Dr. Billington has announced the appointment of Elizabeth A. Pugh as the second general counsel in the history of the Library. Ms. Pugh assumed her duties on Jan. 5.
"Ms. Pugh is a most welcome addition to the Library, assuming direction of the critical legal affairs we have under way. Our extensive search has found a talented and top-notch legal mind to ensure that the programs and activities of the Library are well ordered as we prepare for the 21st century," said Dr. Billington.
Most recently, Ms. Pugh has served as general counsel at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), advising the Archivist of the United States on a wide variety of complex legal and administrative matters, including copyright law, federal appropriations and presidential library foundations, among others. She also administered NARA's ethics program and was key to the development of NARA's newly created office that formulates and recommends policy on access to government information. In her responsibility for managing litigation cases, Ms. Pugh played an important role in the settlement of a case that led to the recent opening of tape recordings made by former President Nixon.
"I am honored and excited about moving to such a wonderful institution during this dynamic and challenging time in our history and look forward to meeting and working with the staff of the Library," Ms. Pugh said.
Ms. Pugh began her government service as an attorney in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (1978-1980) before moving to the General Counsel's Office in the Department of Education (1980-1983). She then joined the Department of Justice, where she held increasingly responsible positions before assuming her position as NARA's General Counsel in 1995. At Justice, she was responsible for the overall supervision of all civil cases involving government information issues, including cases filed under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Government in Sunshine Act and the Federal and Presidential Records Acts. Her experience also includes significant accomplishments in employment discrimination cases, national security concerns and other government-wide access issues. She has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Justice's Legal Education Institute since 1984.
In 1978, she received her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. Ms. Pugh graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a B.A. in 1971, and she also received an M.A. in higher education administration from Ohio State University in 1975.