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The steering committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has selected Bruce D. Brown, a former journalist and most recently a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Baker & Hostetler, as the organization’s new executive director.
"Bruce brings precisely the right combination of skills and experience to lead the Reporters Committee and to widen its reach within the ever-expanding universe of news media," said Steering Committee Chairman Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Journal/ALM.
"As a former reporter, Bruce knows and shares the values of freedom of the press and sunshine in government that are essential to our profession and to the Reporters Committee's mission. As a highly respected media lawyer, he has been a strong advocate for the principles that benefit journalists of all kinds," Mauro added. "Bruce is also the right person to help build a strong financial base that will enable the Reporters Committee to thrive far into the future."
Brown, who begins his tenure Sept. 10, was nominated by a search committee of journalists, media lawyers, foundation officials and educators from more than 50 candidates who applied or were nominated for the job. He succeeds Lucy A. Dalglish, who left the Reporters Committee after 12 years as executive director to become dean of the Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Legal Defense Director Gregg P. Leslie served as acting executive director in the interim.
Brown’s practice areas include libel and invasion of privacy, copyright, newsgathering, and pre-publication review. He is a lecturer at the University of Virginia Law School, co-directing its First Amendment Clinic, and he is an adjunct faculty member in Georgetown University’s master’s program in professional studies in journalism. Brown will remain of counsel at Baker & Hostetler.
He has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The American Lawyer, The Economist, USA Today, Legal Times, Communications Lawyer and The National Law Journal.
"I am inspired by the opportunity to lead the Reporters Committee in the next phase of its growth," said Brown. "Meeting the legal needs of journalists in all forms of media is a very exciting mission."
Prior to joining Baker & Hostetler, Brown worked as a federal court reporter for Legal Times and as a newsroom assistant to David Broder at The Washington Post.
He has worked closely with the Society of Professional Journalists on freedom of information issues and has been co-chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the New York-based Media Law Resource Center. Washingtonian magazine has named him one of Washington’s top media and First Amendment lawyers. Links to Brown’s recent articles and media law cases can be found on the Baker & Hostetler website.
Brown received a J.D. from Yale Law School, earned a master’s in English Literature from Harvard University, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities, and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Stanford University.
Brown and his wife, Amy B. Rifkind, an attorney specializing in commercial real estate at Arnold & Porter LLP, live in Washington, D.C., with their two children, Rebecca and Sam.
About the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.
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