Gary D. Bass

Public Member

Gary D. Bass became the executive director of the Bauman Foundation in July 2011. In 1983, he founded OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that promotes greater government accountability and transparency and increased citizen participation in public policy decisions, and directed it until moving to the Bauman Foundation.

An expert on federal budgetary, program management, regulatory and information policy issues, Bass has published extensively, testified before Congress, appeared on national television and presented to groups across the country. Bass has led many advocacy campaigns—often in coalition with local, state and national groups—in pursuit of a government that promotes social justice and responds to community needs. He led OMB Watch in challenging a number of provisions in the Contract with America and successfully stopped proposals that would have undermined our society’s safety net. Working with a wide variety of public interest organizations, Bass stopped: a “no money, no mandates” measure that would have resulted in state and local governments being exempted from complying with federal laws; a constitutional amendment to balance the U.S. budget that would have seriously harmed human service delivery; a variety of regulatory provisions that would have undermined health, safety and environmental protections; and various efforts to silence the advocacy voice of charities across the country.

Bass has received numerous awards, including being selected as one of the NonProfit Times Power and Influence Top 50 11 times, between 1999-2008 and again in 2010; and in 2011 he received the Chairperson’s Award from the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities for his leadership and dedication in national public policy.

In addition to his role at the Bauman Foundation, Bass is an affiliated professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute where he teaches about nonprofit advocacy and social change. He has served on numerous boards and has been an advisor to many organizations. Prior to founding OMB Watch, Bass was president of the Human Services Information Center; director of liaison for the International Year of Disabled Persons; worked as a consultant on several projects in special education and the mental health of children and youth, most notably the preparation of the first annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142), now called the Individuals with Disability Education Act; and served as special assistant to Wilbur Cohen, then chair of the Michigan Governor’s Task Force on the Investigation and Prevention of Abuse in Residential Institutions.

Bass received a combined doctorate in psychology and education from The University of Michigan, along with the University’s highest award for graduate student teaching and several awards for academic excellence.


  • Executive Director, Bauman Foundation
  • Founder and Former Executive Director, OMB Watch