Line-up of High-Profile Government Transparency Experts to Present at Sixth Annual International Right-to-Know Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2012 – The Collaboration on Government Secrecy (CGS) at American University Washington College of Law proudly presents its Sixth Annual International Right-to-Know Day Celebration, Sept. 28, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Leaders in the international government transparency community will debate and discuss issues of public information and open government.

“The Collaboration on Government Secrecy is very pleased not only to be the principal place in the U.S. for the celebration of International Right-to-Know Day each year, but also to now play such a key annual role in the discussion of issues pertaining to the vital new Open Government Partnership,” said Daniel J. Metcalfe, CGS’s academic founder. “This year, we will take a very close look at what that U.S.-inspired international effort has achieved.”

In a development that barely could have been envisioned by the authors of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) four decades ago, and with a force that has been accelerating around the globe, people in more than 90 nations of the world now enjoy the benefits of government transparency laws akin to the FOIA.

In the United States, “Freedom of Information Day" is celebrated each year on March 16, the birthday of James Madison. Since 2002, members of the international transparency community around the world likewise have celebrated annual “International Right-to-Know Day,” a day marking their progress and unity.

Schedule

9:30 a.m. - Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Daniel J. Metcalfe, executive director, Collaboration on Government Secrecy, American University Washington College of Law

9:40 a.m. - Keynote Presentation

  • Nathaniel Heller, executive director, Global Integrity; civil society coordinator, Open Government Partnership Networking Mechanism;

10:45 a.m. - Transparency Worldwide: A Survey of Recent Developments

  • Thomas S. Blanton, director, National Security Archive; civil society member, Steering Committee, Open Government Partnership;
  • Nancy Z. Boswell, adjunct professor, American University Washington College of Law; former president and CEO, Transparency International-USA;
  • Julia V. Svintsova, research assistant, Collaboration on Government Secrecy, American University Washington College of Law;
  • Thomas M. Susman, director, Office of Governmental Affairs, American Bar Association (moderator)

12:15 p.m. - Freedom of Information in Europe: A live video-link exchange joining with the celebration of International Right-to-Know Day at Access Info Europe in Brussels, Belgium

  • Pamela Bartlett Quintanilla, research and campaign coordinator, Access Info Europe;

1:00 p.m. - Luncheon Presentation

  • Suzanne E. Spaulding, deputy undersecretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security

2:15 p.m. - International Transparency Principles Redux: An updated review of Draft International Principles on National Security and the Right to Information

  • Morton H. Halperin, senior advisor, Open Society Institute and Open Society Policy Center; former director of policy planning, Department of State;
  • W. George Jameson, president, Council on Intelligence Issues; former director, Office of Policy & Coordination, Central Intelligence Agency;
  • William J. Leonard, chief operating officer, National Endowment for Democracy; former director, Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration;
  • Sandra Coliver, senior legal officer, freedom of information and expression, Open Society Justice Initiative (moderator)

3:15 p.m. - The New Open Government Partnership: A first-year review

  • Gavin Baker, federal information policy analyst, OMB Watch;
  • Lisa Ellman, senior counsel, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget;
  • Toby McIntosh, managing editor, freedominfo.org; steering committee coordinator, Global Transparency Initiative;
  • Daniel J. Metcalfe (moderator)

Video: Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton’s Opening Remarks, Open Government Partnership Annual Meeting, Brasilia, Brazil, April 17, 2012.

More information or register for the event.

Media interested in attending the event should contact Megan Smith, public relations coordinator, 202-274-4276.

###

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit wcl.american.edu.