Mary Graham co-founded and co-directs the Transparency Policy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government with Archon Fung, the Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship. Graham’s research focuses on the historic struggle between government openness and secrecy in the United States, and the challenges of the digital age. Graham is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and an honors graduate of Harvard College.
Graham’s current book, Presidents’ Secrets, grew out of controversies surrounding President Bush’s secret policies after the terrorist attacks of 2001. In an initial report for the Atlantic, “The Information Wars,” Graham found officials and the public confused about ground rules when crises required both secrecy and openness. Graham has written three earlier books on the politics of public information. She co-authored with David Weil and Archon Fung Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, 2007). In Democracy by Disclosure (Brookings/Governance Institute, 2002) and The Morning After Earth Day (Brookings/Governance Institute, 1999), Graham examined the politics and effectiveness of controversial disclosure policies aimed at improving health and safety. In Science magazine in 2013, Graham co-authored an article explaining the debate about the impact of government openness, “Targeting Transparency.” Graham has also written for the Atlantic, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, Environment magazine, Issues in Science and Technology, and other publications, including a recent article for The American Prospect, “A Government Both More Secretive and More Open.” A selective list of articles, reports, and working papers can be found at www.transparencypolicy.net/publications.php.