Steering Committee & Staff

Steering Committee Members

  • Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists
  • Gary D. Bass, Bauman Foundation
  • Tom Blanton, National Security Archive
  • Rick Blum, News Media for Open Government
  • Danielle Brian, Project on Government Oversight*
  • Kevin Goldberg, American Society of News Editors
  • Conrad Martin, Fund for Constitutional Government**
  • Sean Moulton, Project On Government Oversight
  • Michael D. Ostrolenk, Liberty Coalition
  • David Sobel, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Thomas Susman, National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
  • Anne Weismann
  • John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation

* chair
** ex-officio member


Patrice McDermott, Executive Director            

Patrice McDermott has led the coalition since July 2006. She previously served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Government Relations at the American Library Association Washington Office, where she had lead responsibility for government information and privacy policy, and e-government policy issues. She joined ALA in December 2001, after having served for 8 years as the senior information policy analyst for OMB Watch.

Dr. McDermott is the author of Who Needs to Know? The State of Public Access to Federal Government Information. On March 16, 2011, she received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association in recognition of her work to champion, protect, and promote public access to government information and the public’s right to know. She was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in 2001. Dr. McDermott is a frequent speaker on public access and open government issues.

Patrice was awarded her doctorate from the University of Arizona in political science and received an M.Ln. in library and information management from Emory University and an M.A. from Brown University. She is a graduate of Florida State University.

Jesse Franzblau, Policy Associate

Jesse Franzblau carries out policy analysis, conducts monitoring and evaluation of federal open government commitments, and helps coordinate the OTG coalition in the promotion of stronger openness policies.

Franzblau has been a long-time freedom of information advocate specializing in use of the FOIA to document U.S. national security policy and human rights violations. Prior to joining OTG he worked as a consultant for the Open Society Justice Initiative, as an investigator for the Center for Justice and Accountability, and a researcher for the National Security Archive – promoting access to information and open government in the U.S. and abroad. He has written for a number of publications on U.S. foreign policy, government transparency and the intersection between freedom of information and human rights truth and justice efforts.

He holds a Master in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and a B.A. from the University of Colorado.

Emily Manna, Policy/Program Associate

Emily Manna manages OTG’s communications, coordinates with coalition members, engages on policy work, and assists with programmatic work. She plays a central role in OTG’s policy reporting.

Prior to joining OTG, Emily focused on civil liberties and human rights issues in U.S. national security and foreign policy. She worked in community relations at the Arab American Institute and as a researcher for the American University Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies. Emily holds a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University, where her research focused on the U.S. drone program, and a B.A. from American University.

Mary Treacy, Outreach Coordinator (Volunteer)

Mary Treacy joins the staff in the newly-created position as Outreach Coordinator (as of 1 September 2015 in a volunteer capacity). Open government is a thread that runs throughout her professional work in the library and policy arenas. A graduate of CUA School of Library Science, she worked in academic libraries in DC and Minnesota. In Minnesota, she directed a multitype library network for several years, a position she left to move to the UAE where she directed the Abu Dhabi campus of Zayed University.

Active in the formation of the Minnesota Coalition of Government Information, Mary served as a member of the Board and director of the organization for several years. She was also previously a short-term employee at the ALA Washington Office.

Mary is a frequent writer on open government issues; her blog, Poking Around with Mary, often features articles on what’s happening with government policy (much of the information having been gleaned from OTG coalition members.)

In the spirit of outreach Mary will be dividing her OTG time between the DC office and her home office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.