National Security Archive

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National Security Archive

"An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. The Archive won the 1999 George Polk Award, one of U.S. journalism's most prestigious prizes, for-in the words of the citation-"piercing the self-serving veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in the search for the truth and informing us all."" [1]

Current Funding

"The Archive's $2.5 million yearly budget comes from publication revenues, contributions from individuals and grants from foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. As a matter of policy, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding." [2]

Original Founders

Founding Members

  • Scott Armstrong, formerly of the Washington Post, who had the vision for what the National Security Archive could become, served as its founding director, and put the organization on the map.
  • Raymond Bonner of the New York Times, who shared his declassified documents on death squads in El Salvador with Congress and other reporters and researchers in 1983-1984, sparking the original Archive collection.
  • Jim Moody (D-WI), who was inspired by Bonner, outraged by human rights abuses in Central America, and started the Central America Papers Project in 1984 to make the historical record available to the public.
  • Ruth Chojnacki, who worked for Representative Moody and became the first director of the Central America Papers Project.
  • Morton H. Halperin, who provided space for the papers at the ACLU Washington Office in 1984, then sponsored the National Security Archive in 1985 as part of the Fund for Peace and the Center for National Security Studies.
  • Stephen R. Paschke, who set up the Archive’s financial records at its beginning in 1985 as the chief financial officer of the Fund for Peace, and continues to serve today as the Archive’s vice president for finance.

First 20 years pdf

Founding Funders

First 20 years pdf

Former Board Members

Accessed November 2008: [3]

Board Chairs

Executive Directors

Board of Directors (2008)

Accessed November 2008: [4]

Advisory Board (2008)

Accessed November 2008: [5]

  • Philip Brenner, Ph.D. (Professor of International Relations and former Chair, School of International Service, American University; Lead plaintiff in Archive lawsuit for Cuban Missile Crisis documents)
  • Susan Brynteson (University Librarian, University of Delaware; Former Chair, American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee)
  • Rosemary Chalk (National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences)
  • John Dinges (Professor, Columbia University School of Journalism; former Managing Editor, National Public Radio; Archive Fellow and Author of Our Man in Panama)
  • Joan Hoff, Ph.D. (Professor of History and Chair of the Baker Institute, Ohio University; former Executive Secretary, Organization of American Historians)
  • Akira Iriye, Ph.D. (Professor of History, Harvard University; Past President, American Historical Association)
  • Ernest May, Ph.D. (Charles Warren Professor of History, Harvard University; Former MacArthur Fellow)
  • David Alan Rosenberg, Ph.D. (Professor of Maritime Strategy, National War College; Former MacArthur Fellow)
  • Tina Rosenberg, (New York Times Editorial Board; Former MacArthur Fellow; Former Archive Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner for her book The Haunted Land)
  • Jack Siggins (University Librarian, The George Washington University)
  • Richard Steckel, Ph.D. (President, AddVenture Network; Former Director, Childrens’ Museum of Denver)
  • John Steinbruner, Ph.D. (Director, Center for International Security Studies at Maryland; former Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution)
  • Thomas Susman, Esq. (Partner, Ropes & Gray; Former counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; Co-author of the 1974 Freedom of Information Act amendments)


Accessed November 2008: [6]

Management Team

Senior Analysts


Research Fellows


Freedom of Information Project



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Overview, National Security Archive, accessed November 11, 2008.
  2. Overview, National Security Archive, accessed November 11, 2008.
  3. First 20 years, National Security Archive, accessed November 11, 2008.
  4. Board, National Security Archive, accessed November 11, 2008.
  5. Board, National Security Archive, accessed November 11, 2008.
  6. National Security Archive Staff and Fellows, National Security Archive, accessed November 11, 2008.