Kate Martin

Kate Martin

Kate Martin is director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington, D.C. For the past 18 years, she has worked to protect open government and freedoms of speech and the press in the face of government threats and restrictions in the name of national security. Martin and the Center for National Security Studies were awarded the 2005 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award.

Challenging government secrecy in court, Martin represented the National Security Archive (for which she served as general counsel from 1995 to 2001) in 1989 and obtained the emergency court order that prevented the destruction of the Reagan White House e-mail messages. Martin also sued the CIA on behalf of the Federation of American Scientists to force the historic release of the intelligence budgets for 1997 and 1998. She successfully sued the CIA in 1995; it admitted to having a file on a librarian and agreed to expunge it.

Martin has frequently testified before the Congress on classification issues and intelligence-agency abuses. She helped lead the successful campaign against the proposed Official Secrets Act. She has defended the free-speech rights of former government officials, such as former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, who was fired for criticizing the defense budget, and she has successfully lobbied for new protections for intelligence agency whistleblowers.

Martin’s writings have provided analysis and guidance for reconciling national security secrecy and democratic openness; e.g., “Safeguarding Liberty: National Security, Freedom of Expression” and “Access to Information: United States of America,” published in Secrecy and Liberty, ed. Coliver et al. (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1999). She is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.