Press/Journalists

Press Release
September 28, 2007

Director of the National Archives Information Security Oversight Office Retires

Washington, DC…Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein announced today that he has reluctantly accepted the resignation of J. William Leonard, Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).

In a letter to the Archivist, Mr. Leonard said "My time as the Director of ISOO has been an extraordinarily rewarding capstone to my 34-year career as a public servant
. . . . With your backing, the staff has been able to achieve extraordinary accomplishments, not the least of which has been overseeing the initial implementation within the Executive branch of the concept of automatic declassification of national security information…."

Bill Leonard personifies the true meaning of a public servant," Weinstein commented while announcing Leonard’s retirement. "He has provided a moral compass for the Information Security Oversight Office and for the National Archives as a whole. During difficult and challenging times, he has remained steadfast in his convictions that we must be candid in all our dealings with the White House, the Congress, and the American people."

Weinstein praised the "many important accomplishments" of Leonard’s years in his post, "including the April 2006 audit report, focusing on the reclassification of government documents that were already on the open shelves at the National Archives." The audit resulted in many of the documents being returned to the open shelves.

In concluding his letter to the Archivist, Leonard said "The integrity of the security classification system is essential to our nation’s continued well-being; yet it will not be maintained on its own. It requires clear, forceful, and continuous leadership to make it happen. Within ISOO, and with your support, we have attempted to contribute such leadership."

Looking ahead, Professor Weinstein said that he "is committed to meeting the challenge of finding someone who will demonstrate the same dedication to open government and transparency that Mr. Leonard has consistently demonstrated through his leadership….
A hallmark of Mr. Leonard’s tenure, which will continue, is an emphasis on striking the critical balance between a fully informed American public and the protection of information which could place our nation at risk."

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For Press information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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