Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Steven Aftergood

Alpha A-D, Collective Intelligence
Steven Aftergood

Steven Aftergood is a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. He directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy and to promote reform of official secrecy practices.

He writes Secrecy News, an email newsletter (and blog) which reports on new developments in secrecy policy and provides direct public access to official records of policy value that have been suppressed, withdrawn or that are simply hard to find.

In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.

Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977) and has published research in solid state physics. He joined the FAS staff in 1989.

He has authored or co-authored papers and essays in Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, and Issues in Science and Technology, on topics including space nuclear power, atmospheric effects of launch vehicles, and government information policy.

For his work on confronting government secrecy, Mr. Aftergood has received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (2010), the James Madison Award from the American Library Association (2006), the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (2006), the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation (2004), and the Golden Candle Award from Open Source Solutions (1997).

The Federation of American Scientists, founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists, is a non-profit national organization of scientists and engineers concerned with issues of science and national security policy.