National Archives to Host Sunshine Week Panel on Making Access Happen
Press Release · Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Washington, DC

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will kick off Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information, with a panel discussion on “Making Access Happen: FOIA at the National Archives” on Monday, March 13, at 1 p.m. ET.  The event will be live-streamed on the National Archives YouTube Channel.   

Staff experts will discuss and answer questions about how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) makes access happen throughout the National Archives. National Archives General Counsel Gary M. Stern, who serves as the agency’s Chief FOIA Officer, will moderate the program. The expert panel includes Rebecca Calcagno, Special Access and FOIA; Stephannie Oriabure, Presidential Materials Division; Don McIlwain, National Declassification Center; and Joe Scanlon, Office of General Counsel. The panel will discuss how FOIA governs access to records accessioned to the National Archives as well as Presidential and classified records, and those created by NARA and its employees in the process of carrying out its mission and responsibilities. Questions may be submitted ahead of the program by emailing Please submit questions by Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Alina Semo, Director of the Office of Government Information Services, the federal FOIA Ombudsman’s office, explained that for over five decades, FOIA has provided an important means through which the public can obtain information regarding the activities of federal agencies. “OGIS has a natural home at NARA, whose core mission is to provide equitable public access to federal government records,” she said. “Equitable access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing all Americans of all backgrounds to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable (a well-recognized purpose of FOIA by federal courts), and understand their history so they can fully participate in their government.”

NARA will release short videos on the work of our various programs  that make access happen on the National Archives YouTube channel throughout Sunshine Week.

More about past Sunshine Week at the National Archives programs is available here


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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on March 1, 2023.
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