Experts Address Government Transparency at Fifth Annual International Right-to-Know Day Celebration


Contact: Megan Smith, Public Relations Coordinator, (202) 895-4537

WASHINGTON, DC, September 22, 2011 – American University Washington College of Law presents its Fifth Annual International Right-to-Know-Day Celebration Wednesday, Sept. 28, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event will convene nearly 20 leaders on international transparency issues, including a former State Department spokesman, a senior advisor at the Open Society Institute, and the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. The event is presented by the law school’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy.

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 85 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, and since 2002 members of the international transparency community around the world likewise have celebrated annual “International Right-to-Know Day” on Sept. 28, a day marking their progress and unity.

Full Schedule:

9:30 a.m. - Welcome and Opening Remarks -- Daniel J. Metcalfe, director, Collaboration on Government Secrecy

9:40 a.m. - Keynote Presentation: Morton H. Halperin, senior advisor, Open Society Institute, and formerdirector of Policy Planning, Department of State

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

12:15 p.m. - Freedom of Information in South Africa: A Live Video-link Exchange with Cape Town

1:00 p.m. - Luncheon Presentation: Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Department of State

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

3:15 p.m. - U.S. Global Transparency Leadership: The New Open Government Partnership


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