Alina M. Semo Appointed Director of the Office of Government Information Services
Press Release · Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Washington, DC

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero today announced the appointment of Alina Semo as the new Director of the National Archives Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). OGIS, an organization established under the OPEN Government Act of 2007, provides policy guidance and mediation services for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) activities government-wide.

Ms. Semo has served as Director of Litigation in the Office of General Counsel since joining the National Archives in March 2014, and has worked closely with the FOIA team and other National Archives offices to respond to FOIA requests and appeals.  She has provided frequent legal advice to ensure consistent agency responses, and helped rewrite the National Archives’ FOIA regulations. She also provided legal guidance and support to OGIS on administrative and mediation processes, and on issues involving the FOIA Advisory Committee.

In making the announcement, the Archivist said, “Ms. Semo is a dedicated public servant who is uniquely qualified for this position.  Her extensive experience with FOIA at both the administrative stage and in federal court litigation, knowledge of National Archives, and commitment to Open Government will serve her well in her position as Director of OGIS.”

"I am very excited to accept the position and to join a staff who is as dedicated and passionate about improving access to information as I am,” said Ms. Semo.  “I am proud to continue on the positive path that the previous Directors have set before me, and to continue to honor the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act."

Before joining the National Archives, Ms. Semo led the FOIA Litigation Unit of the FBI’s  Office of the General Counsel for over ten years.  She also worked closely with her FBI FOIA clients to restructure, streamline and improve administrative and litigation processes, establish litigation tracking systems, and provide legal guidance on significant FOIA policies.  

Prior to her work at the FBI, Ms. Semo was a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (1991-1999), Ms. Semo represented the National Archives in complex litigation and mediation which ultimately resulted in the agreement to release the White House tape recordings of President Richard M. Nixon. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law School.

The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), established under the OPEN Government Act of 2007, codified at 5 U.S.C. 552(h), reviews Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) activities government-wide and helps to resolve disputes between requesters and agencies. The OGIS Director is responsible for reviewing policies and procedures of administrative agencies under FOIA; reviewing compliance with FOIA by administrative agencies; and recommending policy changes to Congress and the President to improve the administration of FOIA. The Director also is responsible for offering mediation services to resolve disputes between persons making FOIA requests and administrative agencies, and may issue advisory opinions if mediation has not resolved the dispute.


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This page was last reviewed on November 23, 2016.
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