Gary Bass is the founder and executive director of OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization founded in 1983. Bass has testified before Congress, appeared on national television, addressed groups across the country and written extensively on information policy.
He helped lead efforts to implement the first law to mandate online access to government information in 1986, and in 1989 he created RTK NET (the Right-to-Know Network), a free online service that provides the public with access to environmental and health data.
In the early 1990s, Bass organized a public-interest group whose work led to the creation of FirstGov.gov, a Web portal to government information. He also advocated for legislative solutions to advance access to government information. As secrecy has escalated since 2001, Bass has brought together diverse constituencies, including advocates and members of the news media, helping them find common ground. The result was the formation of OpenTheGovernment.org, a broad-based coalition advocating for less secrecy and more democracy. He co-chairs that coalition today.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.