We are excited to announce that earlier this year Nabiha Syed and Cori Zarek joined MuckRock’s board of directors, becoming the first two board members beyond the organization’s founders and helping us continue to fighting for a more open and accountable democracy.
We are incredibly grateful to both of them for sharing their leadership, experience, and enthusiasm as we expand our work.
Syed is vice president and associate general counsel for BuzzFeed, tackling critical press freedom issues ranging from public records and libel to privacy and journalism in a digital age. Prior to BuzzFeed, she was an associate at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz and the First Amendment Fellow at The New York Times. She is also a cofounder of the Media Freedom and Information Access legal clinic at Yale Law School and currently serves as the vice chair on the board of directors of the Student Press Law Center. Last week, she was also named the inaugural winner of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press’ Rising Star Award winner.
Syed actually advised MuckRock on our first major FOIA project, our collaboration with the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the Drone Census. She also convened the wildly successful 2016 FOIA Hackathon.
Zarek is currently senior tech policy fellow at the Mozilla Foundation, where she has overseen the launch of a new fellowship program to push policy forward on a variety of critical technology issues. Previously, she was the Freedom of Information Director at the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press; an attorney with the National Archives’ Office of Government and Information Services; President of the D.C. Open Government Coalition and the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House, among many other positions where she has worked at the crossroads of policy, practice, technology, and transparency.
In recognition of her contributions to the FOIA community, in 2017 she was inducted into the U.S. Freedom of Information Hall of Fame. Zarek has been a critical sounding board for the organization since our earliest days, providing invaluable advice, feedback, and encouragement since before the site was even out of our closed beta, back in 2011.
In addition to Syed and Zarek, Mitchell Kotler and I continue to serve on the MuckRock Foundation’s Board.
I cannot think of any two individuals better suited to help us continue to advance our mission of transparency for a more informed democracy, and I’m grateful for their willingness to help us advance that vision.