Public Agenda
Philip Howard Board Member

Philip K. Howard is Vice-Chairman of Covington & Burling and founder of Common Good, a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal reform coalition. NewTalk.org, an initiative of Howard's Common Good organization, presents focused discussions by experts on the most important domestic topics shaping American society today. The online discussion site brings together experts in theory, policy and practice -- from academics and lawmakers to admired practitioners -- to share their diverse perspectives on pressing domestic issues.

A practicing lawyer and a well-known leader of legal reform in America, Howard founded Common Good, a national bipartisan coalition organized to restore common sense to American law, in 2002. With the cooperation of a number of nonprofit organizations, including Public Agenda, Howard founded NewTalk.org in 2008.

Howard is the author of the new book "Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans from Too Much Law" and the bestseller "The Death of Common Sense and The Collapse of the Common Good." He's also a periodic contributor to the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He advises leaders of both parties on legal and regulatory reform issues, and wrote the introduction to Vice President Al Gore's book, "Common Sense Government."

Howard has long been active in the civic life of New York City. He currently chairs The Municipal Art Society of New York, and he was chairman of the committee that installed the "Tribute in Light" interim memorial for the victims of the World Trade Center tragedy.

Howard has advised leaders of both parties on reform initiatives. He was special advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission on regulatory simplification, worked on environmental and management reforms with Vice President Al Gore's reinventing government program, advised the Republican leadership on regulatory reform, and worked on overhauling civil service and other bureaucratic institutions with several governors, including Zell Miller in Georgia, Bill Weld in Massachusetts and Jeb Bush and Lawton Chiles in Florida.

Howard grew up in small towns in the south, as the son of a Presbyterian minister. He was a scholarship student at Taft School, Yale College and the University of Virginia Law School.