2007 FOI Summit Panelists

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c09/h03/mnt/129647/domains/nfoic.org/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_content_plugin_display_panel_pane::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c09/h03/mnt/129647/domains/nfoic.org/html/sites/all/modules/ctools/views_content/plugins/views/views_content_plugin_display_panel_pane.inc on line 403.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /nfs/c09/h03/mnt/129647/domains/nfoic.org/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.

Bill Allison

Senior Fellow, Sunlight Foundation

Bill Allison is a Senior Fellow at the Sunlight Foundation. A veteran investigative journalist and editor for nonprofit media, Bill worked for the Center for Public Integrity for nine years, where he co-authored The Cheating of America with Charles Lewis, was senior editor of The Buying of the President 2000 and co-editor of the New York Times bestseller The Buying of the President 2004. He edited projects on topics ranging from the role of international arms smugglers and private military companies in failing states around the world to the rise of section 527 organizations in American politics.

Participating in the panel, Election Transparency: The Next Great FOI Story?, at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
 

Jonathan Bechtle

Director Citizenship and Governance Center, Evergreen Freedom Foundation

Jonathan Bechtle serves as director of EFF's Citizenship and Governance Center. He also currently serves on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. Prior to joining EFF, he served as the Senior Legal Assistant for a non-profit legal advocacy firm in the Washington, D.C. area. He has also worked as an aide to state senators in Georgia and Indiana and as a medical analyst for the Indiana Attorney General.

Participating in the panel, Election Transparency: The Next Great FOI Story?, at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Thomas S. Blanton

Director, National Security Archive at George Washington University

Thomas Blanton is director (since 1992) of the National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington D.C., winner of the George Polk Award in 2000 for "piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy." He is series editor of the Archive’s Web, CD, book and microform publications of more than 500,000 pages of former government secrets obtained through the Freedom of Information Act; oversees the Archive’s 32,000 FOIA requests to date with the federal government; and filed his first FOIA request in 1976 as a reporter in Minnesota. His books include White House E-Mail (1995) and The Chronology (1987); his articles and op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and many other publications. A graduate of Bogalusa (La.) High School and Harvard University, he won the 2005 Emmy Award for news and documentary research, was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame in 2006, and is co-founder of freedominfo.org, the virtual network of international freedom of information advocates.

Participating in the panel, Declassification & Reclassification: The Threat Posed and Possible Solutions, at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

William J. Bosanko

Associate Director, Information Security Oversight Office

William J. Bosanko ("Jay") is an Associate Director with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) where he leads the Classification Management Directorate and supports the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) and the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB). ISOO oversees the security classification programs in both Government and industry. It is a component of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and receives its policy and program guidance from the National Security Council. Mr. Bosanko has worked at ISOO since December of 1998. Prior to joining ISOO, Mr. Bosanko worked with NARA's Special Access and FOIA Staff and NARA's Records Declassification Division.

Participating in the panel, Declassification & Reclassification: The Threat Posed and Possible Solutions at 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Back to top

 

Rebecca Carr

National correspondent, Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau

Rebecca Carr began her career in 1989 at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois, as a local government reporter. She joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 1992, where she covered suburban trends and breaking news before serving on the paper's projects team. While in Chicago, she freelanced for The New York Times and Chicago magazine. Carr moved to Washington in 1996 to work for the Congressional Quarterly's Weekly Report magazine. At the magazine, she covered the congressional investigations into campaign fundraising abuses of the 1996 presidential campaign and efforts to craft the nation's first tobacco policy.

Participating in the panel, Telling Stories about Secrecy: On the FOI Beat, at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.

 

Lucy Dalglish

Executive Director, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Prior to assuming the position of Executive Director in January 2000, Dalglish was a media lawyer for almost five years in the trial department of the Minneapolis law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. From 1980-93, Dalglish was a reporter and editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She was awarded the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Professional Journalists, in 1995 for her work as Chairman of SPJ's national Freedom of Information Committee from 1992-95 and for her service as a national board member from 1988-91. She also was named to the inaugural class of the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in 1996. Dalglish earned a juris doctor degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1995; a master of studies in law degree from Yale Law School in 1988; and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of North Dakota in 1980.

Moderating the panel, Election Transparency: The Next Great FOI Story?, at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Back to top

 

Charles N. Davis

Executive Director, National Freedom of Information Coalition

Charles N. Davis worked for nearly ten years as a journalist after his graduation from North Georgia College in 1986, working for newspapers, magazines and a news service in Georgia, Florida and Ireland. He completed a master's degree from the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication and to earn a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida in 1995. As a member of the Missouri School of Journalism faculty since 1999, he has continued to write for business and legal publications while conducting scholarly research on access to governmental information and new media law, including jurisdictional issues, intellectual property and on-line libel. His first edited book, Access Denied: Freedom of Information in the Information Age, was published in 2001. Davis has earned a Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his work in furthering freedom of information.

