Press/Journalists
Press Release
December 19, 2001
Steven Garfinkel, Director of Information Security Oversight Office, Retires

Washington, DC. . . . Steven Garfinkel, Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), will retire on January 3, 2002, after more than 30 years of government service. As Director of ISOO since 1980, Mr. Garfinkel is responsible to the President for policy oversight of the government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program. He reports annually to the President on the status of these programs. (The Information Security Oversight Office is an administrative component of the National Archives and Records Administration, while receiving policy guidance from the National Security Council.)

Mr. Garfinkel was the leader in drafting the current legal foundations for the security classification and industrial security systems, respectively Executive Order 12958, "Classified National Security Information," and Executive Order 12829, "National Industrial Security Program."

In presenting Mr. Garfinkel with the Lifetime Achievement Award on December 5, Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin said, "As the leading architect of the current government-wide security classification system, Steve crafted a system that has produced the largest number of pages declassified in the history of the government's program-more than 800 million pages. This extraordinary accomplishment will provide researchers and historians with information that will help write our nation's history for years to come. . . With more than 30 years of Government service, Steve is one of the best examples of a dedicated public servant. He has kept the beacon burning bright for a democracy that keeps its citizenry informed and yet protects its nation's secrets as it must."

Prior to his appointment as Director of ISOO, Mr. Garfinkel served for almost ten years in the Office of General Counsel of the General Services Administration as the Chief Counsel for the National Archives and Records Service, Chief Counsel for Information and Privacy, and Chief Counsel for Civil Rights.

Recently, Mr. Garfinkel was appointed Chair of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG). Under his leadership, the IWG has successfully secured the release of more than 400,000 pages of the records of the Office of Strategic Services and of the Strategic Services Unit, forerunners of the CIA.

He also earned 19 commendations or citations from Presidents Clinton, G. H. W. Bush, Reagan, Carter and Ford. These include the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Federal Executive. He has also received awards and commendations from many Federal departments and agencies, and from non-Government professional and service organizations. In 1989, the American Defense Preparedness Association presented Mr. Garfinkel with its first "Security Man of the Year Award." In 1990, the National Classification Management Society made him an "Honorary Member," and in 1999, presented him with its "President's Award."

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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