Nate Jones ’05
February 24, 2020
In November 2019, Nate joined the Washington Post as its first Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) director. Prior to this he served as FOIA director for the National Security Archive, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that fights for the public release of secret historic documents where he remains a fellow. After earning his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in Russian, Nate has overseen thousands of FOIA requests and appeals and continues to work as a liaison with federal agencies on FOIA matters.
Nate is an active advocate for public access to government information. He has served two terms on the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee and as a board member of the American Society of Access Professionals. He has testified before Congress, and is a frequent public speaker and regular interview subject in broadcast and print media. Nate was chief editor of the antisecrecy blog Unredacted and coauthored eight government-wide FOIA audits. He was an editor-at-large for Newsweek’s special edition, “Declassified: Exposing the Secrets,” in December 2015.
Nate is also a recognized expert on the 1983 Able Archer nuclear war scare—the topic of his senior thesis at Lewis & Clark. In 2015, his FOIA request uncovered the top secret report on the crisis, and in 2016, he published Able Archer 83: The Secret History, which examines the intersection of Cold War animosity, nuclear miscalculation, and government secrecy. He recently produced “The Able Archer 83 Sourcebook,” the comprehensive declassified document web collection on the nuclear war scare.
In 2012, Nate spent two months in Saint Petersburg, Russia, consulting with the Freedom of Information Foundation on Russia’s implementation of its Open Government Partnership commitments. In 2017, he was a Nuclear History Research Fellow at the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation in Ukraine where conducted research in the KGB Archive.