about asap

ASAP 2019 Board of Directors

President Kirsten Mitchell

Kirsten is Compliance Team Lead with the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Ombudsman’s office located at the National Archives. Kirsten began her work at OGIS as a facilitator helping resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and federal agencies in more than 450 cases. Before joining OGIS in 2010, she worked at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of media groups that worked to gain passage of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which amended FOIA and created OGIS. A former journalist, most recently with the New York Times Co., Kirsten frequently used state and federal records, including databases, to shine a light on how government operates. She earned a certificate in federal workplace mediation in 2011 from Northern Virginia Mediation Service, an affiliate of the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and is a member of  the American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). Kirsten earned her undergraduate degree in English at Mary Washington College and her graduate degree in journalism and public affairs at American University.  

Vice President Marianne Manheim

Marianne is the Chief of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Branch at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. From 2009 – 2015, Ms. Manheim served as the FOIA Program Manager at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for developing and implementing FOIA policies, FOIA training, and FOIA reporting, as well as for continuously evaluating the State Department's FOIA process to make improvements. She also served as the Department of State's FOIA Public Liaison. Ms. Manheim has also worked at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where she was responsible for privacy, data breach, and controlled unclassified information, and at Peace Corps Headquarters, where she served as the FOIA and Privacy Act Officer for the agency. She holds a J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Idaho and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire. Ms. Manheim served on the ASAP Board of Directors from 2013 - 2016.

Secretary Nicholas Wittenberg

Nicholas is an attorney-advisor at The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Office of Pesticide Programs focusing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation that involves large scale eDiscovery.  Before joining EPA, he worked in the private sector in eDiscovery for large scale client matters involving antitrust, litigation, as well as internal or government investigations.  Additionally, Nicholas has a strong interest in privacy and security with a real focus on the ever-expanding cybersecurity realm and has spoken on a CLE for the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) on Cyber Liability for Lawyers.  Additionally, he is a Vice-Chair on the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy General Committee for TIPS.  Nicholas’s legal journey began in college at The University of Toledo in the fall of 2004 when he served as an intern in Congresswoman Mary Kaptur’s Washington, D.C. office.  This excellent opportunity was a catalyst for pursuing a career in the law.  While still in college Nicholas had the opportunity to work as an intern at the Public Defender’s Office in Toledo Municipal Court from May 2005 – May 2007, with a brief sabbatical for an internship in the summer of 2007 at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.  Upon graduating, he served as a project assistant at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in Columbus, Ohio where he was involved in large scale cases involving toxic tort and asbestosis generally focusing on eDiscovery. While in law school at The University of Toledo he summered his first year at Kerger and Hartman LLC focusing on white collar criminal investigations and litigation.  He also gained excellent experience serving as extern for the Honorable Peter Handwork at The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals where he learned appellate process and review.  In the summer of 2010 he was selected as a US EPA Honors Law Clerk Program in Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in the National Planning Measures and Analysis Staff where he worked on projects that involved regions and state relations.  In the fall of 2010, he was honored to extern for The Honorable Vernelis K. Armstrong in The United States District Court for The Northern District of Ohio.  In the spring of 2011, in Nicholas’s third year in law school, he completed a second clerkship at EPA in the Legal Counsel Division of the Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training. Nicholas serves as a moot court judge for the D.C. Bar’s Moot Court Competition as well as Pace Law School’s Environmental Moot Court Competition.  He also is actively engaged in Pro Bono matters in the District.  Furthermore, he has a strong commitment to the advancement of The University of Toledo as he serves as a Trustee on The University of Toledo Alumni Association Board of Trustees.  He is also a Representative on The University of Toledo College of Law Board of Governors.  Nicholas is barred in Ohio and The District of Columbia, as well as admitted to The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and The Supreme Court of the United States.

Treasurer Kellie Robinson

Kellie recently assumed responsibilities at the Department of State. Prior to this, she was one of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA), Central Office (CO), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officers. She is the VHA FOIA Officer for Training and Education. She is responsible for providing training to VHA staff in VHA program offices at CO, VHA VISN’s, and VA Medical Centers; for processing VHA FOIA requests; and the implementation of the VHA FOIA Program. She administers the VHA FOIA Program by processing FOIA requests received in VHACO, and provides expert FOIA guidance to VHA leadership and the field FOIA Officers through various means including face-to-face and virtual FOIA training.

