2011 FOI Summit Speakers

Gary D. Bass  |   Aaron Bayer  |   Lucy Dalglish  |   Jonathan Donnellan  |   Frank Gibson  |   David Herzog  |   Thomas E. Heslin  |   Karen Kaiser  |   Susan B. Long  |   Kel McClanahan  |   Patrice McDermott  |   Melinda Machones  |   Michael Morisy  |   Maggie Mulvihill  |   Barbara Petersen  |   Peter Scheer  |   Linda G. Steckley  |   Chip Stewart  |   Kenneth F. Bunting  |  

Gary D. Bass

Founder and Executive Director, OMB Watch, CEO, Bauman Family Foundation

Gary D. Bass Gary D. Bass is the founder and executive director of OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that promotes greater government accountability and transparency and increased citizen participation in public policy decisions, and new CEO of the Bauman Family Foundation. An expert on federal budgetary, program management, regulatory and information policy issues, Dr. Bass has published extensively, testified before Congress, appeared on national television and presented to groups across the country. With the rapid increase in government secrecy following September 11, 2001, Dr. Bass has spoken out against the erosion of the public's right to know. He helped form a powerful coalition, OpenTheGovernment.org, that includes journalists and advocates who are pursuing more democracy and less secrecy.


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Aaron Bayer

Attorney, Wiggin and Dana

Aaron BayerAaron Bayer is a Hartford, CT, attorney with Wiggin and Dana and specializes in appellate practice. He has briefed and argued numerous cases before state and federal appeals courts, assisted trial counsel on substantive legal motions and post-verdict motions, and advised clients and trial counsel on appellate strategies. He speaks and writes on appellate issues, including a regular appellate column in the National Law Journal. He advises corporate and non-profit clients on investigations and other interactions with State Attorneys General and state regulatory agencies, including counseling on data privacy issues and investigations into data breaches, and representation before the State Attorney General's Office, Freedom of Information Commission and Ethics Office.


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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, and serves on the board of directors of NFOIC.


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Jonathan Donnellan

Deputy General Counsel, Hearst Corporation

Jonathan Donnellan is responsible for all litigation, newsroom and content matters company-wide, leading a team of lawyers with significant expertise in First Amendment, intellectual property and other media law. Jon’s team handles approximately 90% of all the company’s litigation in-house and he regularly serves as lead counsel for Hearst and its properties in trial and appeals courts nationwide. Prior to joining Hearst, Jon served concurrently as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for the New York Daily News, U.S. News & World Report, Applied Printing Technologies, Inc., and Applied Graphics Technologies. Previously, he was Assistant General Counsel for CNN in Atlanta. Jon is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School, where he teaches classes on media and internet law, First Amendment theory and newsgathering law. He also serves as a Trustee of the Media Law Resource Center Institute.


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Frank Gibson

Executive Director, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, President, NFOIC

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.


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David Herzog

Associate Professor, Missouri School of Journalism

David HerzogDavid Herzog is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, where he serves as the academic adviser to the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR). He is the founder of Open Missouri, a web community and online catalog of databases stored offline by state and local government agencies. Before joining the faculty at Missouri, Herzog was a reporter and editor for nearly 15 years at newspapers in the northeast, including the Providence Journal.

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Thomas E. Heslin

Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, Providence Journal

Tom HeslinThomas E. Heslin is senior vice president and executive editor at The Providence Journal and projo.com. Heslin has held a variety of editing roles in his 30-year career at the Journal. Under his leadership as metropolitan managing editor, the Journal was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its probe of corruption in the Rhode Island state court system in 1994, and was recognized as a Pulitzer finalist for public service for coverage of the Station nightclub fire in 2004. He has been the executive editor since 2008. Heslin is a founder and current president of the New England First Amendment Coalition, a regional non-profit organization working to improve public awareness and access to the records and processes of government.


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Karen Kaiser

Assistant General Counsel, The Associated Press

Karen KaiserKaren joined The Associated Press in early 2009 as Assistant General Counsel for News Governance. In that capacity, she focuses on news-related matters with a particular emphasis on FOIA and state open-records law access.  Karen is responsible for drafting and negotiating appeals with federal agencies on FOIA denials. Prior to joining AP, Karen worked at Tribune Company, where she was Senior Counsel for East Coast Media, responsible for editorial, litigation and transactional legal services for several daily newspapers. She also helped pass the Connecticut Reporter’s Shield Law by co-drafting the legislation and testifying before Connecticut’s joint judiciary committee. Prior to joining Tribune, Karen was an associate in the New York office of the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where she worked on First Amendment matters, such as the Valerie Plame CIA Leak Investigation and the Wen Ho Lee case. Karen is an active member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Media Law.


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Susan B. Long

Associate Professor of Managerial Statistics, TRAC/Syracuse University

Susan B. LongSusan B. Long is a faculty member at Syracuse University in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and co-founder and co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). In 1989, with investigative reporter and writer David Burnham, she founded TRAC to make available comprehensive information on federal enforcement, staffing and spending. TRAC’s latest project, FOIAproject.org, launched its public website in March, 2011, to bring more transparency to FOIA withholding decisions. Her current research focuses upon data architecture, reliability and validity issues in database systems, and the design of data mining and analysis tools for non-statisticians. In 2006, she was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame and was also the recipient of the Kharas Award for Distinguished Service in Civil Liberties.


