Dan Metcalfe joined the faculty of Washington College of Law in 2007 as a Faculty Fellow in Law and Government upon retiring from a career in government service that began at the Department of Justice in 1971, and he now is an adjunct professor as well as Executive Director of the school's Collaboration on Government Secrecy. In 1981, after a judicial clerkship and serving as a Justice Department trial attorney, he was appointed as a founding director of the Department’s Office of Information and Privacy. For more than a quarter-century, he guided all federal agencies on the government-wide administration of the Freedom of Information Act, directly supervised the defense of more than 500 FOIA and Privacy Act lawsuits in district and appellate courts, and met with representatives of nearly 100 nations and international governing bodies as they considered the development and implementation of their own government transparency laws. He became a career member of the Senior Executive Service in 1984, the youngest Justice Department attorney then and since to hold such a position.
In 2010, Professor Metcalfe was appointed by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick to be a member of the World Bank's Access to Information Appeals Board, an independent tribunal that makes final decisions on appeals taken under the Bank's new worldwide information disclosure policy. He serves with board members from India and France, and together they hold final authority to order the public disclosure of World Bank records. In 2009, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Inaugural Sino-American Dialogue on Rule of Law and Human Rights in China, followed up by further dialogues in Xiemen and Beijing in 2010, and he has given dozens of presentations on international transparency around the world. Professor Metcalfe also holds positions as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London, as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), and as a contributing editor of the Administrative Law & Regulatory News publication of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law.