Rick Blum is the Policy Director of the Reporters Committee, and coordinates the News Media for Open Government, a coalition of media groups promoting open government policies and practices.
Founded in 2005, the coalition actively supported passage of the 2007 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act that created the Office of Government Information Services, which is the first independent office designed to mediate FOIA disputes and recommend improvements. Blum and the coalition discovered the provision buried in the president's 2009 budget that would have eliminated the ombudsman office before its creation, and helped the coalition ensure Congress established OGIS within NARA as originally intended. He coordinated an ultimately successful coalition effort to confront growing government criticism of the media for unauthorized disclosures of classified information throughout 2006 and throughout WikiLeaks disclosures in 2010-11.
Blum has testified before House and Senate committees several times on transparency issues. He has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and has promoted open government through radio show appearances and interviews in newspapers and broadcasts. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Transparency.
Blum was the founding director of OpenTheGovernment.org, a broad coalition of journalists, labor, and free-speech and environmental advocates. There he launched the Secrecy Report Card, an annual report of quantitative indicators of secrecy and openness in the federal government. As a policy analyst at OMB Watch from 1997-2001, he worked with environmental groups, librarians, freedom-of-information advocates and others to maintain public access to chemical accident risk management plans.
He holds a master's degree from Indiana University, where his studies focused on democratization efforts in Russia, and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife and two children.