FOIA Community Conference


Collaboration on Government Secrecy
American University Washington College of Law

January 20, 2010

Speaker Biographies


Steve Aftergood is a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), a non-profit national organization of scientists and engineers concerned with issues of science and national security policy that was founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists. He directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy and to promote reform of official secrecy practices. An internationally recognized expert on national security classification, he writes Secrecy News, an e-mail newsletter (and blog) that reports on new developments in secrecy policy for more than 10,000 subscribers in media, government, and among the general public. In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency that led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.

Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977) and has published research in solid state physics. He joined the FAS staff in 1989. He has authored or co-authored papers and essays in Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, and Issues in Science and Technology on topics including space nuclear power, atmospheric effects of launch vehicles, and government information policy. From 1992-1998, he served on the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council. For his work on confronting government secrecy, Mr. Aftergood has received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association (2006), the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (2006), and the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation (2004). He also is a member of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy's Advisory Board.


Gary Bass is the Founder and Executive Director of OMB Watch. Since founding this advocacy organization in 1983, he has testified before Congress, appeared on national television, addressed groups across the country, and written extensively on federal budgetary, program management, regulatory, and information policy issues. Dr. Bass is well known for assisting nonprofit organizations in better understanding federal rules and policies affecting their organizations and constituencies. He has been selected as one of the Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50 each of the nine years of its existence. In 2006, the award noted: "Nobody is better at divining what legislative fine print means to the charitable sector, getting the translation out to leadership and rallying advocacy. Nothing slips by him. Nothing." In addition to his 20-year leadership in promoting policies that make government information more publicly accessible, he was a prominent voice after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in preserving the public's right to know. As a result of increased secrecy since 2001, Dr. Bass helped form the coalition, which brings together the advocacy and journalism communities to defend against the growth of secrecy and to advance open government policies and priorities.

Technology has played an important part in Dr. Bass's career. In 1989, prior to broad use of the Internet, he created RTK NET (the Right-to-Know Network at, a free online computer service to provide community groups access to government data about toxic chemicals released by chemical companies. More than 540,000 visitors a year use RTK NET to obtain environmental and health data. In 2006, Dr. Bass oversaw creation of, a free online database for citizens to find out where more than $12 trillion in federal money goes and who gets it. He also chairs, Citizens for Sensible Safeguards, and And he has served on many panels and advisory bodies, including as a member of the Advisory Board of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy.

Dr. Bass has served on the faculty of the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program at the Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. He has taught classes at Johns Hopkins University, American University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan. Prior to founding OMB Watch, Dr. Bass was President of the Human Services Information Center, where he wrote a book and numerous articles on human services issues and published the Human Services INSIDER, a bimonthly newsletter on the politics of federal human services programs. He has also served as Director of Liaison for the International Year of Disabled Persons; 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 (Pub. L. No. 94-142); Special Assistant to Wilbur Cohen, then-chair of the Michigan Governor's Task Force on the Investigation and Prevention of Abuse in Residential Institutions; Program Assistant at the Institute for Behavioral Research; and in research roles in juvenile justice and community corrections. He received a combined doctorate in psychology and education in 1979 from the University of Michigan, along with the University's highest award for graduate student teaching and several awards for academic excellence. He received a Masters (1978) and BA (1975) from the University of Michigan.


Rick Blum coordinates the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of media groups promoting open government policies and practices. The coalition actively supported passage of the 2007 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act that created the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), which is the first independent office designed to mediate FOIA disputes and recommend improvements. Rick and the coalition discovered the provision buried in the president's 2009 budget that would have eliminated the ombudsman office before its creation. In the midst of high-profile stories about U.S.-run secret prisons, warrantless surveillance, and federal monitoring of international banking transactions, Rick helped media groups successfully explain why Congress should not write new laws criminalizing reporting based on unauthorized disclosures.

