about asap

ASAP 2020 Board of Directors

President Ryan Mulvey

Ryan Mulvey is Policy Counsel at Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to educating Americans to be advocates for freedom and real change.  In that role, Ryan works on various legal policy issues, especially government transparency at the federal and state levels.  He also volunteers as Counsel at Cause of Action Institute, where he has specialized in FOIA practice since 2013.  As an attorney, Ryan has extensive experience with FOIA litigation and amicus work at the district court, appellate, and Supreme Court levels; as a policy expert, he has advised congressional staff about FOIA reform and researches cutting-edge FOI issues.  In his personal time, Ryan helps run FOIAadvisor.com, a free, online resource on all things FOIA.  He is a graduate of the University of San Diego (BA) and Boston University (JD/MA).

Ryan has been a member of ASAP since 2018.  In that time, he has contributed to ASAP as a faculty member at both the National Training Conference and the regional FOIA-Privacy Act Training Worship.  Additionally, Ryan has served as a presenter for ASAP’s “Food for Thought” seminar series.  This past year, Ryan was a member of the 2020 Virtual NTC Planning Committee.  He especially appreciates ASAP’s work to bring together FOIA professionals and the requesting community.  If elected, Ryan intends to use his position as a director-at-large both to provide a positive requester perspective and, more importantly, to further ASAP’s commitment to dialogue and the importance of communication for an ideal FOIA process.  He would also like to help ASAP maintain its reputation for an excellent training opportunity and start to adapt these various programs to the new virtual “normal.”

Vice President Michael Morisy

Michael Morisy is the co-founder and executive director of the public records non-profit MuckRock. Through his work at MuckRock, he’s worked with thousands of requesters including journalists, researchers, and transparency advocates across the United States. He’s a frequent speaker on topics including government transparency, digital transparency efforts, and access to information. He also serves on the board of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the federal FOIA Advisory Committee. He was previously an editor at the Boston Globe and a fellow at Stanford University

Michael Morisy has spoken at ASAP’s National Training Conference as well as served on the conference committee. Looking forward, he’s interested in building stronger relationships and understanding from the requester community about how the FOIA process actually works, including helping guide more productive policy discussions, opportunities for ASAP to help better share the work of its member community with the public, and other structural improvements so the agency community is empowered to fulfill their important mission.

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 Marianne Manheim 

Marianne Manheim has spent the last four years as Chief of the FOIA Branch at NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, MD. She oversees an amazing staff of FOIA professionals that process requests for 20 institutes, centers, and offices at NIH. In addition, her office provides privacy and records management oversight for NHLBI. Prior to joining NHLBI, she spent six years as the FOIA Program Manager at the Department of State, where she was responsible for developing and implementing FOIA policies, training, reporting, for continuously evaluating the State Department’s FOIA process to make improvements and reduce backlog, and she served as the agency’s FOIA Public Liaison. Prior to serving at the Department of State, she worked at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission where she was responsible for privacy, data breach policy, and controlled unclassified information. She first began to embrace the FOIA at the Peace Corps’ headquarters, where she served as the agency’s FOIA and Privacy Act Officer. Marianne holds a J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law, a B.A. from the University of Idaho, a pastry arts certification from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire.

Immediate Past 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.  

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 Michael Heise

Michael grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, went to college and law school in St. Paul, Minnesota (Macalester and Hamline respectively), and was licensed for a time in both Minnesota and Michigan (the latter where he lived for three years while his wife attended the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, MI). Michael has extensive document review experience and began his career in FOIA as a federal contractor with the Department of Energy in Washington, DC.

Michael lives in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC.  Currently he is an attorney advisor with the EEOC.  He began work here in April 2020.  Michael processes requests, especially those of potential interest to the Commission, as well as complicated requests with voluminous records that contain material deemed potentially sensitive.  He monitors the processing productively agency wide concerning FOIA processing (our field offices process about 90% of EEOC requests) and reports his findings to the Chief FOIA Office on a bi-weekly and monthly basis which he also memorializes in detailed spreadsheets he has created.

Additionally, Michael provides guidance to the field offices in my jurisdiction (Memphis, TN and San Francisco, CA), as well as guidance to my colleagues concerning a wide variety of legal issues concerning FOIA.

