March 8, 2019
NYU Washington, DC hosted a breakfast workshop with congressional press focusing on Paul C. Light's new report titled, "How the House Should Investigate the Trump Administration." This workshop was co-sponsored with the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). Speakers included Paul C. Light, NYU Paulette Goddard Profess of Public Service, Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at American Enterprise Institute, and Danielle Brian, Executive Director of POGO.
This workshop was open to NYU DC Students only.
With the 116th House of Representatives in Democratic hands, many are wondering what they will target with their newfound oversight powers. In this paper, Paul Light examines the most significant House investigations after World War II, drawing on this history to identify lessons for developing an impactful probe. Light also explores the potential for high-quality action by the new House majority, and puts forth specific reforms to improve the overall effectiveness of future House investigations.
Danielle Brian is the Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). Under her leadership, the organization has grown from two employees and a budget in the thousands of dollars in 1993 to an organization with over forty staff and a budget of six million.
POGO is a nonpartisan independent government watchdog whose investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, and ethical federal government.
Ms. Brian and her staff frequently testify before Congress, and have done so eighteen times since 2015.
POGO’s investigative work under her stewardship has received journalism awards such as the Sigma Delta Chi award, the Robert D.G. Lewis Watchdog Journalism Award, the Dateline Award, and others. POGO has received the highest reviews for organizational and financial performance from the three largest charity evaluators in the country: Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau, and Greatnonprofits.org.
Ms. Brian is a member of the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame, has been ranked three times by Ethisphere magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in business ethics, and received the Smith College Medal. Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College, and her Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Dr. Paul C. Light is NYU Wagner's Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service, Before joining NYU, Dr. Light served as the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding director of its Center for Public Service, and vice president and director of the Governmental Studies Program. He has served previously as director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and associate dean and professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota's Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
Light is the author of 25 books, including works on social entrepreneurship, the nonprofit sector, federal government reform, public service, and the baby boom. His most recent book is Government by Investigation: Presidents, Congress, and the Search for Answers, 1945-2012 (2014). His award winning books include The President's Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton (1998), Thickening Government: Federal Hierarchy and the Diffusion of Accountability (1995), The Tides of Reform: Making Government Work, 1945-1995 (1997), and A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It 2008). A Government Ill Executed received the American Political Science Association's Herbert Simon Award for the most important book on public administration in the preceding three-to-five years upon publication. Light is also a co-author of a best-selling American government textbook, Government by the People. His research interests include: bureaucracy, civil service, Congress, entitlement programs, executive branch, government reform, nonprofit effectiveness, organizational change, and the political appointment process.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies politics, elections, and the US Congress. He is a cohost of AEI’s Election Watch series, a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic, a BBC News election analyst, and the chairman of the Campaign Legal Center.
Dr. Ornstein previously served as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. A longtime observer and analyst of American politics and the US Congress, he has been involved in political reform for decades, particularly campaign finance reform and the reform of Senate committees. He has also played a part in creating the Congressional Office of Compliance and the House Office of Congressional Ethics.
Dr. Ornstein was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.
His many interviews have been aired on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NPR, and “PBS NewsHour,” among others. His articles and opinion pieces have been published widely, including in Politico, The New York Times, NY Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
Dr. Ornstein’s books include the bestsellers “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported,” with E. J. Dionne and Thomas E. Mann (St. Martin’s Press, 2017); and “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism;” “The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track,” with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006); and “The Permanent Campaign and Its Future” (AEI Press, 2000).
Dr. Ornstein has a Ph.D. and a master’s in political science from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota.