State Department Historical Advisory Committee Meets

On June 23, 2009, the Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) met for the first time since the issuance of the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) report on the operations of the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. The OIG recommended that Director of the Office of the Historian, Dr. Marc Susser, be replaced. As a result, Susser was reassigned within the State Department, and Ambassador John Campbell was named as Acting Director of the Office of the Historian.

NARA FY ’10 Budget Clears First Hurdle in the House

The National Archives & Records Administration’s (NARA) budget would increase by $10 million to $457 million under the fiscal year (FY) 2010 funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. NARA’s budget would mirror the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request, with the exception of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) which would receive an additional $3 million (see related story).

2009-2010 Wilson Center Fellows Named

Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, recently announced the members of the 2009-2010 fellowship class. The 24 fellows, most of whom will arrive in September 2009 to spend an academic year in residence at the Center, include scholars and practitioners from the United States, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Israel, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.

House Clears FY ’10 Smithsonian Budget

The Smithsonian Institution would receive $774 million under the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies fiscal year (FY) 2010 bill (H.R. 2996) (H. Rept. 111-180) that was passed (254-173) by the House of Representatives on June 26. This represents a $43 million increase over the FY 2009 level of $731 million.

Nixon Library Releases Additional Materials

On June 23, 2009, the Nixon Presidential Library opened approximately 154 hours of tape recordings from the Nixon White House recorded in January and February 1973, and consisting of approximately 994 conversations. The conversations cover topics such as the conclusion of a peace settlement between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the return of American POWs, President Nixon’s second inauguration, the U.S. and Europe, the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, energy policy, the reorganization of the executive branch, and the first Watergate trial.

Obama Administration Seeks Public Input On Declassification Policy

On May 27, 2009, President Obama signed a Memorandum ordering the review of Executive Order 12958, as amended, “Classified National Security Information.” On June 2, 2009, the National Security Advisor asked the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) to assist in the review by soliciting public input for revisions to the Order. The Declassification Policy Forum opened on June 29, 2009, and can be accessed on the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) Blog. The public comment public comment period has been extended until July 19th.

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