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OIP Co-Director Richard L. Huff Retires After 36-Year Career

Earlier this month, Office of Information and Privacy Co-Director Richard L. Huff concluded a remarkable career of public service, retiring after more than 36 years with the federal government, the last 24 as a founding director of OIP. During that time, he became a pioneer in the administration of the Freedom of Information Act and made unprecedented contributions to the development and implementation of sound information policy throughout the executive branch.

Dick Huff received his B.S. degree from Stanford University in 1965 and a law degree in 1968. He served on active duty in the United States Army from 1969-1976 and rose to the rank of full colonel as a Judge Advocate General officer in the Army Reserves. He joined the Justice Department in 1976 as a staff attorney in one of OIP's two predecessor offices, the former Office of Privacy and Information Appeals. He was named a deputy director of that office two years later, and he became that office's acting director in early 1981.

Later that year, as that office was merged together with the Department's former Office of Information Law and Policy, OIP was established, with Dick Huff and Dan Metcalfe appointed as OIP's two directors. See FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 2, at 1 (describing OIP's formation); see also, e.g., FOIA Update, Vol. IX, No. 3, at 12-14 (describing both the formation of OIP and its activities during the 1980s). Huff held primary responsibility for adjudicating the many thousands of FOIA and Privacy Act administrative appeals filed with the Justice Department each year (now 3000) and Metcalfe supervised the more than 500 FOIA and Privacy Act litigation cases that have been handled by OIP's attorneys. Both of them oversaw OIP's many governmentwide FOIA policy activities.

Over the years, Dick Huff heavily participated in OIP's extensive training programs and was a frequent lecturer and workshop instructor. This past year, the American Society of Access Professionals presented him with its highest award, its President's Award for Distinguished Public Service, in recognition of his unmatched record of public speaking for that organization.

Although Dick Huff has retired from the federal government, he will be providing volunteer services to it by continuing to teach at OIP's basic FOIA/Privacy Act program at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina this month and again on February 22-24, 2006. He also has agreed to participate in one more FOIA Guide program, to be held on its biennial schedule at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington next June. See FOIA Post, "FOIA Training Opportunities, Fiscal Year 2006" (posted 7/21/05; supplemented 9/20/05). This program, which now has been tentatively scheduled for June 20, will be the seventeenth such FOIA Guide program that he and Metcalfe have conducted together since the mid-1980s.

Next year, in the fall of 2006, OIP plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a gathering to which its more than two hundred alumni as well as others will be invited. Dick Huff is expected to be a principal participant in that event as well.  (posted 10/27/05)

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