America's Secrets: Classified Information and our Democracy

Public | Jan, 27 2023 8:00AM - 3:30PM

America's Secrets: Classified Information and our Democracy

The Clements Center for National SecurityStrauss Center for International Security and Law, the Clements-Strauss Intelligence Studies Project, the LBJ Presidential Library, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Public Information Declassification Board are hosting "America’s Secrets: Classified Information and our Democracy," a two-day event featuring a public meeting of the PIDB and a keynote conversation with the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Thursday, January 26th, and a full-day conference featuring a keynote address from Senator John Cornyn on Friday, January 27th.

On Friday, January 27th, we will convene a full-day conference on the role of document declassification in transparency, oversight, education, and public trust in our national security institutions. Join us to hear from scholars, members of the media and tech field, government historians and archivists for their perspectives. Senator John Cornyn will give keynote remarks and sit down for a conversation with Will Inboden, Clements Center Executive Director. 

This two-day event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required for each session. Advance registration does not guarantee admission. Plan to arrive early to secure your seat!


Friday, January 27th, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
America’s Secrets: Classified Information and our Democracy” Conference
10th Floor Atrium, The LBJ Presidential Library





8:00 am   •   Registration

8:25 am   •   Welcome

8:30 am – 9:30 am   •   Panel 1: Scholars and Documents: A Complicated Relationship

  • Jim Goldgeier, Visiting Scholar, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University; Chair, State Department Historical Advisory Committee
  • Deborah Pearlstein, Co-Director, Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy, Cardozo School of Law; Member, State Department Historical Advisory Committee
  • Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
  • Sheena Greitens, Founding Director, Asia Policy Program, University of Texas at Austin
  • Moderator: Aaron O’Connell, Director of Research, Clements Center for National Security


9:30 am – 10:30 am   •   Panel 2: Is Technology the Problem or the Solution?

  • Jared Abrams, Research Associate, Applied Research Laboratories
  • Ivan Lee, Founder & CEO,
  • Alex Joel, Senior Project Director and Adjunct Professor, Washington College of Law, American University
  • Moderator: Adam Klein, Director, Strauss Center for International Security and Law


10:30 am – 10:45 am   •   BREAK

SESSION II and Keynote

10:45 am – 11:45 am   •   Panel 3: Presidential Records and the National Archives

  • Tim Naftali, Clinical Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, New York University
  • Matthew Connelly, Professor of History, Columbia University, and Principal Investigator, History Lab
  • Warren Finch, Former Director, George H.W. Bush Presidential Library
  • Mark Lawrence, Director, LBJ Presidential Library
  • Moderator: Paul Noel Chretien, PIDB Board Member and Retired Central Intelligence Agency Officer


11:45 am – 12:30 pm   •   Lunch

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm   •   Declassification, Transparency, and the Importance of Section 702: A Conversation with Senator John Cornyn

  • Moderator: Will Inboden, Executive Director, Clements Center for National Security


1:15 pm – 1:30 pm   •   BREAK



1:30 pm – 2:30 pm   •   Panel 4: The Media, Secrecy and Transparency

  • Adam Goldman, New York Times
  • Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press
  • Dustin Volz, Wall Street Journal
  • Josh Gerstein, Politico
  • Moderator: Ben Powell, PIDB board member, Former DNI General Counsel


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm   •   Panel 5: The View from Government Historians and Archivists

  • Erin Mahan, Chief Historian, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Adam Howard, Director, Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State
  • John Fox, Historian, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Moderator: John Powers, Associate Director for Classification Management, Information Security Oversight Office

3:30 pm   •   Conference adjourns


This agenda is subject to change. Please check back for updates. 

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