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Kel McClanahan

Executive Director, National Security Counselors

Kel McClanahanKel McClanahan is an attorney specializing in national security law and information and privacy law. He is Executive Director of National Security Counselors, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering awareness of national security legal issues and providing legal assistance to clients entangled in the national security apparatus. He received his Master of Arts cum laude in Security Studies from the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, his Juris Doctorate from the American University Washington College of Law, and his Master of Laws in National Security Law from the Georgetown University Law Center. In addition to his work with NSC, he serves as Of Counsel to the whistleblower protection law firm of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP, and he teaches National Security Law at the University of the District of Columbia and Point Park University. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the National Military Intelligence Association and serves as Associate Editor for the American Intelligence Journal.


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Patrice McDermott

Director, OpenTheGovernment.org

Patrice McDermott became director of OpenTheGovernment.org after more than 4 years as the Deputy Director of the Office of Government Relations at the American Library Association Washington Office. She joined ALA in December 2001, after having served for 8 years as the senior information policy analyst for OMB Watch. She previously served as the Assistant Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association, taught information politics at Clark Atlanta University, and worked at the National Archives and Records Administration. On March 16, 2011, she received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association in recognition of her work to champion, protect, and promote public access to government information and the public’s right to know. Patrice was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in 2001. Dr. McDermott is a frequent speaker on public access and e-government issues.


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Melinda Machones

Information Technologies Consultant, representing the Dale R. Spencer Free Press Studies Endowment

Melinda MachonesMelinda Machones is a consultant in information technologies, currently focusing in the areas of health IT. Her career has included technical marketing and management positions at IBM along with IT leadership roles at a private college and, more recently, as the Director of Technology and Strategy for the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, MN. She holds a BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. and an MBA in Management Support Systems and Quantitative Analysis from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.


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Michael Morisy

Co-founder, MuckRock.com

Michael MorisyMichael Morisy is the co-founder of MuckRock.com, a freedom of information tool that helps file, track, publish and analyze requests for public documents. He's written for Business 2.0, the Nieman Lab blog and many other publications. His reporting on the post-9/11 rescue worker health crisis was part of the New York Daily News' Pulitzer Prize winning series, 9/11: The forgotten victims. He also serves as the web producer for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and runs the blog network and help site ITKnowledgeExchange.com.


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Maggie Mulvihill

Co-director, New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Maggie Mulvihill is the co-director and senior investigative producer of NECIR. Mulvihill is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years experience in both print and broadcast reporting in New England specializing in investigative journalism. A former media lawyer, Mulvihill has worked at WHDH-TV, WBZ-TV, the Boston Herald, the Associated Press and as a legal affairs writer for a variety of law-related publications. She has worked at the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington D.C. and was a 2004-2005 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, focusing on government secrecy and its implications for news organizations. Mulvihill is active in freedom of information and open government issues and serves on the board of directors of the New England First Amendment Coalition. Mulvihill has taught journalism at the Harvard University Summer School program and is a clinical professor of journalism at Boston University.


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Barbara Petersen

President, Florida First Amendment Foundation, Director, NFOIC

Barbara PetersenA graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Florida State University College of Law, Barbara A. Petersen is president of Florida's First Amendment Foundation. Before taking her current position in 1995, Ms. Petersen was staff attorney for the Joint Committee on Information Technology Resources of the Florida Legislature, where she worked exclusively on public records legislation and issues. She is a passionate advocate of the public's right to oversee its government, and is the author of numerous reports and articles on open government issues. Ms. Petersen is past president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, and served as chair of Florida Governor Charlie Crist's Commission on Open Government Reform from 2007 - 2009. She currently serves on the boards of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.


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Peter Scheer

Executive Director, First Amendment Coalition, Vice President, NFOIC

Peter ScheerPeter Scheer is executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, which is based in California. A lawyer and journalist, 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 writes regularly for the HuffingtonPost and his articles on First Amendment issues have appeared in numerous publications. Scheer has received the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award (from the national Sigma Delta Chi Foundation) and the James Madison Freedom of Information Award (from the Society of Professional Journalists). He serves on the board of directors of NFOIC.


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Linda G. Steckley

Senior Major Gifts Officer, The Chautauqua Foundation

Linda SteckleyLinda G. Steckley serves The Chautauqua Institution, a community dedicated to the arts, education, religion and recreation in southwestern New York, as Senior Major Gifts Officer. This follows a career in fund raising for higher education and public policy research. From 2003 until January 2010, Steckley worked with The Brookings Institution as Vice President for Development and Executive Education for more than six years. Prior to joining Brookings, Steckley held chief fund raising positions at Duke University School of Law, New York University School of Law, and the University of Miami. She is a founding member of the Board for the Fund for Education Abroad and until recently served as an officer of the board of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).


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Chip Stewart

Assistant Professor, Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University

Chip StewartChip Stewart is a professor at the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University, where he teaches courses in media law, ethics, and writing. His research has focused on improving enforcement of open government laws and resolving disputes arising under these laws through non-judicial means. He has nearly 20 years of experience as a journalist and attorney, including stints as a sportswriter in the Dallas area, as a lawyer in Central Texas, and as a city editor at the Columbia Missourian, and he currently serves as editor of Dispute Resolution Magazine. He earned a Ph.D. in Journalism and a Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution from the University of Missouri in 2009, and he also holds a J.D. from the University of Texas.


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Kenneth F. Bunting

Executive Director, National Freedom of Information Coalition

Ken BuntingKenneth F. Bunting became the first full-time executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition earlier in July 2010. Before joining the NFOIC and the Missouri School of Journalism, he spent parts of four decades as a journalist, executive and leader in the newspaper industry. Most recently, he was Associate Publisher at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where he had also been Executive Editor and Managing Editor. A native of Houston and an alumnus of Texas Christian University, Bunting also worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Cincinnati Post, San Antonio Express-News and Corpus Christi Caller-Times. His passion and advocacy on open government issues goes back decades. He and his wife, Juli, a former broadcast journalist, have one son.


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