Leading the discussion, The FOI Salon: State-by-State Updates and Conversation, at 12:00 p.m. Friday.
 

Michele Earl-Hubbard

Past President, Washington Coalition for Open Government

Michele Earl-Hubbard is a partner in the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle. Her areas of practice include media law and general litigation. She is the immediate past president and a founding board member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. Ms. Earl-Hubbard frequently speaks to journalists, lawyers and government employees on Washington State's opening meetings, public records and open court laws, defamation, privacy and other media law issues. She is a senior editor and contributing author of the Washington State Bar Association’s Public Records Act Deskbook, a contributing author to Washington State Attorney General's Deskbook on public record and open meeting laws; ACCESS, published by the Society of Professional Journalists; and a co-author of the Washington Chapter of Tapping Official Secrets, published by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Participating in the panel, Coalition-Building 101: From Startup to the Next Step, at 2:00 p.m. Friday, and participating in the panel, Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: Keeping Access a Bipartisan Issue, at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top

 

Katherine Garner

Executive Director, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas

Katherine Garner has been with FOIFT since 1994 and also serves as the Treasurer for the National Freedom of Information Coalition. She came to the Foundation with a background in reporting, copy-editing and layout design from several colleges and local papers. She also gained management experience in various retail organizations and as a Junior Volunteer Coordinator for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children by supervising more than 150 junior volunteers. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business journalism from University of North Texas and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Dallas with emphasis in business and nonprofit management and communications.

Participating in the panel, FOI Executive Directors: A Model Worth Pursuing? at 3:30 Friday.

Back to top

 

Frank Gibson

Executive Director, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government

Frank Gibson is executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, a press and public alliance that works to improve and preserve Tennessee’s public records and sunshine laws. Gibson chaired the Tennessee Press Association’s Freedom of Information Committee for 11 years and now serves as TPA’s FOI coordinator. In 2004, he organized the state’s first public records audit which surveyed city and county offices in all 95 counties. The audit led to a four-part "Your Right to Know" series distributed by the Associated Press to every newspaper and broadcast outlet in the state. He authored a study of open meetings violations in 2005, showing a 45 percent increase in complaints published between 2003 and 2005. He is a director of NFOIC.

Moderating the panel, Coalition-Building 101: From Startup to the Next Step, at 2:00 p.m. Friday, and participating in the panel, FOI Executive Directors: A Model Worth Pursuing? at 3:30 Friday.

Back to top

 

Pat Gleason

Office of Governor Charlie Crist

Pat Gleason serves as Director of Cabinet Affairs and Special Counsel for Open Government for Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she was General Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office where she specialized in Sunshine Law and Public Records issues. She is a graduate of Florida State University College of Law.

Participating in the panel, FOI Training in the States: What Your State Can Do, at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top

 

Brant Houston

Director, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.

Brant Houston is a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a professional non-profit organization of 5,000 members in the U.S. and around the world. He also oversees the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting, a joint program of the school and IRE. As executive director of IRE, he runs the operations of IRE, which include more than 50 conferences and seminars a year, a resource center and data library for journalists, numerous publications and a web site, and a staff of about 25 full-time and part-time employees.

Participating in the panel, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Electronic Records but Were Afraid to Ask, at 3:00 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top

 

Frosty Landon

Executive Director, Virginia Coalition for Open Government

Frosty Landon is executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, which he helped organize in 1996. The coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that opposes excessive secrecy in Virginia government. He currently is a director of NFOIC. Landon retired in the fall of 1995 as executive editor/vice president of The Roanoke Times, after working 30 years as a newspaper editor and, earlier, 10 years as a radio-TV journalist —all in Roanoke. He is a former chairman of the FOI Committee of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and has been a member of the Virginia Press Association's FOI Committee. In 1988, the Richmond chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists gave him the George Mason Award for outstanding contributions to Virginia journalism. A decade later, he was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame and given SPJ's national Freedom of Information Award.

Participating in the panel, Coalition-Building 101: From Startup to the Next Step, at 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Back to top

 

Mal Leary

Executive Director, Maine Freedom of Information Coalition

Mal Leary has been a journalist throughout his life, working in both Washington D.C. and in Maine as both a reporter and editor. He has won numerous awards for his reporting, both in broadcast and in print and currently reports on state government issues in Maine on radio throughout the state and in several state newspapers. He owns and operates Capitol News Service located in the State House complex. Mal has been a long time member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. He is the SPJ Sunshine Chair in Maine and is currently the president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and is a director of NFOIC. Mal is married with three grown children, several grandchildren and lives in Augusta in sight of the Capitol dome.