Rick was the founding director of, a broad coalition of journalists, labor, and free-speech and environmental advocates. There he launched the Secrecy Report Card, an annual report of quantitative indicators of secrecy and openness in the federal government. As a policy analyst at OMB Watch from 1997 to 2001, he worked with environmental groups, librarians, freedom-of-information advocates, and others in the 1999 fight to maintain public access to chemical accident risk management plans. Rick also has conducted research on the effects of the commercialization of science on environmental and public health protections. He holds a master's degree from Indiana University, where his studies focused on democratization efforts in Russia, and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Lucy Dalglish is the Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a position she has held since 2000. Prior to that, she was an attorney with a Minneapolis law firm from 1995 to 2000 and worked from 1980-93 as a reporter and editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. As an expert on the effect of government secrecy in the post-Sept. 11 world, she has testified before both state legislatures and congressional committees about access to government information and government secrecy. She has spoken throughout the United States on FOIA issues and serves on the board of directors of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. From 1996 to 2000, Ms. Dalglish was legal counsel to the Minnesota Library Association. She served three years as national chair of the Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee in the early 1990s, and she was awarded the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor bestowed by the SPJ, in 1995 for her work as chair of the FOI Committee and for service as a national board member.


Tom Fitton is the President of Judicial Watch, known as "the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption." Founded in 1994, Judicial Watch seeks to ensure government and judicial officials act ethically and do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American public. Judicial Watch uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.

With twenty years' experience in conservative public policy, Mr. Fitton has helped lead Judicial Watch since 1998. He provides strategic guidance and leadership on Judicial Watch's comprehensive efforts to fight government corruption. Under his leadership, Judicial Watch has experienced tremendous growth and success in recent years and was named one of Washington's top ten most effective government watchdog organizations by The Hill newspaper. He is a nationally recognized expert on open government, congressional and judicial ethics, and immigration enforcement. Tom received his bachelor's degree from George Washington University and gained national attention as a political analyst, previously working for America's Voice and National Empowerment Television. He is a former employee of the International Policy Forum, the Leadership Institute, and Accuracy in Media. As a former talk radio and television host and analyst, he is well known as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in TIME, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and most every other major newspaper in the country. He also has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, C-SPAN, and MSNBC. He has authored numerous articles and presently serves as Editor of Judicial Watch's monthly 100,000+ circulation Verdict newsletter. He also oversees the cutting-edge Internet site, which includes the oft-cited Corruption Chronicles blog.


Meredith Fuchs serves as the General Counsel to the nongovernmental National Security Archive, housed at George Washington University. At the Archive, she oversees Freedom of Information Act and anti-secrecy litigation, advocates for open government, and frequently lectures on access to government information. She has supervised six governmentwide audits of federal agency FOIA performance, including two released in 2007: "40 Years of FOIA, 20 Years of Delay: Oldest Pending FOIA Requests Date Back to the 1980s" and "File Not Found: Ten Years After E-FOIA, Most Agencies are Delinquent." She is the author of "Judging Secrets: The Role Courts Should Play in Preventing Unnecessary Secrecy," 58 Admin. L. Rev. 131 (2006), and co-author of "Greasing the Wheels of Justice: Independent Experts in National Security Cases," 28 Nat'l Sec. L. Rep. 1 (2006). Previously she was a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP. Ms. Fuchs served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia M. Wald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and to the Honorable Paul L. Friedman, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and she currently holds the position of Secretary of the D.C. Bar. She received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and her B.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Gina Genton was appointed as the Assistant Deputy Director for National Intelligence (ADDNI) for Policy at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in October 2008, where she is responsible for leading Intelligence Community policy development on behalf of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). During the previous year, as ADDNI for Strategic Initiatives, she focused on issues of strategic policy significance for the Director of National Intelligence and was the policy lead for revisions to Executive Order 12,333, "U.S. Intelligence Activities." She likewise was heavily involved in the development of the recently issued executive order on national security classification, Executive Order 13,526 (Dec. 29, 2009).

