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Harvard Kennedy School

Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies

Oct 6—11, 2019
6 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 9100
USD 1516 per day

How it works


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Years ago, delivering services was the primary role of governments . Not so today. In fact, roughly half of the work now performed by governments involves providing societal protections or controlling harms.

Government officials and other professionals with regulatory, enforcement, security, or compliance-management responsibilities face distinctive managerial and operational challenges in the modern world. Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies, an intensive, five-day program, examines these challenges and their implications for practitioners.

This one-of-a-kind program emphasizes the management and operations of relevant agencies (regulatory practice) as opposed to the reform of law (regulatory policy). In addition, it focuses more on social regulation (provision of safety, health, security) and less on economic regulation (efficient functioning of specific markets).

Compelling Regulatory Topics

During Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies, you and your accomplished peers will be part of a stimulating, intellectually rigorous learning environment overseen by renowned faculty and expert practitioners. Through case studies, lectures, and small-group discussions and workshops, you'll explore compelling regulatory topics such as:

  • How success is defined and best measured in a regulatory or risk-control setting
  • What it means to adopt a risk-based approach
  • What it means to be vigilant with respect to novel, emerging, or invisible risks
  • How different parts of the risk-management task should be allocated among regulators, industry, and third parties
  • How executives can focus their agencies on specific harm-reduction objectives if the harms don't align with any established piece of the organizational structure and aren't addressed by existing processes


Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies combines lectures, small group discussions and case studies to create a stimulating and intellectually rigorous experience.

During the one-week program, you'll analyze and discuss cases that encompass multiple regulatory and enforcement fields, including:

  • Strategic management
  • The role of enforcement
  • Emerging compliance strategies
  • Organizational structure
  • Performance management
  • Information and analytic support

The case studies span a variety of regulatory and enforcement domains, ranging from the environment to public health to crime, and are chosen on the basis of their ability to provoke, illuminate and define the scope of best practices and new approaches.

A central component involves reflection upon your own professional experiences and presentation of specific examples from your work environment in small groups and larger sessions with all the program participants.

Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies will explore:

  • The appropriate applications and limitations of applying the customer service model to regulatory agencies
  • Measurement of agency performance in terms of effects or impacts
  • The role enforcement outputs and compliance rates play in performance reporting
  • How agencies leverage innovative compliance-oriented tools without being perceived as going “soft” on violators
  • How partnerships can be structured to avoid compromising the enforcement deterrent
  • The constraints that should be imposed on the use of self-audit privileges, amnesties and immunity from inspection of prosecution
  • How agencies can learn to assess risks and set priorities among competing risks
  • How agencies understand and manage the relationships among preventive, proactive and reactive work
  • The budgetary support, analytic support and authorization required to support effective risk-control, problem-solving or compliance-management operations

Who should attend

Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies is designed for a global audience of national, state, and municipal government officials who oversee, support, or run organizations with significant regulatory or enforcement responsibilities.

Recommended applicants typically come from regulatory fields such as:

  • Crime control
  • Tax compliance
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Customs and immigration
  • Financial regulation
  • Fraud and corruption control
  • Transportation
  • Occupational safety

Others who benefit greatly from this program include nonprofit leaders along with members of professional boards who want to better understand the challenges of risk control and harm reduction.


Malcolm K. Sparrow is Professor of the Practice of Public Management at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is Faculty Chair of the school’s executive program “Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies.” Professor Sparrow’s recent publications include: Handcuff...

Next dates

Oct 6—11, 2019
6 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 9100
USD 1516 per day

How it works

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