Mitchell W. Pearlman
(portrait by Stelcar Photography)

“For nearly 35 years Mitchell Pearlman has been a leader in freedom of information issues while serving as executive director of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission.  His leadership and foresight established the FOI Commission at the cutting edge of access issues in the U.S. and, later, internationally.  Now retired, Pearlman has been able to draw on his vast knowledge and deep perceptions for this book.  When it comes to the subject of FOI, it goes without saying that what Pearlman has to say is worth reading.”

Harry Hammitt, Editor and Publisher, Access Reports

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Biography of Mitchell W. Pearlman

            Mitchell Pearlman is currently a Lecturer in Journalism Law at the University of Connecticut. He is an international lecturer and consultant, having worked with leaders from over 20 countries, on Freedom of Information, government ethics, privacy, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and related good governance practices. From 1975-2005, he was Executive Director and General Counsel of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission and holds the title of Executive Director Emeritus of that organization. In 2005, Mr. Pearlman also served as Executive Director of Connecticut’s then newly established Office of State Ethics.

            He has served as an expert for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, the Asia Foundation, the Carter Center, the Center for First Amendment Rights, the Freedom Forum, Freedom House, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United States Department of State, and Yale Law School’s China Law Center. He has published numerous scholarly and popular articles and his book, Piercing the Veil of Secrecy: Lessons in the Fight for Freedom of Information, was published in 2010.

            Mr. Pearlman is a Director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, Connecticut Public Affairs Network, and Connecticut News Project, Inc. (publisher of the Connecticut Mirror). He is also a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation and a Corporator of the Hospital for Special Care Foundation. He was formerly a Director and Board Chair of Connecticut Legal Services, a director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, a member of the Steering Committee of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws, a member of the Connecticut Governor’s Commission on Judicial Reform, a member of the International Conference of Information Commissioners, and Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section. In 2009, Mr. Pearlman received the Open Government Hall of Fame’s Heroes of the 50 States Award presented by the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Freedom of Information Coalition.