Lauren Harper is the Director of Public Policy & Open Government Affairs at the National Security Archive. She has been with the Archive since 2011, and in her current role helps develop the Archive’s public policy positions, maintains key relationships within the federal government and open government community, and serves as one of the organization’s chief public spokespersons on access to information and secrecy issues.
Harper has co-authored twelve of the Archive's FOIA audits, including 2022's "Key Agencies Missing from Central Freedom of Information Act Portal" and 2021's "U.S. National Archives’ (NARA) Budget: The 30-Year Flatline," and has authored or contributed to dozens of other National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Books. She also writes regularly for the Archive's blog, Unredacted, on a wide-range of FOIA and national security issues, and manages all of the Archive's social media accounts.
In 2023 she was appointed by the acting Archivist of the United States, Debra Steidel Wall, to serve on the 2022–2024 term of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee, and is a member in good standing of the American Society of Access Professionals.
Harper also oversees the Archive’s Afghanistan Project, and edited a 2,000-document reference collection on the 20-year U.S. war in Afghanistan.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a Master of Public Policy degree, both from the University of Chicago, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Scripps College.