During the previous four years, Ms. Genton served in several senior leadership positions in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As Director, Office of International Affairs and Policy, she managed NGA's foreign intelligence partnerships and policy portfolios, leading the effort to integrate all of that agency's international activities. Before her appointment to NGA, she served in a number of senior positions throughout the Intelligence Community. As Deputy Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, she was responsible for CIA strategy development, and major program, budget, personnel, and policy issue resolution. She was appointed Associate Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs in 1996, where she led the Community Management Staff, the principal source of advice for the Director of Central Intelligence in his capacity as leader of the Intelligence Community. From 1993-1996, she was the Director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council, where she developed and coordinated presidential policy directives and executive orders on intelligence priorities, classification of national security information, and commercial imagery, and supported interagency activities concerning covert action. Prior to her appointment in the executive branch, she served for twelve years in the United States Senate in a variety of professional staff positions, including as Budget Director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, originally working as a legislative assistant for Senator Alan Cranston

Ms. Genton is a recipient of the CIA Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the NGA Distinguished Civilian Intelligence Medal. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1980. She is also a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and a member of the Maryland Bar. She is a member of the Senior Intelligence Service and a career officer at the Central Intelligence Agency.


Lydia Griggsby is the Chief Counsel for Privacy and Information Policy for the Senate Judiciary Committee, a unique position that calls for her to provide legal and policy advice to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on a wide range of legal issues at the intersection of privacy, the Freedom of Information Act, freedom of the press, and civil liberties. Ms. Griggsby negotiated the first major reforms to the FOIA in more than a decade -- the OPEN Government Act of 2007 -- which former President Bush signed into law on December 31, 2007. Recently, she served as the lead Senate counsel on the OPEN FOIA Act reform bill, which President Obama signed into law on October 29, 2009. In addition to her work on the FOIA, Ms. Griggsby provides legal advice to the Senate Judiciary Committee on a broad range of other issues, including freedom of the press, information privacy and security, and cybersecurity.

Ms. Griggsby has been a government attorney throughout most of her legal career, serving six years as an Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and three years with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. Prior to her appointment to the Department of Justice, she was an associate with the law firm of DLA Piper. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Pennsylvania.


Clint Hendler covers government access and information issues for the Columbia Journalism Review, known as the nation's leading magazine of ideas and reporting on the media. A former staffer at The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, he has had his writing published by Mother Jones, The Nation, and The New York Times. He is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and Dartmouth College, where he was editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Free Press. His reporting on transparency issues, which has become increasingly prominent in recent years, has been supported by the Sunlight Foundation and The Nation Institute.


Dick Huff, as a member of the Senior Executive Service, served as one of two co-directors of the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy (OIP) from the Office's creation in 1981 until his retirement in 2005. He was the official designated by the Attorney General to act on all administrative appeals from denials under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 by Justice Department components. (The Department averaged over 3000 such administrative appeals each year.) He litigated and supervised FOIA cases at the district court and appellate court levels and has testified before Congress at the subcommittee level on the implementation of the 1996 Electronic FOIA Amendments and at the full committee level on the interface between the FOIA and the Privacy Act. For twenty-three years, he jointly oversaw the development of the "Freedom of Information Act Guide & Privacy Act Overview" into an 1100-page treatise that was updated and distributed every other year to more than 22,000 recipients. He has also published several legal articles, including "A Preliminary Analysis of the Implementation of the Freedom of Information Reform Act."

