OGIS Gives Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from the FOIA Ombudsman! (NARA Identifier 293607)

Along with everyone in your Facebook feed, we at OGIS want to let you know about some of the things we are thankful for this year. Thank you all for your support of OGIS, and we hope you had a great holiday!

“I am thankful for the OGIS staff.  Every day, I see dedicated and tireless individuals going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that things happen in our two programs—mediation and compliance.  They are making a difference and I am thankful for their efforts.  I am thankful for our external stakeholders who have supported OGIS and continue to work with us and see us as partner to create a more open government.  I am thankful for my FOIA colleagues across the government.  These FOIA professionals are dedicated to doing what is right in all kinds of settings—with all kinds of challenges.  They never give up.  They never give in.  I am thankful for their efforts.  I am thankful for my family and their support.  Without their love to remind me of all that is good and right in the world, this work would be far more difficult.” -James Holzer, Director

“I am so so thankful to OGIS’s wonderful staff who are extremely dedicated and professional; and thankful to have a new director on board.” -Nikki Gramian, Deputy Director

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to provide a meaningful service to the public.” -Hirsh Kravitz, Attorney-Advisor

“I’m thankful that we continue to have so many FOIA professionals who are interested in learning dispute resolution skills and want to participate in our training—spending a day with them is one of my favorite parts of my job!” -Carrie McGuire, Mediation Team Lead

“I am thankful for the opportunity to guide and learn from both agencies and requesters on the path to FOIA enlightenment and for the opportunity to witness both agencies and requesters working together to improve the FOIA landscape! I am also thankful for the opportunity to apply my newly learned (formal) mediation skills to advise both agencies and requesters to resolve disputes.” -Angel Simmons, Mediation Team

“There’s an old saying ‘There is no ‘I’ in team. I’m thankful that our Compliance Team has grown from one to three, and for the team’s hard work in 2015. I’m also thankful for the challenge of creating a program aimed at bettering FOIA for all.” -Kirsten Mitchell, Compliance Team Lead

“I’m thankful for the agencies who have opened their doors and files for our compliance assessments. For their honesty and candor.” -Kate Gastner, Compliance Team Member

“I’m thankful to work at an organization that is creating change in the administration of FOIA, and for the dedicated people outside and inside government who are working with us to improve the FOIA process. I am also thankful for everyone who takes the time to keep up with our blog and follow us on Twitter (@FOIA_Ombuds).” -Amy Bennett, Compliance Team Member

“I am thankful for my family, and the OGIS Team effort that moves the agency forward to becoming a catalyst for change involving the FOIA process.” -Teresa Brady, Administrative Officer