On behalf of the members of the Public Interest Declassification Board, I would like to thank our colleague, Martin Faga, for his dedicated service as he concludes his third term as a member on the PIDB. Marty has made substantial contributions while on the PIDB, including service as the Acting Chair. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as an inaugural member of the PIDB and was present at its first meeting on Saturday, February 25, 2006. Marty’s advocacy for modernizing the security classification system is long-standing, from his service as Director of the National Reconnaissance Office to his service as a member of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Secrecy. As a member of the PIDB, he helped craft many of our recommendations, including simplifying the classification system and adopting a risk-based standard on decisions to classify information or not. He advocated for modernization as a necessity to improve government effectiveness and as essential to build trust with our citizens and aid democratic discourse.
Marty played a critical role in efforts to expand our outreach to stakeholders and involve the public and government as we crafted and revised our recommendations to the President. He was instrumental in writing both of the PIDB’s Reports to the President, Improving Declassification in December 2007 and Transforming the Security Classification System in November 2012. Marty possesses a unique understanding of how secrecy affects the functioning of our government and its ability to provide timely information to others in government as well as the public, especially concerning the operation of the intelligence community and its missions critical to our nation’s security interests. He has been a vocal advocate for the need to modernize access policies and integrate technological solutions in order to reform the security classification system for the digital era. We have valued and benefited from Marty’s expertise and vast experience and hope he will continue to contribute to the PIDB in his new emeriti status. On behalf of the PIDB, I thank you, Marty, for your commitment, thoughtfulness, and friendship during your service to the PIDB. We will greatly miss you and we wish you the best both personally and professionally.