Living Legend of Open Government” to be inducted into Hall of Fame


News Release

September 12, 2018


CONTACT: Daniel Bevarly

 (352) 294-7082 ·


“Living Legend of Open Government” to be inducted into Open Government Hall of Fame

An AP award-winning journalist and the founding executive director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records is this year’s inductee into the “Heroes of the 50 States” Open Government Hall of Fame which recognizes long-term contributions of individuals to open government in their respective states.

Terry Mutchler, described by a colleague as “a living legend of Open Government in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” is an experienced trial attorney who was appointed by former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in 2008 to lead the commonwealth’s newly created Office of Open Records (OOR). During her seven-year term, Terry wrote policies and procedures used today to govern record release for the more than 10,000 units of state and local government subject to the open-government law.

Prior to her appointment at the OOR, Terry worked in the media law group and appellate practice group of a major Chicago law firm. Focused on privacy issues, Mutchler clerked for both the Supreme Court of Illinois and the Executive Office of the President of the United States during the Clinton Administration. She was appointed as Illinois’ first Public Access Counselor, enforcing that state’s sunshine laws, and a senior advisor to the attorney general. Ms. Mutchler has testified before Congress, advised state legislators and consulted with journalists, policy makers and even an international pool of judges seeking to duplicate the “Pennsylvania Model” of open government in their jurisdictions.

Before becoming an attorney, Mutchler was an investigative reporter for the Associated Press, becoming the first woman to be appointed AP Bureau Chief and Statehouse Correspondent in Springfield, Illinois and serving as AP Bureau Chief in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Juneau, Alaska. Before that, she was a reporter in Pennsylvania and won several Keystone Awards, Pennsylvania’s top honor for reporting.

In 2016, Mutchler published her first book, Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, A Journalist and the Politics of Gay Love in America. In 2017, Mutchler launched a private law firm, Mutchler Lyons, with partner Charlie Lyons. Mutchler Lyons is the first law firm in the nation dedicated to serving a wide array of clients as they navigate the growing and critically important area of Transparency Law. Terry is also a board director for the Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition.

Ms. Mutchler’s induction will occur during the Hall of Fame luncheon at the NFOIC 2018 Freedom of Information Summit on September 22nd in Cincinnati at the Westin Cincinnati.

The luncheon is sponsored by the Gannett Company, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Graydon Law. Other summit sponsors include Bloomberg LP, The E.W. Scripps Company and Charles Koch Institute,. Contributors include the SDX Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication. The summit co-host is the Ohio Coalition for Open Government.