symposium edition. Rao clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from 2001 to 2002, and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 2000 to 2001.
After her clerkships, she practiced public international law and arbitration at British law firm Clifford Chance in London, United Kingdom. During the second term of the presidency of George W. Bush, Rao worked in the White House counsel's office and as a staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Later, she became a professor at George Mason University School of Law (subsequently renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School, a change for which she advocated), where she received tenure in 2012. In 2015, she founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.
She is a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and the governing council of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, where she co-chairs the section's regulatory policy committee. She is a member of the Federalist Society.
On April 7, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Rao to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget. Former OIRA Administrator Susan Dudley described Rao as "an excellent choice to lead OIRA...In addition to a sharp legal mind, she brings an openness to different perspectives and an ability to manage the competing demands of regulatory policy." Legal commentator and law professor Jonathan H. Adler wrote that "Trump's selection of Rao suggests the administration is serious about regulatory reform, not merely reducing high-profile regulatory burdens." Rao was confirmed to the position by the United States Senate on July 10, 2017.
On November 13, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Neomi Rao to the seat Justice Brett Kavanaugh previously occupied on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Her nomination was sent to the Senate later that day and is currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Rao is married to Alan Lefkowitz, and they have two children, Isabella and Ezra Lefkowitz-Rao.