Dick came to the Department of Justice in 1976 after serving seven years on active duty in the Army; during his last reserve assignment, he was assigned to the Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, where he taught FOIA and Privacy Act subjects to military graduate students. He is now a retired colonel in the Army Reserve. Since retiring, he has made one-, two-, and three-day training presentations to the Departments of Justice, the Army, Commerce, and Homeland Security, as well as to the Graduate School (formerly the Graduate School of the United States Department of Agriculture) and the American Society of Access Professionals, which he currently serves as a Member of its Board of Directors. He received a B.A. from Stanford, an M.A. from St. Mary's University of Texas, a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Alex Hunt is a Branch Chief in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As Chief of OIRA's Information Policy Branch, Mr. Hunt is responsible for the development and oversight of the federal government's policies and practices relating to open government, privacy, records management, regulatory standards, and related information issues. Previously, Mr. Hunt was involved in OIRA's oversight of regulatory and information policies of various federal agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, State, and the Treasury. Mr. Hunt is a also a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Regulatory Policy Committee and has made presentations on U.S. regulatory policy before international audiences in Washington, D.C., Vancouver, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rabat, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm, and Dubai. From August 2004 to December 2004, he served as a senior policy advisor in the Regulatory Impact Unit within the U.K. Cabinet Office. Prior to joining OMB, he worked as a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He received a bachelor's degree in international relations with honors from Occidental College and earned a master degree in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where he was also an International Fellow.


Mike Isikoff joined Newsweek as an Investigative Correspondent in June 1994. He has written extensively on the U.S. Government's war on terrorism, the Abu Ghraib scandal, campaign-finance and congressional ethics abuses, presidential politics, and other national issues. His book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, co-written with David Corn, was an instant New York Times best-seller when it was published in September 2006. The book was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as "fascinating reading" and "the most comprehensive account of the White House's political machinations" in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Ever since the events of September 11, Mr. Isikoff has broken repeated stories about the U.S. government's war on terror and has won numerous journalism awards. His weekly online column "Terror Watch," co-written with Mark Hosenball, has become a "must read" for senior U.S. intelligence officials and won the 2005 award from the Society of Professional Journalists for best investigative reporting online. His June 2002 Newsweek cover story on U.S. intelligence failures that preceded the 9-11 terror attacks, along with a series of related articles, was honored with the Investigative Reporters and Editors top prize for investigative reporting in magazine journalism. He also was honored, along with a team of Newsweek reporters, by the Society of Professional Journalists for coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal. For that coverage, Mr. Isikoff obtained exclusive internal White House, Justice Department, and State Department memos showing how decisions made at the highest levels of the Bush Administration led to abuses in the interrogation of terror suspects. He was also part of a reporting team that earned Newsweek the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2002, the highest award in magazine journalism, for their coverage of the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks.

Mr. Isikoff's exclusive reporting on the Monica Lewinsky scandal gained him national attention in 1998, including profiles in the New York Times and The Washington Post and a guest appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman." His coverage of the events that lead to President Bill Clinton's impeachment earned Newsweek the prestigious National Magazine Award in the Reporting category in 1999. His reporting also won the National Headliner Award, the Edgar A. Poe Award presented by the White House Correspondents Association, and the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Reporting on the Presidency. In 2001, he was named on a list of "most influential journalists" in the nation's capital by Washingtonian magazine. Mr. Isikoff also is the author of "Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story," a book that chronicled his own reporting of the Lewinsky story and was hailed by a critic for The Washington Post-Los Angeles Times news service as "the absolutely essential narrative of the scandal with revelations that no one would have thought possible." The book, also a New York Times bestseller, was named Best Non-Fiction Book of 1999 by the Book-of-the-Month Club.

Mr. Isikoff came to Newsweek from The Washington Post, where he had been a reporter since September 1981. There he covered the Justice Department and the Persian Gulf War, reported on international drug operations in Latin America, and worked on the Post's financial news desk. Before joining the Post, he was a reporter with the now-defunct Washington Star. Mr. Isikoff graduated from Washington University with a B.A. in 1974 and received a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1976. Most recently, he was named a contributor to MSNBC, on which he appears regularly.


