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Director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida

David Cuillier, Ph.D., is director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project, and co-director of the Brechner Center for Advancement of the First Amendment, at the University of Florida.

Cuillier is a national leader in research, education, and public understanding of freedom of information – the ability for journalists and citizens to acquire the government records they need to self-govern and improve their communities.

Before joining the University of Florida in July 2023, Cuillier taught access to public records, data journalism, and other courses at the University of Arizona School of Journalism for 17 years, where he also served as director of the school and director of graduate studies. He has published peer-reviewed research on freedom of information and co-authored the books “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records,” and “Transparency 2.0: Digital Data and Privacy in a Wired World.”

He served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013-14, as well as SPJ FOI chair for five years, was president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition 2019 through 2023 and served as head of the Communication Law & Policy Division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is founding editor of the open-access peer-reviewed Journal of Civic Information, from 2019 to present.

Cuillier currently serves on the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee under the National Archives and Records Administration and has testified three times before Congress regarding FOIA. He writes the FOI Files column for the Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal, and since 2004 has trained more than 10,000 journalists and citizens in how to acquire public records.

He got his start in public records as a newspaper reporter and editor in the Pacific Northwest for a dozen years before earning his doctorate in communications at Washington State University, studying under Dr. Susan Dente Ross, who earned her Ph.D. from UF while aiding the Brechner Center. Cuillier lives in Gainesville, Florida.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Arizona State University