Steven Aftergood directed the FAS Project on Government Secrecy from 1991-2021. The Project aimed to reduce the scope of national security secrecy and to promote public access to government information.
In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget for the first time in fifty years ($26.6 billion in FY 1997). In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.
Mr. Aftergood joined the FAS staff in 1989. From 1992-1998, he served on the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council.
His work on challenging government secrecy was recognized with the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the James Madison Award from the American Library Association, the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries, and the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation.