National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

2016 FOI Summit

Speakers and Presenters

2016 FOI Summit Sponsors

The nation’s capital and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Freedom of Information Act served as the backdrop for the 2016 FOI Summit. The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and the D.C. Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) convened the 2016 summit on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8, at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C.


2016 FOI Summit Agenda – Washington, D.C. 




NFOIC Board Meeting (Board members only)

8:30 am – 12:30 pm


2016 State Legislative Roundup – How state legislatures are impacting FOI through their words and deeds

1:15 pm – 2:30 pm

  • Increasing exemptions and fees, decreasing access to public records, keeping emails and phone calls private as privileged information. Where are state legislators heading with access to public information and access to elected officials? This session takes a closer look at recent actions and activities of our state legislatures and their members through the eyes of our state coalitions. Hear from your peers and be ready to contribute your own experiences and ideas to help solve this growing challenge to FOI.


Mal Leary, President, NFOIC; Vice President, Maine Freedom of Information Coalition; Political Correspondent, Maine Public Broadcasting Network


Deborah Fisher, Executive Director – Tennessee Coalition for Open Government

Jonathan Jones, Executive Director – North Carolina Open Government Coalition

Jeffrey A. Roberts, Executive Director – Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition

Kelley Shannon, Executive Director – Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas


Strategy Development – Launching an effective advocacy campaign         

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

  • What’s needed to build and execute an impactful advocacy campaign around a proposed bill, issue or public policy affecting open government or FOI? Learn and discuss tactics to help launch and carry out a successful advocacy campaign. Hear how two coalition directors advocated against changes to their state’s FOI law in the 2016 legislative session.


Daniel Bevarly, Interim Executive Director, NFOIC


Jay H. Dick, Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs, Americans for the Arts

Barbara Petersen, President, Florida First Amendment Foundation

Megan Rhyne, Executive Director, Virginia Coalition for Open Government


FOIA at 50

4:15 pm – 5:30 pm  

  • July 4, 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the federal Freedom of Information Act. Join a discussion about the past, present and future impact of FOIA on state and local FOI laws and practices.  


Miriam Nisbet, Founding Director of the federal Office of Government Information Services


Thomas S. Blanton, Director, National Security Archive

Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate and Author

Thomas M. Susman, Director of Government Affairs for the American Bar Association and Founding President of the D.C. Open Government Coalition


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm



Breakfast Buffet

8:00 am

NFOIC Annual Membership Meeting

8:30 am – 10:00 am

  • 2016 Review and Going Forward 


Corrina Zarek, President, District of Columbia Open Government Coalition


Mal Leary, President, NFOIC; Vice President, Maine Freedom of Information Coalition; Political Correspondent, Maine Public Broadcasting Network


Session #1

10:15 am – 11:45 am – Policing Transparency

  • No other public agency ranks higher among FOI advocates in terms of difficulty in accessing public records than law enforcement agencies. What are the rights to access police body camera video as well as information collected from other sources like automated license plate readers and stingrays, and data such as officer-involved shootings, use-of-force statistics, disciplinary files and data used in predictive policing? This session furthers the conversation about coordinating police transparency and accountability efforts with the aim of identifying areas where open government organizations can provide further support for the social and civil justice community working to advance police transparency and accountability initiatives.


Jesse Franzblau, Policy Associate,


Kevin M. Goldberg, Member, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. and Immediate Past President, D.C. Open Government Coalition

Carlton Mayers, Policy Counsel for Policing Reform, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Michael Morisy, Co-Founder, Muckrock

Jumana Musa, Senior Privacy and National Security Counsel, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Scott Roberts, Senior Campaign Director, Color of Change

Susan Ferriss, Reporter, The Center for Public Integrity


Hall of Fame Luncheon

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm


Sam D. Kennedy – Tennessee





  • Keynote Speaker:


Charles Lewis, Executive Editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University




Session #2

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm – Proactive Disclosure

  • As governments commit to proactively making information available online in machine-readable formats, what are the laws and policies surrounding this practice to ensure it provides value to the public and satisfies FOI requirements? This session focuses on the diverse challenges surrounding the proactive practice of releasing public information and data. We’ll look at the types of records that should be proactively disclosed and proposals for maximizing proactive disclosure at the state and federal levels (including the pros and cons of the federal government’s proposed “Release to One is a Release to All” policy). We will also learn about products and services that can aid proactive disclosure of information.


Elizabeth Hempowicz, Policy Counsel, Project on Government Oversight


Matt N. Gardner, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Information Policy, United States Department of Justice

Victoria Lewis, PMP, dataMontgomery Project Manager, Department of Technology Services, Montgomery County, Maryland

Tim Lowden, Manager, Digital Analytics Program (DAP), General Services Administration

Adam A. Marshall, Knight Litigation Attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Daniel Schuman, Policy Director, Demand Progress

Emily Shaw, Senior Analyst, the Sunlight Foundation


Session #3

3:30 pm – 4:45 pm – Election 2016! You Decide the Best Way to Minimize the Sting of a Denial

  • Your request has been denied. Is it worth fighting on? The answer – for various reasons including time, effort and cost – is often “No” because it’s just not worth it to litigate. But what if it were? Or what if you didn’t have to go to court at all? This session looks at 5 potential fixes that could make it easier for a requester to documents after an initial denial. The best part? You get to vote on the winner. After hearing all the candidates, you’ll get to ask questions of the presenters and vote on the top three. Then we’ll do it all again until we have a winner!


Chad Bowman, Partner, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP and Board Member, D.C. Open Government Coalition


John C. Greiner, Attorney, Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP

Traci Hughes, Director, D.C. Office of Open Government

Bijan Hughes, Staff Attorney at the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel

Kel McClanahan, Executive Director, National Security Counselors

Jeffrey A. Roberts, Executive Director, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition



4:45 – 5:15

tures to help make your forms awesome.

2016 FOI Summit Registration: