Patrice McDermott, director of OpenTheGovernment.org, is a committed advocate for open access to federal government information. In Washington, she has worked both in the federal government, at the National Archives and Records Administration, and in the nonprofit field.
While at OMB Watch, she co-authored two studies of the implementation of the EFOIA Amendments of 1996, finding many failures and inadequacies. McDermott was also intensely involved in stopping the enaction in 2000 of what would have been the equivalent of an open-secrets act in the U.S.
At the American Library Association, she was deeply involved in ensuring that the move to electronic government would result in more, rather than less, public access to government information, particularly in the post-Sept. 11 environment.
McDermott additionally plays an informational role in keeping those concerned with public access apprised of developments in and threats to government information, including FOIA, privacy and records issues.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.