David Cuillier, Ph.D., is director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project, and co-director of the Brechner Center for Advancement of the First Amendment, at the University of Florida. Contact David.
Cuillier is a national leader in research, education, and public understanding of freedom of information – the ability for journalists and citizens to acquire the government records they need to self-govern and improve their communities.
Before joining the University of Florida in July 2023, Cuillier taught access to public records, data journalism, and other courses at the University of Arizona School of Journalism for 17 years, where he also served as director of the school and director of graduate studies. He has published peer-reviewed research on freedom of information and co-authored the books “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records,” and “Transparency 2.0: Digital Data and Privacy in a Wired World.”
He served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013-14, as well as SPJ FOI chair for five years, was president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition 2019 through 2023 and served as head of the Communication Law & Policy Division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is founding editor of the open-access peer-reviewed Journal of Civic Information, from 2019 to present.
Cuillier currently serves on the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee under the National Archives and Records Administration and has testified three times before Congress regarding FOIA. He writes the FOI Files column for the Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal, and since 2004 has trained more than 10,000 journalists and citizens in how to acquire public records.
He got his start in public records as a newspaper reporter and editor in the Pacific Northwest for a dozen years before earning his doctorate in communications at Washington State University, studying under Dr. Susan Dente Ross, who earned her Ph.D. from UF while aiding the Brechner Center. Cuillier lives in Gainesville, Florida.
Diana Mitsu Klos
Diana Mitsu Klos is senior adviser to the Brechner Center. Contact Diana.
Klos was director of engagement at the Student Press Law Center, where she proposed and negotiated an agreement with Automattic (WordPress) to provide pro bono redesign, free hosting, state-of-the-art security and long-term VIP concierge back-end service for the SPLC.org website. She also focused on partnerships, fundraising, donor database management, editing and leveraging social media platforms.
As executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association/Associated Collegiate Press, Klos oversaw eight annual national collegiate and high school journalism conventions, drawing 100 to 6,500 students and their advisers per event, plus overseeing training and recognition programs.
While senior project director of the American Society of News Editors (now News Leaders Association), Klos devised and wrote grants in support of journalism-education programming. She initiated a two-week training program that nurtured 2,300 high school media advisers; launched the first free national website hosting service for student publications; and created a national online advertising network for them. She also oversaw journalism credibility and international journalism programs.
Klos researched and wrote “The Status of Women in U.S. Media 2013” for the Women’s Media Center, which became the template for subsequent annual reports. For The National Security Zone initiative at Northwestern University’s Medill School, Klos created and implemented a strategic outreach plan for resources focused on local coverage of defense, security and civil liberties.
She served as adviser to a temporary installation of children’s pajamas on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2019 that drew attention to the issue of migrant children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. For “Where Are The Children?” Klos devised strategies for diverse volunteer management, news coverage, permits and logistics.
Klos graduated from the City College of New York, and began her career as a reporter, city editor and managing editor for daily news organizations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
Sara Ganim, Hearst Journalism Fellow, won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for her coverage of the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal as well as the 2011 George Polk Award in Journalism. That same year, Newsweek magazine named Ganim one of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”
Ganim joined CNN as an investigative reporter in 2012. In 2015, she received the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a story exposing questionable admission standards for college athletes. She left CNN to work on a book and on a documentary film project, “No Defense,” about the military’s role in toxic contamination linked to the use of firefighting chemicals, which has been linked to serious health problems for those exposed. Ganim is a 2008 graduate of Penn State University with a B.A. in communications.
Lila Greenberg is a legal researcher at the Brechner Center and an aspiring law student hoping to begin in fall 2023. Greenberg currently focuses on research that uproots societal issues regarding the First Amendment or Freedom of Information laws. She plans to study Intellectual Property and Media Law. In spring 2022, Greenberg graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Media Production, Management, and Technology, a sociology minor, and a business concentration. Greenberg began at the Brechner Center in summer 2021 as a student research assistant and has been involved in various research projects. She has also completed some brief work with the National Freedom of Information Coalition by writing profile stories on freedom of information champions. Prior to her time at the Brechner Center, Greenberg interned for Mr. 305 Records and worked for Entercom Communications in Miami, implementing her expertise in different sectors of media and communications.