John D. Podesta to Give Keynote Address at Third Annual Freedom of Information Day Conference


WASHINGTON, DC, March 12, 2010 – John D. Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress, will give the keynote address at American University Washington College of Law’s “Third Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration,” March 16, 2010, from 8:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will introduce Podesta and present him with the 2010 “Robert Vaughn FOIA Legend Award,” which is given each year by WCL’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy.  During the conference, leading transparency experts will dis­cuss major open­­ness‐in‐government issues, including major FOIA litigation cases, the FOIA backlog reduction under the Open Government Directive, “pseudosecrecy,” and other topics.    

Speakers include representatives from the Department of Justice, American Civil Liberties Union, National Security Archive, the Department of Defense, the Washington Examiner, and many other groups.

In the United States, ʺFreedom of Information Dayʺ is celebrated each year on March 16, which kicks off what is now known as ʺSunshine Week.”  This third annual FOI Day cele­bra­tion helps launch a ʺSunshine Weekʺ (March 14-20) of re­lated activi­ties by media and public in­ter­est groups nationwide.   

To register for the conference go to The program is presented by the Collaboration on Government Secrecy (CGS)

When: March 16, 2010

            8:45 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Where: American University Washington College of Law

             4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20016, Room 603

Full Conference Schedule

8:45 a.m.       Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:30 a.m.       Welcome and Opening Remarks -- Daniel J. Metcalfe, Executive Director, CGS     

9:40 a.m.       Introduction -- Claudio M. Grossman, Dean and Professor of Law, WCL

                      Award Presentation -- Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee            

                      Keynote Address -- John D. Podesta, President, Cen­ter for American Progress

10:50 a.m.    Panel One:  Big Freedom of Information Act Litigation Cases

Thomas H. Golden, Partner, Willkie, Farr & Gallagher

Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center

Leonard Schaitman, Assistant Director, Appellate Staff, Civil Division, Department of Justice

Arthur B. Spitzer, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area

Thomas S. Blanton, Director, National Security Archive (moderator)

12:10 p.m.     Panel Two:  Backlog Reduction Under the Open Government Directive  

Charles N. Davis, Executive Director, National Freedom of Information Coalition

William T. Kammer, Chief, Freedom of Information Policy Office, Department of Defense

Sharon M. Mar, Policy Analyst, Information Policy Branch, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB

Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Examiner           

1:10 p.m.       Luncheon Address -- Norman L. Eisen, Special Counsel to the President

2:30 p.m.       Panel Three:  Pseudosecrecy, From SHSI to SBU to CUI

William J. Bosanko, Director, Information Security Oversight Office, NARA

Michael German, National Security Policy Counsel, ACLU

Matthew L. Kronisch, Associate General Counsel for Intelligence, DHS

Grace M. Mastalli, President, Ethos International, and Former Associate Deputy Attorney General

Sharon Bradford Franklin, Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project (moderator)          

4:00 p.m.       Panel Four:  Exemption Three Going Forward   

Jason I. Allen, Senior Research Assistant, CGS

Kevin M. Goldberg, Special Counsel, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.

Matthew L. Johnson, Chief Counsel to Senator John Cornyn for Senate Judiciary Committee

Adina H. Rosenbaum, Director, FOI Clearinghouse, Public Citizen Litigation Group

5:00 p.m.        Reception