Board of Directors Biographies

Kevin M. Goldberg, President. Mr. Goldberg is a member at the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. His expertise is in First Amendment, Freedom of Information Act, and intellectual property issues. Kevin serves as both counselor to and advocate for several major press organizations including, among others, the American Society of News Editors and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. He has had a hand in the passage of several major bills revising the federal Freedom of Information Act and similar state acts by being involved in the drafting process, as well as preparing or assisting in the preparation of testimony for members of client organizations testifying before the United States Congress, and has himself testified regarding Freedom of Information Act implementation. He is one of the 56 members of the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame.

Corinna Zarek, Vice President. Prior to her recent appointment as staff attorney for the new federal Office of Government Information Services, Ms. Zarek served as the Freedom of Information Director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, leading the Committee’s freedom of information and open government operations. She previously held the McCormick-Tribune Legal fellowship, where she worked on prior restraint and court access issues, and before that served as the Jack Nelson Legal Fellow, concentrating on freedom of information issues. Ms. Zarek teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism and American University's School of Communication. Before coming to Washington, she reported for The Des Moines Register, wrote for the Iowa Law Review and served as editor of her college newspaper, The Daily Iowan.

 

Thomas M. Susman, Founding President. Mr. Susman has been involved in open government issues in the United States and around the world for more than 40 years. He counseled agencies on the newly-enacted FOIA in the late 1960s as a lawyer in the Department of Justice, staffed development and enactment of the 1974 FOIA Amendments as chief counsel to a Senate Subcommittee, and represented clients on government information-related matters during his 27 years as a partner at Ropes & Gray. Last year, Mr. Susman retired from the firm to become the Director of Governmental Affairs at the American Bar Association. He has written, taught, litigated, and counseled clients on access to government information, and last year was given the American Library Association's James Madison Award for his contribution to open government. 

Robert Vinson Brannum. Mr. Brannum is an active volunteer with community organizations in the District, serving in leadership positions for the Ward Five 5th District Citizens’ Advisory Council, the DC Federation of Civic Associations, and the Ward 5 Education Council. Mr. Brannum has taught in the D.C. Public Schools and has worked on education legislation with the United Negro College Fund, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and Texas College.

James A. McLaughlin, Treasurer. Mr. McLaughlin is associate counsel at The Washington Post, where he advises the newsroom and business units of the newspaper on a wide range of issues. His media practice includes counseling and litigation relating to federal and state public records and open meetings laws. Before joining the Post in 2006, Mr. McLaughlin practiced complex civil and criminal litigation at two Washington, D.C. law firms. In 2003-04, Mr. McLaughlin was the McCormick Tribune Fellow at The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. 

Robert S. Becker. Mr. Becker is an attorney in the District, focusing on media-related legal issues, including access to government information. From 1982 to 1991, Mr. Becker was Assistant Director for Publications and a staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where he advised lawyers and journalists, as well as writing several amicus curiae briefs on the media's right to access court proceedings and records. He was also a newspaper reporter and editor for 12 years. Mr. Becker is a member of the National FOI Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as a Board Member of the D.C. Professional Chapter of that organization and the chair of the D.C. Professional Chapter Freedom of Information Committee.