Susan B. Long

Susan B. Long

Susan B. Long is a faculty member at Syracuse University in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and co-founder and co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In addition to teaching managerial statistics and research methods at Syracuse, she has spent her professional career in the trenches using the Freedom of Information Act to provide public access to electronic records and administrative database systems to assess the performance of government.

Her active work on freedom of information matters began in 1970 when she and her husband, the late Phil Long, began a decadelong FOIA effort to reform entrenched secrecy practices at the Internal Revenue Service. During the ’80s her FOIA work continued when she became director of the Center for Tax Studies at Syracuse University.

In 1989, with David Burnham, she founded TRAC to make available comprehensive information on federal enforcement, staffing and spending. The information — much of it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act — consists of more than a terabyte of data, the equivalent of about 500 million printed pages. TRAC makes this available through its public Web site, and via a subscription service.

Long earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington with a dual major in statistics and criminology. She completed post-doctoral work in statistics at Princeton University. Her current research focuses upon data architecture, reliability and validity issues in database systems, and the design of data-mining and -analysis tools for non-statisticians.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.