State Open Government Hall of Fame

Nominations for 2023 are OPEN!

Click here for the nomination form


2022: None
2021: Barbara Petersen — Florida
Jane Briggs-Bunting* — Michigan
Craig Staudenmaier — Pennsylvania
Bill Lueders — Wisconsin
2019: Brian Hunhoff — South Dakota
Richard P. McKee* — California
Hyde Post — Georgia
Laura Lee Prather — Texas
2018: Terry Mutchler — Pennsylvania
2017: Michael Giudicessi — Iowa
2016: Sam D. Kennedy* — Tennessee
2015: Pete Weitzel — Florida
2014: John Paff — New Jersey
2013: Brian Sonntag — Washington
2012: Toby Nixon — Washington
2011: John R. Finnegan Sr.* — Minnesota
2009: Mitchell W. Pearlman — Connecticut
2008: Bill F. Chamberlin — Florida
2007: Frosty Landon — Virginia
2006: Byron M. Baer* — New Jersey
2005: John Kuglin — Montana
2004: Herb Strentz — Iowa
2003: Michael Donoghue — Vermont
Sue Hale — Oklahoma
Robert Johnson* — New Mexico

Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame recognizes long-term contributions of individuals to open government in their respective states. Specifically, induction into the Hall recognizes the “long and steady effort to preserve and protect the free flow of information about state and local government that is vital to the public in a democracy.”

Formal induction occurs at the annual Freedom of Information Summit.


The State Open Government Hall of Fame is open to anyone who has made a substantial, sustained and lasting contribution to open government or freedom of information within one particular state. Even if the nominee has been active in national efforts or national organizations, the judges will only consider accomplishments at the state level.

Nominees may come from government, the media, the nonprofit sector, the legal profession, or any other area of endeavor that involves citizen access to government records, meetings and procedures.

Nominees may be living or deceased; active or retired.


All nominations should include the following:

  • Cover letter identifying the nominee and the person or group making the nomination.
  • Adequate support material to demonstrate the worthiness of the nominee.

Use the online submission form to nominate your candidate.

Questions? Please contact NFOIC at


All nominations are evaluated by a Screening/Selector Committee. To ensure the integrity of the process, Screeners/Selectors only become known to each other in the latter stages of judging in any given year.