International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

National Security Archive Fund Inc

  • Washington, DC
  • www.nsarchive.org

Mission Statement

Founded in 1985 by journalists and historians, and based at the George Washington University, the National Security Archive has established an extraordinary track record of highly credible, award-winning investigative journalism, scholarship, and openness advocacy. The mission of the Archive is to open governments at home and abroad by challenging national security secrecy, using and advocating freedom of information, and analyzing and publishing previously secret government documents. In February 2011, the Archive won Tufts University’s prestigious Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award for “demystifying and exposing the underworld of global diplomacy and supporting the public’s right to know.” In September 2005, the Archive won the Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in news and documentary research. In 1998, the Archive shared the George Foster Peabody Award for the outstanding broadcast series (CNN’s Cold War). In April 2000, the Archive won the George Polk Award, for which the citation reads: “Using freedom of information law and extracting meaningful details from the yield can be an imposing, frustrating task. But since 1985, the non-profit National Security Archive has been a FOILer’s best friend, facilitating thousands of searches for journalists and scholars. The archive, funded by foundations and income from its own publications, has become a one-stop shopping center for declassifying and retrieving important documents, suing to preserve such government data as e-mail messages, pressing for appropriate reclassification of files, and sponsoring research that has unearthed major revelations.”

Main Programs

  1. Human Rights Evidence Program
  2. Nuclear Weapons Documentation Project
  3. Open Government and Accountability Program
  4. Russia and Eurasia Program
  5. Mexico/Migration Documentation Project
  6. International Freedom of Information Program
  7. Information Systems and Publications Program

ruling year

1980

President and Director

Self-reported

Mr. Thomas S Blanton

Keywords

Self-reported

freedom of information,secrets, open government, government accountability, international freedom of information, documents, foreign policy, openness

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Also Known As

NSAF

EIN

22-2127884

 Number

0133077953

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

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.

Category

International Human Rights

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 2

Nuclear Weapons Documentation Project

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.

Category

International Peace & Security

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 3

Open Government and Accountability Program

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.

Category

Civil Liberties

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 4

Russia and Eurasia Program

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.

Category

International Human Rights

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 5

Mexico/Migration Documentation Project

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.

Category

International Human Rights

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 6

International Freedom of Information Program

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.


Category

Civil Liberties

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Program 7

Information Systems and Publications Program

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.

Category

Media & Communications

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Social Media

Blog

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE FUND, INC.
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

National Security Archive Fund Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President and Director

Mr. Thomas S Blanton

BIO

Thomas S. Blanton is the director (since 1992) of the independent non-governmental National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org), winner of the George Polk Award (2000) for “piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy.” He is series editor of the Archive’s online and book publications of over a million pages of previously secret U.S. government documents from the Archive’s more than 50,000 Freedom of Information Act requests. He co-founded the virtual network www.freedominfo.org in 2002 with Sheila Coronel (now at Columbia Journalism School), and co-chaired the initial 2003 conference of bank-watchers and FOI advocates that led to the 2005 IFI Transparency Index and the 2006 Global Transparency Charter. He was a founding co-chair and still serves on the steering committee of the U.S. public interest coalition OpenTheGovernment.org, and just completed a two-year term on the steering committee of the international Open Government Partnership, where he co-authored the OGP disclosure policy, now recognized as a global “best practice.” His books include The Chronology (1987) on the Iran-Contra scandal, White House E-Mail (1995) on the landmark lawsuit that saved over 220 million records, and Masterpieces of History (2010) on the collapse of Communism in 1989; his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Diplomatic History, Wilson Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Cold War International History Project Bulletin, and many other publications. His honors include the Emmy Award (2005) for news and documentary research, the Link-Kuehl Prize (2011) from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for documentary editing, the Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award (2011) from Tufts University, and Harvard University’s Newcomen Prize in history (1979).

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Russell Hemenway

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?