Director Ginger McCall

Ginger has worked as both a government open records attorney and an attorney for the requester community. She was formerly an Attorney Advisor at the Department of Labor, where she worked on public records, information law, and privacy issues. There she defended the Department against Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, commented on the Department’s FOIA regulations, and commented on proposed FOIA legislation. Prior to her work in government, she was the Associate Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public interest research center, where she directed the Center’s Open Government Program. She managed EPIC's FOIA litigation and worked on a variety of related issues, including consumer privacy protection, international privacy law, and national security matters. Ms. McCall has twice served on the FOIA Federal Advisory Committee, where she has led two subcommittees dedicated to researching and proposing improvements on the implementation of the FOIA. Ms. McCall has also taught a course on the Law of Open Government at Georgetown University Law Center. She co-edited Litigation Under the Federal Government Laws 2010, has been published in the New York Times, and has co-authored several friend-of-the-court briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. McCall has provided expert commentary for local, national, and international media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, NPR, MSNBC, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Al Jazeera. Ms. McCall graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and received her law degree from Cornell Law School. She is barred in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. Ms. McCall served on the ASAP board as vice president in 2015-2016.

Director Martha Murphy

Martha is currently the Deputy Director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration. She has worked in FOIA for over 20 years, including positions processing records for release, managing a FOIA program, and setting nationwide access policy for the permanent Federal historical holdings of the National Archives. Prior to coming to OGIS in July 2018, Martha was the FOIA Program Manager in Research Services at the National Archives. In this role, she led several high-profile efforts to provide public access to records. She also oversaw a staff of around 25 FTE that handled FOIA requests for a wide variety of records in the National Archives’ holdings. Martha first joined the National Archives as an archivist in 1991 and has worked in FOIA since 2000.

Martha has taught sessions during the last two ASAP Training Conferences and has been a member for close to 20 years. Her experience gives her a unique perspective on both the agency and requester FOIA experience, as she has acted as both a FOIA Professional and (since 2018) as a member of the staff of the FOIA Ombudsman for the Federal Freedom of Information Act. Martha hopes that this experience will fit well with ASAP’s mission.

Director Kellie Robinson

Kellie serves as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program Manager/FOIA Public Liaison, for the Department of State. She is responsible for ensuring that the Department‘s policies and procedures are established and that they are in compliance with FOIA, FOIA Amendments, Executive Orders, case law, and government-wide policy changes. She works to improve awareness of FOIA programs and policies throughout the State Department developing training curriculums and then training staff through briefings and sessions about different aspects of the FOIA, updates or changes to FOIA policy or law, any update or changes to the Department’s FOIA policies or procedures, and any other relevant FOIA matters. As the Department’s FOIA Public Liaison she is an advisor to senior leadership, the Department bureaus and offices and other federal agencies on all matters related to FOIA processing and policy matters at the Department. Assisting in the resolution of disputes between the requester and the Department acting as a conduit between the public and the Department, especially when there are issues with FOIA requests and/or the FOIA process.

Director Bradley White

Bradley is the Senior Director of FOIA Litigation and Policy in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He has lead the FOIA Litigation team, which handles administrative appeals along with all aspects of FOIA litigation for DHS headquarters components, as well as the FOIA Policy and Oversight teams, which are responsible for creating and disseminating FOIA instructions and directives, tracking FOIA compliance throughout DHS, and provides FOIA training to the entire Department. Prior to serving in this role, Bradley was the FOIA Officer for the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) for three years, and before that, he worked in the FOIA Office for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for seven years as a FOIA analyst, litigation team lead, and supervisory FOIA analyst. Bradley holds a BA from the American University School of Public Affairs in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government, and a JD from the American University Washington College of Law.

Bradley was a member of the FOIA Advisory Committee for the 2018-2020 term, and served as co-chair of a subcommittee that explored issues related to the time it takes an agency to process and respond to FOIA request, and related issues related to the increasing volume of FOIA requests received by agencies. He also co-presented a session on FOIA litigation at the 2020 ASAP National Training Conference, and has been asked to present the recommendations of the FOIA Advisory Committee at a virtual “hot topic” training for ASAP in late October. Additionally, Bradley has given presentations or conducted training on FOIA throughout my career, for varied audiences, from new employees, incoming political appointees and senior executives, to non-FOIA staff to explain how all agency employees have a duty to conduct FOIA searches when tasked to do so, to experienced FOIA and Privacy professionals.