Advisory Committee

Rena Steinzor

Photo of Rena Steinzor

Professor Steinzor is a founder, former president, and member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) (www.progressivereform.org), a think tank comprised of some 60 member scholars from universities across the United States.  She is currently the Edward M. Robertson Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law. Professor Steinzor teaches administrative law, food safety law, and advanced courses on the regulatory system, as well as legal analysis and writing/contracts.  She has written in the areas of (1) criminal culpability for recklessness that threatens public health, worker and consumer safety, and the environment; (2) regulatory dysfunction in agencies assigned to protect public health, worker and consumer safety, and the environment; (3) the role of centralized White House review on the protectiveness of regulation; (4) environmental federalism, including so-called “unfunded mandates” imposed on state and local governments by the federal government; (5) the implications of industry self-regulation on the protection of the environment and human health; (6) “market-based” alternatives to traditional regulation; and (7) political interference with regulatory science.

Professor Steinzor has testified before Congress on several occasions, most recently regarding the impact of health, safety, and environmental regulations on the economy.

Professor Steinzor began her legal career in 1976, and entered academia in January 1994. Before joining the law school faculty, Professor Steinzor was the partner in charge of the environmental practice at Spiegel & McDiarmid, a Washington D.C. Law firm specializing in the representation of state and local government entities in the energy and environmental areas. Prior to joining the firm, Professor Steinzor was counsel to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Transportation & Tourism of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which was then chaired by James J. Florio (D-N.J.). She advised the Subcommittee during its consideration of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-499) and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-519).  She also served as an attorney advisor to Commissioner Patricia P. Bailey of the Federal Trade Commission and worked as a consumer protection attorney at the FTC in various staff positions.

She is the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Disasters, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction (Cambridge University Press 2014).  She co-authored, with Sidney Shapiro, The People’s Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public: Special Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment (University of Chicago Press 2010).   She wrote Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids (University of Texas Press 2007).  She was also the editor, with Wendy Wagner, of Rescuing Science from Politics (Cambridge University Press 2006). She was the editor, with Christopher Schroeder, of A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment (Carolina Academic Press 2005).

Professor Steinzor is a 1976 graduate of Columbia Law School and a 1971 graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

Curriculum Vitae

Biography | Selected Publications | In the News


Thomas M. Susman

Thomas M. Susman, DCOGC founding president

Tom Susman is Director of the Governmental Affairs Office of the American Bar Association. Before that, he was a partner in the Washington Office of Ropes & Gray LLP, where his work included counseling, litigation, and lobbying on access to government information and privacy, in addition to a general legislative and regulatory practice. He has litigated FOIA cases against the CIA, State Department, Defense Department and Justice Department; testified on FOIA reform before the U.S. Congress; advised clients on information issues; and authored a number of works on information and privacy. He has advised on drafting and implementing open government information legislation abroad, written on access to documents in the European Union, co-authored a BNA portfolio on business uses of the FOIA, and taught classes and courses on the FOIA to government lawyers, government access professionals, and law students.

After graduating from Yale University and receiving his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School,  Tom was in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. He then served on Capitol Hill as general counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and various subcommittees. In 1974 he was the principal Senate staff counsel involved in developing the 1974 FOIA Amendments.

Tom was inducted into the First Amendment Center’s Freedom of Information Hall of Fame and received the American Library Association’s “Champion of Public Access” award and the Collaboration on Government Secrecy’s “Robert Vaughn FOIA Legend” award. He is Founding President of the D.C. Open Government Coalition and serves on the Board of the National Freedom of Information Center and on the Steering Committee of OpenTheGovernment.

 


Anne Weismann

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Anne Weismann serves as CREW’s Chief FOIA Counsel.

From 2015 to 2016 Ms. Weismann served as executive director of Campaign for Accountability, a non-profit organization dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.  Prior to that, she served as CREW’s Chief Counsel. She is a past president of the American Society of Access Professionals.

Her prior experience also includes over 21 years at the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.  Anne received her J.D. from George Washington University and her B.A. from Brown University.

Read the latest from Anne here.


Celia Wexler

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As both a public interest lobbyist and a journalist, Celia Viggo Wexler has spent her career advocating for government transparency and openness.

After working as an award-winning journalist covering business, consumer, banking and labor issues at newspapers throughout the country, she left journalism in 1996 to join the good-government group, Common Cause, ultimately serving as the group’s vice president for advocacy. She wrote extensively on the influence of money on politics and public policy, and advocated for reforms to increase the transparency of “dark money” in the system.  She also worked to advance legislation to protect whistleblowers, and represented Common Cause at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005.

She joined the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2007, where she continued her work on transparency and accountability as senior legislative representative for the Center for Science and Democracy. She has testified before Congress to press for reforms to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and legislation to require more disclosure of donations to presidential libraries.

Wexler’s first book, Out of the News: Former Journalists Discuss a Profession in Crisis (McFarland) won a national award for excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists. Her second book, Catholic Women Confront Their Church: Stories of Hurt and Hope, was published in September 2016 by Rowman & Littlefield.

Last year, Wexler returned to journalism full time, reporting on federal agencies, policies and politics for online news sites. She blogs regularly for The Huffington Post, and is working on her third book. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Nation.

She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Toronto, where she earned the prestigious Governor-General’s Medal in English Literature. She earned a graduate degree in journalism from Point Park University, Pittsburgh.