Participating in the panel, Coalition-Building 101: From Startup to the Next Step, at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

Back to top

 

Mike McGraw

Special projects desk reporter for The Kansas City Star

Mike McGraw began his reporting career in 1972 after graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with a Master of Arts degree in Journalism. He has covered organized labor, agribusiness, the meatpacking industry, the federal bureaucracy, Department of Defense contracting practices, NASA, occupational safety and health issues, building collapses, food safety and housing issues and artworld fraud. He is a former member of the board of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and contributor to IRE's The Reporter's Handbook. Awards include a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and two George Polk awards.

Participating in the panel, Telling Stories about Secrecy: On the FOI Beat, at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.

Back to top

 

Rob McKenna

Attorney General for the state of Washington

Rob McKenna is Washington’s 17th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, he directs 500 attorneys and nearly 700 professional staff providing legal services to state agencies, boards and commissions. General McKenna is committed to providing statewide leadership in the battle against methamphetamine production, identity theft and counterterrorism activities, and to protecting communities—particularly children—from sexual predators.

Participating in the panel, Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: Keeping Access a Bipartisan Issue, at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

Hollie Manheimer

Executive Director, Georgia First Amendment Foundation

Hollie Manheimer is the Executive Director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation (GFAF), a grass roots non profit organization formed in 1994 to promote freedom of information in Georgia through education and advocacy. GFAF works through programs like today’s, literature, amicus briefs, and other avenues to strengthen the access laws in Georgia. When not serving the foundation, Ms. Manheimer practices law at Stuckey & Manheimer, LLC and serves as a Pro Hac Vice Judge of the Recorders Court of Dekalb County. A cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Ms. Manheimer received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law and holds two masters’ degrees: one in English from New York University and one in Communications from Georgia State University.

Participating in the panel, FOI Executive Directors: A Model Worth Pursuing?, at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Back to top

 

James Neff

Head of Investigative Projects, Seattle Times

James Neff, a prize-winning journalist and editor, is the author of the critically acclaimed The Wrong Man: The Final Verdict on the Dr. Sam Sheppard Murder Case (Random House). Neff has written four books, one of which, Mobbed Up, was adapted as the HBO movie, Teamster Boss. He is a past president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 4,500-member nonprofit organization that trains journalists worldwide. Since 2001, he has been the investigations editor at The Seattle Times. Three projects he edited or wrote have been named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Keynote speaker at Saturday's luncheon.

Back to top
 

Toby Nixon

Former member Washington State House of Representatives

Toby served as State Representative for the 45th District from January, 2002, through January, 2007. He served on the House committees on State Government Operations and Accountability (ranking member), Technology, Energy and Communications, and Transportation from 2003 through 2006, and previously served on the House Finance committee and the House committee on Children and Family Services.

Participating in the panel, Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: Keeping Access a Bipartisan Issue, at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top

 

Sarah Nordgren

Director of State News, The Associated Press

Sarah Nordgren is the director of state news for Associated Press. She and her three deputies direct domestic bureau chiefs on news operations and coverage. She also oversees editorial training for domestic bureaus. Sarah joined the AP in Chicago in 1985 as a desk supervisor and as a reporter, specializing in children and family issues. She won three Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club, one each for writing, reporting and magazine writing. She was promoted to assistant chief of bureau in Chicago in 1997, then left the AP to become Page 1 editor at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill. She returned to the AP in 2000 as deputy director of state news and was named director in 2003. Sarah received her B.A. from William Smith College and a master's degree in history from Boston University. Prior to joining the AP, she worked for Chicago's City News Bureau and United Press International.

Moderating the panel, Telling Stories about Secrecy: On the FOI Beat, at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

Tom O'Hara

Managing Editor, Plain Dealer

Tom O'Hara has been managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland since November 2000. Before that he worked for The Palm Beach Post for 14 years, the last 11 as managing editor. He earned a bachelor's degree in Humanities from Rutgers University-Camden in 1972 and a master's degree in communications from the University of Florida in 1974. He then went on to work at several Florida newspapers including the Gainesville Sun, The Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News Journal, and The Miami Herald. O'Hara is past president and member of the board of NFOIC and past president of both the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Florida First Amendment Foundation. He's also on the advisory board for the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. In 2006 he was named as one of "Rutgers-Camden Finest" a group of alumni honored for their professional accomplishments. He and his wife Pam have two children. They live in Broadview Heights, Ohio.

Moderating the panel, Sports Secrecy: Stadium Deals In The Luxury Suites?, at 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Back to top

Barb Pape

Owner, HIP Advertising

HIP Advertising, a full-service advertising agency, has won numerous ADDY® awards from the American Advertising Federation for creative excellence on the local, regional and national levels of competition. Some of those awards were for the work Barb has done for one of her current clients, the Illinois First Amendment Center (IFAC) and the Illinois Press Association. For years now, Barb and her staff have been the creative force behind the First Amendment awareness campaigns targeting both high school and elementary school-aged children, developed by IFAC through grant funding from various donors.