Immediate Past President Amy Bennett

Amy is a management and program analyst with the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) within the National Archives and Records Administration. Prior to joining OGIS in late 2014, Amy was the assistant director at OpenTheGovernment.org, where she works extensively on the organization's policy issues, including improving access to government information, reducing national security secrecy, preserving records, and increasing openness and accountability of the federal government. Amy has been particularly involved in the coalition's work on FOIA reform. Amy served as the secretary of the American Society of Access Professionals from 2013 to 2014.

Director Jonathan Cantor

Jonathan became the Acting Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer in July 2016 upon the departure of the Chief Privacy Officer.  He previously served in this capacity from August 2012 to October 2013.  In this role, he serves as the principal advisor to the DHS Secretary on privacy policy, and is responsible for evaluating department-wide programs, systems, technologies, and rule-makings for potential privacy impacts, and for providing mitigation strategies to reduce those impacts. Jonathan joined DHS as Deputy Chief Privacy Officer on July 1, 2012.  He is a member of the Senior Executive Service, with nearly 20 years of experience in privacy, transparency, and information access. Jonathan previously served as the Chief Privacy Officer of the Department of Commerce, and the senior privacy official at the Social Security Administration.  He was the first Chief Privacy Officer at the Department of Commerce, charged with developing a departmental program, where he also led the Department’s Open Government activities and helped improve its FOIA program.  He also contributed to the Administration’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and other projects involving landmark privacy policy.  At the Social Security Administration, he was responsible for overhauling the agency’s privacy program, leading Social Security’s transition to a modern, citizen-centered privacy program.  He currently serves as co-chair of the Federal Privacy Council’s Federal Privacy Workforce Committee, is a member of the Government Technology Research Alliance, and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Access Professionals.  Previously, he was co-chair of the Federal CIO Council Privacy Committee.  He is also a long-time member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and holds CIPP/US and CIPP/G certifications.  Jonathan graduated cum laude from Duke University, and received his J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School.  Awards include FedScoop’s FedMentor of the Year for 2014, and FCW’s Federal 100 in 2014. Jonathan has been actively involved in the Federal interagency on both privacy and Freedom of Information Act issues for many years.  He speaks in many events, including previous educational institutions, other organizations, and within government events targeted at other employees.  He has also been equally as active in working with organizations that provide education and networking to federal employees, such as ASAP. Jonathan has coordinated a great deal of privacy education in the federal sector, especially through the Federal Privacy Committee and the recently created Federal Privacy Council.  He co-chaired the Workforce Subcommittee, which oversees all Federal Privacy Council-led training efforts.  He has often encouraged his colleagues to share this information with groups such as ASAP to help reach a broader federal practitioner audience. 

Director Christopher Carr

Chris is a Freedom of Information Act Officer within the Department of Defense (DoD) and is responsible for the initial processing of requests for his respective agency. Before joining DoD in 2011, his past experience includes work in medical libraries, university archives, and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2015, Chris played a major role in the formation of recommendations for an agency-wide deliberative engagement process and training for appropriate workforce external engagement. In addition to providing quarterly FOIA training for new agency personnel, he has spoken at Records and Information Management conferences and American Archives Month speakers series. Topics include, “Transparency and Freedom of Information in the Digital Age” and “The Value of Military Intelligence Post Mission.” He holds a M.S. from Simmons University School of Library and Information Science and a B.S. in History from Coppin State University.

Recognizing the difficulties and obstacles in working with FOIA even within the same agency, Chris pursued a seven-month, part-time assignment in the agency’s archives where he conducted research for a number of FOIA cases and attained a deeper understanding of the housed content. Each FOIA case was used as a learning tool in conveying the level of effort required in conducting archival research to the FOIA officers. Upon the end of his assignment, he conducted formal archival research training to the FOIA officers and managed their expectations by explaining the differences between library and archival research. As a result, FOIA officers now reach out to the agency archives for reference assistance rather than research tasking. This improved process has lessened the workload of archivists, shortened response time of FOIA cases requesting archived records, and ensured the reasonable nature of archival searches as FOIA officers now have greater influence in the way these searches are conducted.

