Angie Cecil (’00, JD ‘08) receives Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Service in Freedom of Information Act Administration

Angie (Wood) Cecil (’00, JD ‘08) is among the recipients of the Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Service in Freedom of Information Act Administration. Cecil works in Washington, D.C., for the Department of Justice as Senior Supervisory Counsel.

According to the Attorney General’s office, this award recognizes exceptional dedication and effort in the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.  Cecil received her award in October 2014. Other recipients included James M. Kovakas, Senior Supervisory FOIA Counsels, Office of the Assistant Attorney General; Joshua P. Wood
, Director of the Office of Litigation Support; Tammy L. Walmsley, S
enior Litigation Support Professional, Office of Management Programs, Civil Division.

The President’s Open Government Directive and the Attorney General’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Guidelines prioritize the need for the government to incorporate information technology into FOIA processing when responding to requests for information. The Civil Division’s FOIA Unit developed a groundbreaking program that successfully increased the efficiency and timeliness, while decreasing the cost, of responding to FOIA requests. In just one fiscal year (FY), the recipients successfully transformed workflows and applied information technology typically used in litigation to the FOIA search, review, and response process. Using these new methods, in FY 2013 the team reduced the Division’s request backlog by more than 50 percent while receiving six percent more requests than the previous year. Using new processes and technology the team completed 33 percent more requests than in FY 2012. The success of the team is attributable to its expertise and dedication to the President’s Open Government priorities. Through its efforts, the recipients created a technologically innovative FOIA system that advances the President’s and the Attorney General’s goals of providing faster and more complete responses to requests for information by the public.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. gave a letter to award recipients stating, “The Attorney General’s Awards are the highest honors granted by the Department of Justice. They are a tribute to the commitment of an outstanding group of employees, and several individuals from outside the Department, to live up to our Nation’s founding ideals, to protect the rights and safety of our fellow citizens, and to ensure that the Department’s long tradition of excellence continues.”

Cecil’s work may inspire law school graduates to consider public service careers, says her Martha Cecil, who shared with the Wake Forest Law alumni advancement staff, “I am very grateful for and appreciative of the educational opportunities Wake Forest University has afforded to Angie. As a parent, I most sincerely thank the entire Wake Forest community for your commitment to education and recognition of the importance of public service to the world in which we live.”