Daniel J. Metcalfe

Adjunct Professor of Law

Dan Metcalfe joined the faculty of the Washington College of Law in 2007 as a Faculty Fellow in Law and Government upon retiring from a career in government service that began at the Department of Justice more than 45 years ago. As an adjunct professor at WCL, he teaches courses in government secrecy law and served as Executive Director of the school's Collaboration on Government Secrecy (CGS).

In 1981, after a judicial clerkship and serving for four years as a Justice Department trial attorney, Professor Metcalfe was appointed to the position of founding director of the Department's Office of Information and Privacy (OIP). For more than a quarter-century in that position, he guided all federal agencies on the government-wide administration of the Freedom of Information Act, directly supervised the defense of more than 500 FOIA and Privacy Act lawsuits in district and appellate courts, testified before Congress on FOIA amendment legislation, authored Attorney General FOIA memoranda for successive presidential administrations, and met with representatives of nearly 100 nations and international governing bodies as they considered the development and implementation of their own government transparency laws. He became a career member of the Senior Executive Service in 1984, the youngest Justice Department attorney then and since to hold such a position.

In 2010, Professor Metcalfe was appointed as a charter member of the World Bank's Access to Information Appeals Board, an independent tribunal empowered to make final decisions on appeals taken under the Bank's worldwide information disclosure policy, together with board members from India and France holding final authority to order the public disclosure of World Bank records. In 2009, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Inaugural Sino-American Dialogue on Rule of Law and Human Rights in China, followed up by further dialogues in Xiemen and Beijing in 2010 and New York in 2011, and he has given dozens of presentations on international transparency worldwide. On behalf of CGS, he has testified before both the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Judiciary Committee as an expert on government-wide FOIA administration and the proper implementation of new FOIA policy. More recently, he was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and successfully litigated a Privacy Act lawsuit on behalf of Department of Justice Honors Program applicants who were subjected to a corrupt political screening process during the tenure of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Professor Metcalfe has held positions as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London and as a contributing editor of the Administrative Law & Regulatory News publication of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law, for which he received its exceptional service award in 2014. He also has served as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) since its official re-establishment in 2010 and most recently as a columnist for a media outlet on the subject of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s abuse of her e-mail system in violation of the Federal Records Act and in blatant circumvention of the FOIA.

Currently Teaching

Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., George Washington University 1976
  • B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook 1973