Director Harry A. Hammitt

Harry is editor/publisher of Access Reports, a biweekly newsletter on the Freedom of Information Act and open government laws and policies. He is the primary editor of Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1975. He holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. He has worked as an information specialist for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and for FOI Services, a third-party requesting company that deals primarily with businesses in the food and drug industry.

He became editor of Access Reports in 1985 and became publisher in 1989. He has written and lectured extensively on access and privacy issues in both the United States and Canada. He is a past president of the American Society of Access Professionals and has conducted that organization’s annual seminar on business information issues for more than ten years. He was inducted into the FOI Hall of Fame at the Freedom Forum in Arlington, Virginia, in 2001.

Director James Holzer

James has over 20 years of progressive program management experience with federal programs and the military.  He has expert knowledge in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)/Privacy Act (PA) administration. He serves as a key adviser to the Chief Privacy Officer/Chief FOIA Officer, Deputy Chief FOIA Officer and other senior Executive level DHS leaders on department-wide policies and program objectives on matters that pertain to DHS record disclosure.  He works closely with senior leadership throughout the Department and functions as an authority on information disclosure matters under the FOIA/PA.  James also serves as a principal DHS point of contact with other Federal, State and local agencies and private organizations. He supports the DHS General Counsel in litigation filed pursuant to FOIA, often involving national security interests.

James is skilled in providing strategic and project management leadership and a proven driver of organizational change who inspires continual process improvement while achieving clear, measurable results. He is a consensus builder with strong negotiating skills, resulting in rallying support in organizations. His background in the military, where he participated in several professional organizations at various levels (e.g., President, Vice-President), provides additional knowledge of the inner workings of a large professional organization and helps provide context for how ASAP operates.  In addition, he teaches several courses which he developed at local universities, which has provided him with unique insights into the challenges of putting together meaningful presentations for adult learners. These solid experiences and knowledge of non-profit organizations enable James to make continuing significant contributions to ASAP.

Director Michael Morisy

Michael is the co-founder and co-owner of MuckRock, a independent FOIA and public records tool that has helped thousands of individuals and dozens of news organizations file Freedom of Information Act requests and helped millions learn more about the process and more deeply engage with this important right to an informed democracy.

Michael has spoken at two ASAP events, and regularly engages with both the requester and processor communities.

Michael has done public records training with dozens of newsrooms, has been a contributor to two Pulitzer Prize winning series, and has helped engage a new generation in the public records process through both his work at MuckRock and outreach to journalists, activists, and the general public.

Michael was previously an editor at the Boston Globe, where he launched the paper's BetaBoston technology vertical; a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford, where he investigated participatory information analysis; and a board member of the Homeless Empowerment Project, a non-profit dedicated to helping combat homelessness in Cambridge, MA.

Director Patrice Parker

Patrice has been a member of the DoD Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Habeas and FOIA team, since November 2016. She is a Florida licensed attorney and started her career as an Assistant Public Defender in the office of the Honorable Bob Dillinger, Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, where she tried a variety of misdemeanor, juvenile and felony cases; managed the Public Defender's Homeless Outreach program; and represented clients held involuntarily under the Florida Mental Health Act or Sexual Violent Predators’ Treatment and Care Act.  In the fall of 2009, she took a position at the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) Special Security Office (SSO) where she wrote Standard Operating Procedures for proper classification, reviewed materials for declassification, and wrote the SSO's Privacy Act Statement.  She eventually transitioned to CENTCOM's Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA) where she managed a large FOIA and Privacy Act portfolio.  From the fall of 2012 until 2016, she was a member of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff (OSD/JS) Freedom of Information Division as a contractor and brought on as a federal government employee in 2014.  Patrice handled everything from initial FOIA requests to complex FOIA litigation cases.  In her current role as an Associate Deputy General Counsel, she answers FOIA requests for DoD OGC, advises senior leaders and OSD/JS offices on FOIA matters, manages a FOIA litigation portfolio, and represents the DoD in habeas corpus cases.  Additionally, she is helping stand up a new FOIA litigation team within DoD OGC.