Bill Leary serves as Special Adviser to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director, Records and Access Management, for the National Security Council (NSC), with responsibility for maintenance, retrieval, disposition, declassification, and controlling access for all NSC records. He also holds the positions of Chair of the Interagency Policy Coordinating Committee on Records Access and Information Security and Chair of the Information Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), the latter of which is a presidential appointment. Mr. Leary holds B.A., M.A., and A.B.D. degrees in history from the University of Virginia, and during the late 1960s and early 1970s he taught history there, as well as at the College of William & Mary and the University of South Alabama. The author of several publications, he also is a former member (1987-1993) of the City Council of Tacoma Park. Most recently, he was the designated author of the detailed entry on "The White House Blog" that announced the issuance of President Obama's new executive order on national security classification, Executive Order 13,526.


Bill Leonard recently retired after 34 years of federal government service. In his last position, as the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), he was responsible for policy oversight of the executive branch's national security information classification system. Before that appointment, he served in the Department of Defense as the deputy assistant secretary of defense (security and information operations). In 2002, the president conferred upon him the rank of meritorious executive. Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from St. John's University in New York City and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Boston University. He currently is the principal of his own consulting firm.


Patrice McDermott, Director of, is a committed advocate for open access to federal government information. In Washington, D.C., she has worked both in the federal government at the National Archives and Records Administration and in the non-profit field. While at OMB Watch during the 1990s, she co-authored two studies of the implementation of the E-FOIA Amendments of 1996, finding many failures and inadequacies both real and perceived, and also was intensely involved in stopping the enactment of what would have been the equivalent of an official secrets act in the U.S. At the American Library Association, she was deeply involved in ensuring that the move to electronic government would result in more, rather than less, public access to government information, particularly in the post-Sept. 11 environment. Additionally, she plays a significant informational role in keeping those concerned with public access apprised of developments in and threats to government information, including on FOIA, privacy, and records issues.


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 in 1971. He now is both an adjunct professor at WCL and Executive Director of the school's Collaboration on Government Secrecy. A 1976 graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University, where he was a law review editor and attended on a full academic scholarship, he worked at the Justice Department as both a teenage intern during college and a law clerk in the Office of the Attorney General during law school. In 1981, after a judicial clerkship and serving as a Justice Department trial attorney, he 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 governmentwide 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 legislation, 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, and he also has been appointed as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London. He currently is writing a textbook on secrecy law together with WCL Professor Stephen I. Vladeck for publication by Carolina Academic Press and is the author of several publications, most recently The Nature of Government Secrecy, 26 Gov't Info. Quarterly 305 (2009), and Sunshine Not So Bright: FOIA Implementation Lags Behind, 34 Admin. & Reg. L. News 5 (Summer 2009). He also recently became a contributing editor of the Administrative Law & Regulatory News publication of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law.


Sean Moulton is Director of Information Policy at OMB Watch, where he focuses on increasing government transparency with special attention to environmental information and right-to-know issues. One of his first jobs was as Environmental Researcher and Data Manager for the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP), manipulating and analyzing environmental information that is disseminated under the policies he now advocates. Prior to joining OMB Watch, Sean honed his lobbying and policy analysis skills as the Tax Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth. His work experience also includes several years as a research fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Industry Sector Policy Division. Recent priority work at OMB Watch for Sean has included coordinating nationwide opposition to EPA's cutbacks to the Toxic Release Inventory and overseeing the development of, a groundbreaking new Web site that allows users to easily search and browse trillions of dollars in federal spending. For years, OMB Watch has also operated the Right-to-Know Network (RTK NET), a Web site that provides public access to almost a dozen environmental databases. Sean will be helping to bring lessons learned from to a redesign of the environmental database functions on RTK NET. He received a Masters of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland and has a B.A. in Economics and English.


