Senate Confirms Tom Sullivan as Chief Counsel for Advocacy

Hope is to cultivate "decisions that are less destructive to small business"

The U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed Thomas M. Sullivan asPresident Bush's appointment for the SBA's Chief Counselfor Advocacy. Sullivan now heads the independent office within theSBA that represents and protects America's small businessesduring the federal regulatory and rule-making process.

Sullivan is the fifth confirmed chief counsel in the Office ofAdvocacy's history. He heads a team of attorneys and economistswho work to reduce the burden federal agencies impose on smallfirms, conduct economic research and publish data on smallbusinesses' contribution to the economy.

"This is an opportunity that comes along once in alifetime," said Sullivan. "I plan to build on the goodwork already done by Advocacy and run a proactive office that willadvance the interests of all small businesses," he said."I hope to build good relations across the government, so thatfederal agencies will make decisions that are less destructive tosmall business."

Sullivan comes to the chief counsel position with a strongbackground in small-business issues. Most recently, he wasexecutive director of the NFIB Legal Foundation, which providessmall-business owners with guidance on legal issues and promotes asmall-business agenda in the nation's courts. Before that,Sullivan led the Small Business Coalition for Regulatory Relief, asNFIB's Regulatory Policy Counsel. He also served in theadministrator's office of the EPA and in the Environment andNatural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sullivan earned his law degree from Suffolk University in Bostonin 1993 and in 1989 earned a bachelor's degree in English fromBoston College.

Created by Congress in 1976, the Office of Advocacy is chargedwith independently advancing the views, concerns and interests ofsmall business. The chief counsel does so before Congress, theWhite House, federal agencies, federal courts and state policymakers. As the watchdog for small business within the federalgovernment, Advocacy intervenes on behalf of small business in thefederal regulatory process as mandated by the RegulatoryFlexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory EnforcementFairness Act. In fiscal year 2001 alone, Advocacy's effortshelped save America's small businesses almost $4.4 billion inmoney they would have been spent attempting to comply with federalregulations imposed without the benefit of small-businessinput.

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