FOIFT names new Executive Director

AUSTIN — Kelley Shannon, a longtime Texas journalist, has been named executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

Dale Leach, president of the foundation board of directors, said Shannon would begin her new duties Wednesday. She replaces Keith Elkins, who resigned in January to accept a position with an Austin television station.

Shannon’s journalism career includes more than 20 years as a correspondent with The Associated Press, as well as reporting assignments for The Dallas Morning News, the Savannah (Ga.) News-Press and the Palestine Herald-Press. She also has done extensive freelance reporting and has been an adjunct journalism instructor for news reporting and writing at the University of Texas in Austin.

“We are delighted to have someone of Kelley Shannon’s reputation and stature leading our organization,” Leach said. “Kelley’s career has been marked by fair and accurate reporting of the workings of state and local governments and, more importantly, how government actions affect Texas citizens.

“In her new role, she will work to help ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and to protect the individual liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas was formed in 1978 to champion openness in government at all levels. It is governed by a 30-member volunteer board of directors and provides a number of services, including a hotline for citizens with questions related to government transparency and educational open-government seminars by request.

Its annual conference is set for August 9 in Austin.