Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, to provide keynote address at 2017 FOI Summit

September 21, 2017 2:38 PM

News Release

September 21, 2017                                                                                                   Contact: Lara Dieringer

573.882.4856 • ldieringer@nfoic.org


Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, to provide keynote address at 2017 FOI Summit


Skilled First Amendment litigator Jameel Jaffer will share his thoughts on today’s open government challenges and FOI litigation as the keynote speaker at the 2017 FOI Summit. Jaffer is the founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. He assumed his current position in June 2016 after leaving his position with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as its deputy legal director.

Throughout his career, Jameel has proven himself to be among the First Amendment’s most effective defenders. He has litigated some of the most significant post-9/11 cases relating to national security and civil liberties, among them: constitutional challenges to gag orders imposed under the USA Patriot Act, surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency, the viewpoint-based denial of visas to foreign scholars, and the sealing of judicial opinions issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. He has argued cases at all levels of the federal court system, including in the U.S. Supreme Court, and has testified before Congress about a variety of topics relating to national security and civil liberties. Jaffer is also one of the nation’s leading Freedom of Information Act attorneys, having litigated landmark cases that resulted in the publication of crucial documents about the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism policies.

Jameel’s recent writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Nation, and the Yale Law Journal Forum. He is an executive editor of Just Security, a national security blog, and his most recent book, The Drone Memos, was published by The New Press in the fall of 2016. Jaffer is a graduate of Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Hon. Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then to Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.

The FOI Summit is an annual event of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and its state coalition members. The summit features the exchange of ideas, experiences and strategies about the latest issues and trends surrounding freedom of information laws, policies and practices at the state and local levels across the U.S. The summit delivers two days of panel discussions, presentations, and group interaction featuring experts, practitioners and champions of transparency and open government.

Saturday’s keynote luncheon also includes the 2017 induction ceremony for the State Open Government Hall of Fame