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James Leslie Gattuso (born December 1, 1957) is a senior research fellow for the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington D.C. He specializes in regulatory issues and telecommunications policy. Gattuso has contributed articles to many publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Washington Times.[1][2][3]

James Gattuso
James Gattuso publicity shot.jpg
James Leslie Gattuso

(1957-12-01) December 1, 1957 (age 61)
EducationJ.D., UCLA School of Law
Alma materUniversity of Southern California, UCLA
OccupationSenior Research Fellow, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies
EmployerThe Heritage Foundation



Gattuso graduated from the University of Southern California in 1979, and he received his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1983.[4]


Gattuso was a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation from 1985 to 1990, where he focused on telecommunications, transportation and antitrust policy.[4][5]

From 1990 to 1993, Gattuso served as Deputy Chief of the Office of Plans and Policy at the Federal Communications Commission. During part of his tenure, he was appointed Associate Director of the President's Council on Competitiveness, working for Vice President Dan Quayle.[6] In 1993, Citizens for a Sound Economy named Gattuso vice president of policy development, a position he held until 1997.[7] He then served as vice president of policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.[4]

Gattuso rejoined Heritage in 2002 as a senior research fellow. In 2009, he received the Glenn and Rita Ricardo Campbell Award, presented each year by the Heritage Foundation for "outstanding contribution to the analysis and promotion of the Free Society." He is also a regular contributor to the Heritage Foundation’s blog[4] and previously to Bloomberg's online service, Bloomberg Government.[8]

In general, Gattuso favors limiting regulations at the federal level.[1] Specifically, Gattuso tends to favor decreased government involvement when it comes to regulatory, transportation and telecommunication policy, arguing instead for private enterprise solutions.[2][9] He also opposes net neutrality, calling it a “regulatory overreach.”[10]

In 2011, Gattuso was influential in stopping the SOPA/PIPA online copyright legislation, authoring a report for The Heritage Foundation criticizing those proposals.[11]

Along with his colleague Diane Katz, he also authors an annual review on trends in federal regulation, called "Red Tape Rising," which has become a widely cited barometer of regulatory activity..”[12]

In 2011, Gattuso indirectly appeared on the Tonight Show when Jay Leno showed a video of Gattuso on an earlier Fox News segment, and asked the question "Would his hair look better as a beard," digitally moving his hair around to his chin, leaving him bearded and bald.


  1. ^ a b Gattuso, James (20 January 2010). "An Agenda Too Big". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  2. ^ a b Gattuso, James (19 November 2001). "Private sector is better". USA Today.
  3. ^ Gattuso, James (9 December 2010). "What's the Big Idea: Congress should rein in the regulators". Washington Times. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "James Gattuso". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  5. ^ Boffey, Philip (17 November 1986). "Heritage Foundation: Success in Obscurity". New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  6. ^ Skrzycki, Cindy (2 December 1994). "In Regulatory Assault, GOP Has a Lot to Be Thankful For". Washington Post.
  7. ^ Collins, Beverley (9 February 1993). "Movers and shakers". Washington Times.
  8. ^ "Top Government Stories". Bloomberg Government. Bloomberg. 4 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  9. ^ Gattuso, James (18 January 2002). "Bailouts: Picking winners and losers". Washington Times.
  10. ^ James Gattuso (7 March 2011). "Net Neutrality: Time for Congress to Act". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  11. ^ McCullough, Declan. "Pro-copyright group takes SOPA to task".
  12. ^ James Gattuso and Diane Katz (1 May 2013). "Red Tape Rising: Regulation in Obama's First Term". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 30 January 2014.

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