Barbara A. Petersen,
President First Amendment Foundation

Barbara A. Petersen, President First Amendment Foundation A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Florida State University College of Law, Barbara A. Petersen is president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. Before taking her current position in 1995, Petersen was staff attorney for the Joint Committee on Information Technology Resources of the Florida Legislature, where she worked exclusively on public records legislation and issues. A passionate advocate of the public’s right to oversee its government, Petersen is the author of numerous reports and articles on open government issues. She currently sits on the board of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and the National Freedom of Information Coalition, having served as its president and treasurer. Petersen served as chair of Florida’s Commission on Open Government Reform. In 2013, Petersen was appointed by Florida Senate President Don Gaetz to the User Experience Task Force which reviewed the state’s transparency websites and made recommendations for improvement.

Katherine Garner, Executive Director

Katherine Garner, Executive Director Katherine Garner is the First Amendment Foundation’s Executive Director. She previously worked for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas for 15 years, serving as FOIFT executive director from 2001 – 2009. Garner serves as Secretary and Grants Chair of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and has her own nonprofit consulting firm that manages other small nonprofit organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business journalism from University of North Texas and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Dallas with emphasis in business and nonprofit management and communications.

Jane McNabb, Development Director

Jane McNabb is the First Amendment Foundation’s Development Director. She has served as a nonprofit executive and development officer with more than 25 years of experience for a range of  business and academic organizations including the Florida Chamber Foundation, The St. Joe Community Foundation, Florida State University and Virginia Tech.   She holds a Master of Liberal Studies degree  from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA, and a bachelor’s in history from SUNY.  Jane is responsible for managing the Foundation’s direct response fundraising using direct mail, on-line appeals and individual cultivation strategies.

Rhianna Reichert, Office Assistant

Rhianna is a Tallahassee native and is currently studying for a BS in Information Technology at Florida State University.


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  • William C. Dunn

    The Florida legislature has companion bills pending (HB 713 & SB 692) that would make the Florida Engineering Society (FES) the exclusive Board Nominating Committee for new appointments to the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. FES is not popular among engineers and represents only about 10% (mostly inactive) of Florida professional engineers. They are a very secretive organization and will resist any assertion that they are subject to the Sunshine law. Currently the Governor may appoint anyone that he chooses to the engineering board and that political process may need to change. An open government process similar to the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) would be better than what is in these bills.

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