Miriam Nisbet recently returned from Paris to accept a career Senior Executive Service appointment as Founding Director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the FOIA ombudsman and policy office created by the 2007 FOIA Amendments. During the two previous years, she was Director of the Information Society Division of UNESCO in Paris, and she also served on the Obama Transition Team. Prior to that, she was Legislative Counsel at the American Library Association from 1999 to 2007, where she was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Hague Conference on Private International Law representing libraries, and she worked at NARA from 1993 to 1999, where she first occupied the post of Special Assistant to the Archivist of the United States and then Special Counsel for Information Policy. She was a staff attorney at the National Association of Attorneys General during 1977-1978, before joining the Department of Justice, where she worked from 1978 to 1993. At the Justice Department, she served for nearly a dozen years as the Deputy Director of the Office of Information and Privacy (OIP), in connection with which she also held a senior leadership position as part of the national continuity-of-government team for several years. She is a member of the American Bar Association and of the American Law Institute, and she also is a long-time member of the American Society of Access Professionals, serving as its President and as a Member of its Board of Directors. Representing libraries, she was President of the Americans For Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT).


David Sobel is Senior Counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Washington, D.C. office, where he directs its FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) Project. He has handled numerous cases seeking the disclosure of government documents on privacy policy, including electronic surveillance, encryption controls, and airline passenger screening initiatives. He served as co-counsel in the challenge to government secrecy concerning post-September 11 detentions and participated in the submission of a civil liberties amicus brief in the first-ever proceeding of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. David is co-editor of the 2002 and 2004 editions of Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws. He is a recipient of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award (2003) and the American Library Association's James Madison Award (2004). David formerly was counsel to the non-profit National Security Archive, and in 1994 he co-founded the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), where he directed FOIA litigation and focused on government surveillance and the collection of personal information. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Florida College of Law.


Robynn Sturm is the Assistant Deputy Chief Technology Officer and the Deputy Director of the White House's Open Government Initiative (see at the Executive Office of the President, which places her at the center of the development and implementation of Obama Administration transparency policies. She has worked in that position, as principal deputy to White House Open Government Initiative Director Beth Noveck, since joining the Obama Administration in February 2009. Prior to that, she held positions as Deputy Chair of the Clinton Global Initiative Education Working Group, as Interim Executive Director of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, at the New America Foundation, and at Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA). She worked in India with YUVA and the Self Employed Women's Association to develop advocacy agendas on local and national government policies there, and she also worked for Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during law school. Ms. Sturm holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Science from Yale University and she received her J.D. from Yale Law School.


Tom Susman is Director of Government Affairs at the American Bar Association, where his holds responsibility for a wide range of ABA activities here in Washington, D.C. Before accepting that position upon his "retirement" in 2008, he was a long-time senior partner in the Washington Office of Ropes & Gray, where his work included counseling, litigation, and lobbying on access to government information and privacy, in addition to his general legislative and regulatory practice. Tom has testified frequently on FOIA reform before Congress and authored a number of works on information and privacy. He advised Shanghai on open government information, wrote a chapter on Access to Documents in the European Union for an ABA publication, co-authored a BNA portfolio on business information, and taught classes and courses on the FOIA to government lawyers, government access professionals, and law students. He has also been involved in a number of freedom of information cases at the state and federal levels and before foreign tribunals. A former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Judicial College and President of the District of Columbia Public Library Foundation, he currently serves in the House of Delegates of the ABA.

Before joining Ropes & Gray, Tom served on Capitol Hill as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee; prior to that he worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. He graduated from Yale University, received his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School, and is a member of the American Law Institute. Among his many honors and distinctions, perhaps foremost among them is his receipt of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy's inaugural "Robert Vaughn FOIA Legend Award" at CGS's First Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration in March 2008.


Burt Wides has worked on national security policy issues for more than four decades, serving as chief counsel to Senator Philip Hart, Senator Edward Kennedy, and Senator Paul Sarbanes; as Special Counsel to President Jimmy Carter; and as senior counsel to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers. Among other responsibilities held during that time, he was chief of investigations for the Church Committee, which set the standard for modern-day oversight of the intelligence community, and then was director of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board. He began his government career by working on strategic weapons planning in the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy Administration, and he also has represented a variety of high-profile clients on controversial matters as an attorney in private practice.

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