National Security Archive Fund Inc

aka NSAF   |   Washington, DC   |  www.nsarchive.org

Mission

Founded in 1985 by journalists and historians, and based at The George Washington University since 1995, the National Security Archive has established an extraordinary track record of highly-credible, award-winning investigative journalism, scholarship, litigation, and openness advocacy. The mission of the Archive is to open governments at home and abroad by challenging national security secrecy, using and advocating for freedom of information laws, and analyzing and publishing primary sources.

Ruling year info

1980

President and Director

Mr. Thomas S Blanton

Main address

2130 H Street, NW Suite 701

Washington, DC 20037 USA

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EIN

22-2127884

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (Q05)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

International Human Rights (Q70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Human Rights Evidence Program

Human Rights Evidence Program works to bring authenticated previously secret documentary evidence to bear on the investigation and prosecution of human rights abusers around the world.
The Archive has provided primary source documentation from U.S. government files to every truth commission around the world since 1989. Often the only primary source evidence available to investigators or prosecutors because of the lack of access to military and security service files in the country where abuses took place, the Archive’s documentation has contributed to the prosecution of human rights abusers in more than a dozen countries including the Special Court for Sierra Leone conviction of warlord Charles Taylor in 2012, Peru’s conviction of former dictator Alberto Fujimori in 2009, U.S. immigration court convictions in 2010 of the Guatemalan special forces perpetrators of the Dos Erres massacre, the Uruguayan court conviction in 2010 of former dictator Juan Bordaberry for crimes against the constitution, and the Argentine conviction in 2012 of former dictator Rafael Videla on systematic baby kidnapping charges for stealing the children of the “disappeared” and giving them for adoption by military families.

Population(s) Served
Adults

A focused investigative and public education effort to open the classified record on the internal U.S. debates over alternative nuclear postures and the possibility of nuclear abolition. President Obama’s public commitment to the long-term abolition of nuclear weapons has already generated major debate over ways and means to bring the U.S. force posture closer to that goal. This new context offers an extraordinary opportunity for activists and researchers to look closely at past episodes where policymakers considered fundamental changes in nuclear force levels, including the possibility of nuclear weapons abolition, and why those efforts and initiatives did not succeed. Such “usable history” will add fuel to the current debate, put alternative postures in the news through the Project's Nuclear Vault portal, and open the veils of secrecy that have obscured these important controversies.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Open Government and Accountability Program actively advocates for and defends open government and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Using litigation, amicus briefs, congressional testimony, rulemaking comments, public education, and government-wide audits of federal agencies’ administration of open government laws, the Program advances government transparency on multiple fronts.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Archive’s Russia and Eurasia Program advocates for human rights and access to information, and works for declassifications of documents on US-Russian relations at a time when Russia is enacting restrictions that make it harder for Russian groups and other non-profits to do so by potentially making the publication of former secrets a prosecutable offense and targeting any group receiving foreign grants. This increasingly dangerous work is performed with a coalition of freedom of information NGOs in Russia, Georgia, and Armenia such as the Memorial Society and Moscow Helsinki Group and the Institute for Information Freedom Development. The Program will have to contend with alarming developments in the political situation in Russia, where the economic crisis coincided with the Putin/Medvedev authoritarian trend, the rising number of political assassinations, and a government-encouraged campaign to present human rights NGOs as agents of external hostile forces, make work exceptionally difficult. The Program continues to work to advocate for measures that will prevent the current regime from regressing on fundamental transparency measures, steadily expand our FOI network, and keep publishing and repatriating documents that we have collected.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Mexico/Migration Project protects the rights of Mexican and Central American migrants by working directly with organizations committed to protecting them, and strengthens their capacity to employ transparency laws to obtain and use government information on federal and local migration policies and practices. This initiative directly challenges the enduring secrecy surrounding Mexican and U.S. security institutions and migration bureaucracies that has severely restricted the ability of groups to develop informed advocacy strategies to protect the human rights of migrants.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Working with partners in the global freedom of information movement to promote more open and transparent governments that are accountable to their citizens and to establish the right of access to government-held information as a fundamental human right through a leadership role in the Obama Administration's Open Government Partnership; expert assistance to FOI implementation challenges in countries ranging from India to Brazil to Russia; and founding and supporting freedominfo.org--a one-stop virtual network that describes best practices, consolidates lessons learned, explains campaign strategies and tactics, and links the efforts of freedom of information advocates around the world. It contains crucial information on freedom of information laws and how they were drafted and implemented, including how various provisions have worked in practice.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The work of making the National Security Archive’s millions of documents searchable, usable and accessible is done by a core group of professional librarians and information technology experts who staff the Archive's Information Systems and Publications Program and whose key task of document management is critical to the Archive’s ability to publish or distribute portions of its collections in customized databases, on its Web site, in books, and in the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA)--the comprehensive online version of the topical collections of the National Security Archive, organized according to defining events or policy issues.

The Digital National Security Archive contains over 40 digitized collections of more than 94,000 meticulously indexed documents and is subscribed to by a wide range of universities, research institutions, and U.S. government agencies and by institutions in a dozen foreign countries ranging from Australia to the United Arab Emirates. More than 100 institutions have purchased permanent access to the DNSA subscription.

The Information Systems and Publications Program staff are also responsible for the fully automated and digitized database for tracking incoming and outgoing correspondence and documentation received through the roughly 1500 Freedom of Information Act requests made by Archive staff on a yearly basis.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Archive’s Cyber Vault web site works to help the growing field of cyber studies combat the major constraints on its research, teaching, public discussion, and policy development, most prominently the widely recognized problem of excessive government secrecy preventing scholarly and public access to key primary sources. The launch of the Cyber Vault provides a permanent resource that acquires and publishes primary documents on all aspects of cyber activity.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Financials

National Security Archive Fund Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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National Security Archive Fund Inc

Board of directors
as of 3/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Edgar James

Partner, James & Hoffman, Attorneys at Law

Term: 2019 -


Board co-chair

Nancy Soderberg

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dept of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Northern Florida

Term: 2019 -

Thomas Blanton

National Security Archive

Edgar James

Partner, James & Hoffman, Attorneys at Law

Nancy Kranich

former President, American Library Association

Philip Brenner

American University

Susan Brynteson

University of Delaware Library

Rosemary Chalk

John Dinges

Columbia Journalism School

Joan Hoff

Montana State University

Akira Iriye

Harvard University

David Rosenberg

Institute for Defense Analyses

Tina Rosenberg

New York Times

Jack Siggins

former University Librarian, George Washington University

Thomas Susman

American Bar Association

Sheila Coronel

Director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University

Vivian Schiller

CEO, The Civil Foundation

Nancy Soderberg

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of North Florida

Cliff Sloan

Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Michael Abramowitz

President, Freedom House

Sajit Gandhi

Senior Professional Staff Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives

Danielle Holley-Walker

Professor of Law and Dean of Howard University School of Law