Bewlay Tapped As New York State’s New Open Government Chief

January 6, 2020 by Dan McCue

Shoshanah Bewlay, former chief legal officer at the New York State Office of Information Technology Services, has been selected as the new executive director of the state’s Committee on Open Government.

The committee, housed in the Department of State, oversees and advises the government, public, and news media on Freedom of Information, open meetings, and personal privacy protection laws.

In announcing Bewlay’s selection, New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said she was selected for her wide range of experience and depth of knowledge in all of these areas.

“With more than 20 years of broad experience in both the public and private sectors, Ms. Bewlay will be an asset to the Committee on Open Government,” Rosado said.

“We are fortunate that Ms. Bewlay is bringing her robust expertise to this role to continue to enhance and educate New Yorkers about transparency within our government,” she added.

While with the Office of Information Technology Services, Bewlay oversaw the agency’s legal department, providing advice and guidance on legal and regulatory compliance, information security and data breach response, legal and technical eDiscovery compliance for the New York State executive agencies, New York State IT policy and strategy alignment, IT procurement and contracting, and New York State public ethics.

She joined the agency in 2014 after seven years with the state attorney general’s office, where she managed its eDiscovery program.

Prior to that, Bewlay spent more than 10 years in private practice in New York City and San Francisco, where she specialized in the defense of large corporations in securities and tender offer litigation.

In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, the Committee on Open Government also offers guidance in response to phone inquiries, prepares written legal advisory opinions, and provides training to government and other interested groups.

Recommendations to improve open government laws are offered in an annual report to the Governor and State Legislature.

Commenting on her new position, Bewlay said she was honored to be selected by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the committee itself.

“Open and transparent government is a priority of Governor Cuomo and I look forward to working with the Committee to continue to highlight the importance of the Freedom of Information, Open Meetings and Personal Privacy Protection Laws,” she said.

Bewlay is a member of the New York, Connecticut and California State Bars and is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Connecticut School of Law.

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