2017 FOI Summit Agenda

2017 FOI Summit

2017 FOI Speakers and Presenters



The First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University

1207 18th Avenue, South    Nashville, TN 37212




8:30 am – 12:30 pm

NFOIC Board Meeting (Board members only)


1:00 pm – Welcome/Announcements 


1:15 pm – 2:00 pm – Knight Forecasting Freedom of Information Report – Why it faces problems- and how experts say they could be solved

Update on the March 2017 report commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to gain a better understanding of the state of public access to government records and to identify barriers to access and solutions


David Cuillier,Report author; University of Arizona associate professor; NFOIC board member


2:00pm – 2:30 pm– AP SunshineHub overview and demo

The AP is working on a collaboration platform dedicated to government transparency issues. SunshineHub is a web site that enables users to track transparency-related legislation from all 50 states and discuss transparency-related issues with journalists and freedom of information advocates from across the country.


Troy Thibodeaux, Data Science & News Applications Editor, Associated Press

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm – Tech Solutions for Tech Problems

Managing electronic public records in today’s digital transformation tests the resources of most agencies. Could more technology be the solution? Hear from IT companies whose solutions are helping public record stewardship in the digital age.

Moderator: Michael Morisy, Co-Founder, MuckRock, and NFOIC board member


Ken Anderson, Vice President, Marketing, Smarsh

Tamara Manik-Perlman, Co-founder & CEO, NextRequest


4:15 pm – 5:30 pm  – Building a sustainable organization

Strategies and techniques for your coalition to promote a sustainable financial base.

Moderator: Michael Reitz, Executive Vice President, Mackinac Center for Public Policy


Sarah Ruger, Director, Free Expression, Charles Koch Institute

Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director, OpenTheGovernment


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Hosted by the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and sponsored by The Tennessean and Adams & Reese LLP. Location: Adams and Reese LLP, 424 Church Street, Suite 2800 (Note: A shuttle will provide transportation to/from the reception. Those planning to remain downtown for the evening will need to secure return transportation.)






8:00 am – Breakfast Buffet


8:30 am – 9:15 am 

NFOIC Annual Membership Meeting

Organizational updates and reports


Mal Leary, Board President, National Freedom of Information Coalition

Mark Horvit, Treasurer, National Freedom of Information Coalition

Daniel Bevarly, Executive Director, NFOIC

Barbara Petersen, Chair, Futures Committee


9:15 am – 10:15 am – State Coalition Round-Up (Membership Meeting )

Brief reports from state coalition directors or representatives

Moderator: Daniel Bevarly, Executive Director, National Freedom of Information Coalition


10:30 am – 11:45 pm – State-level research

Discussion of recent public records research by state coalitions, including an analysis of Ohio Supreme Court public records decisions, examination of state laws regarding access to text messages, and New Mexico’s recent open records compliance audit. Learn how they did it, lessons learned, and outcomes.

Moderator: Deborah Fisher, Executive Director, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government


Dennis Hetzel, President and Executive Director, Ohio News Media Associatio

Jim McLaughlin, Deputy General Counsel of the Washington Post, D.C Open Government Coalition

Peter St. Cyr, Executive Director, New Mexico Foundation for Open Government


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Hall of Fame Luncheon sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute

  • State Open Government Hall of Fame InductionMichael Giudicessi, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP (IA)


1:45 pm – 3:00 pm – Trends in State FOI Litigation

A discussion of the trends in state-level public records litigation, including access to email, “reverse” public records cases involving third parties, and fee-shifting.

Moderator: Lucian Pera, President, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government; Attorney, Adams & Reese LLP


Katie Townsend, Director of Litigation, Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press

Frank LoMonte, Executive Director, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information


3:15 pm – 4:30 pm – Transparency in government when a private entity is involved

Increased government involvement with private contractors, and the intersection with the state’s public records laws.

Moderator: Jeff Roberts, executive director, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition


Kelley Shannon, executive director, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas

John Williams, Attorney, TCOG board member

Miranda Spivack, Journalist and Visiting Professor in Journalism at DePauw University


4:30 – Closing Remarks and Adjournment