Participating in the panel, Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: Keeping Access a Bipartisan Issue, at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

David Postman

Chief political reporter, Seattle Times

David Postman has covered politics and government for The Seattle Times since 1994. He's a frequent guest on radio and television, and previously covered politics for The News Tribune in Tacoma, the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Radio Network. He also writes the blog Postman on Politics.Participating in the panel, Election Transparency: The Next Great FOI Story?, at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Back to top
 

Peter Scheer

Executive Director, California First Amendment Coalition

A lawyer and journalist, Peter Scheer was editor and publisher of The Recorder, a daily legal newspaper in San Francisco, and publisher of Legal Times, a Washington, DC-based weekly on law and lobbying. Scheer practiced appellate law in Washington, DC, both in the U.S. Justice Department and in private practice. He was a partner in the Washington, DC firm of Onek, Klein & Farr, and was general counsel to the National Security Archive. Scheer's articles on First Amendment issues have appeared in numerous publications. In 2006 Scheer was awarded the James Madison Freedom of Information Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Moderating the panel, Declassification & Reclassification: The Threat Posed and Possible Solutions, at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

John Scheinfeld

Writer, producer, director of documentaries

John Scheinfeld is a respected writer, producer and director of documentaries, bringing a broad spectrum of experiences and interests to pop culture, music, historical and spiritual projects for broadcast, cable and theatrical exhibition. In 2006, Scheinfeld and David Leaf wrote, produced and directed the feature film documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon. It was an official selection of the 2006 Venice Film Festival and the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in theaters by Lionsgate in September 2006.

Leading the discussion following Friday night at the movies and participating in the panel, Telling Stories about Secrecy: On the FOI Beat, at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

rian Sonntag

Auditor for the state of Washington

In January 1993, Brian Sonntag became Washington State's eighth elected State Auditor. The State Auditor's Office promotes accountability, fiscal integrity and openness in state and local government. Brian has a history of advocating for citizen involvement in all areas of their government. He serves on the Board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and received the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association's Freedom's Light Award for his efforts.

Participating in the panel, Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: Keeping Access a Bipartisan Issue, at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

Dr. Murray Sperber

Author, Professor, English and American Studies, Indiana University

Murray Sperber is widely recognized as the nation's foremost critic and commentator on the subject of college sports and culture, and is in constant demand by the media. He is author of Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports is Crippling Undergraduate Education. He is the chairman of the National Alliance for Collegiate Athletic Reform (NAFCAR), an intercollegiate faculty committee advocating reform in athletic policy. A professor of English and American Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, his previous books include College Sports, Inc., Onward to Victory: The Crises that Shaped College Sports, and Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football.

Participating in the panel, Sports Secrecy: Stadium Deals In The Luxury Suites?, at 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Back to top
 

Gary M. Stern

General Counsel, National Archives

Gary M. Stern has been the National Archives' General Counsel since 1998, and is a career member of the Senior Executive Service. Mr. Stern earned his law degree in 1987 from Yale Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of International Law; he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College in 1983, where he majored in Ancient Greek. For the three years before becoming the National Archives' General Counsel, Mr. Stern worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, where he was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy, a special assistant to the General Counsel, and assistant general counsel for contractor litigation.

Participating in the panel, Coalition-Building 101: From Startup to the Next Step, at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

Eric V. Turner

Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission

ERIC V. TURNER is Managing Director and Associate General Counsel of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission. He serves as a mediator and hearing officer and also as counsel to the Commission, representing it in administrative proceedings and before the Connecticut superior, appellate and supreme courts. Last year, Mr. Turner served as President of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws; he also serves on the Board of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, Inc. and the Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project, Sunshine Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Connecticut Bar Association' s Administrative Law Section and the association's Media and the Law Committee. He has authored and co-authored numerous articles on access to information and related issues and is a frequent speaker on government transparency (freedom of information) law in the U.S. and abroad.

Participating in the panel, FOI Training in the States: What Your State Can Do, at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top
 

Thornton Wood

Assistant Attorney General and Public Education Coordinator for the Open Records Division of the Office of the Texas Attorney General

As part of his current position in the Education and Enforcement Section of the Open Records Division, Mr. Wood frequently participates and speaks at open government conferences and works with many organizations, including the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, to educate local, county, and state officials, as well as members of the public, on the importance and intricacies of Texas' open government laws. He also mediates and resolves open government conflicts between governmental bodies and the public.

Participating in the panel, FOI Training in the States: What Your State Can Do, at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.

Back to top