Tallahassee Democrat by James Call
June 28, 2019
Florida’s fiercest champion of open government announced her retirement Friday. Barbara Petersen will resign as president of the First Amendment Foundation at the end of the year.
During her 25 years at the helm, Petersen is credited with increasing the FAF profile as an advocate for the public’s right to government documents and to attend government meetings.
“I’m old,” Petersen, age 66, explained in an e-mail exchange from New Mexico when asked why she was stepping down.
Armed with an anthropology degree from the University of Missouri and a Florida State University law degree, Petersen built the FAF into the Sunshine State’s go-to expert on open government laws.
“When I started at FAF, I had a desk, a phone, and a computer. I was the only employee,” Petersen said. “Since that time, FAF has become the go-to organization for information and guidance on our open government laws. Legislators and lobbyists want our input on proposed open government legislation. I’m very proud of that.”