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What constitutes regulatory excellence? Answering this question is an indispensable first step toward striving for, measuring, and, ultimately, achieving regulatory excellence. One useful way to answer the question would be to draw on the broader literature on regulatory design, enforcement, and management. But perhaps a more authentic way would be to look at how regulators themselves define excellence. In this paper, we investigate regulators’ definitions of regulatory excellence by drawing on a unique source of data that provides an important window on regulators’ own aspirations: their strategic plans. To date, a voluminous literature exists examining agency practices in strategic planning, but we are aware of no study that tries to glean from the substance of a sizable number of plans how regulators themselves construe regulatory excellence. The main task of this paper is undertaking just this effort.