"What Are You Working On, Neena Sachdeva?"

Ever wonder what exciting new projects the many employees at NARA are working on? The “What are You Working On?” blog feature aims to introduce a variety of NARA employees and highlight some of the exciting projects we are working on around the agency. Check for this blog series on Wednesdays!

This week, we introduce Neena Sachdeva, an analyst with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).

What is your name and title?
My name is Neena Sachdeva and I’m an analyst with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).

Where is your job located?
My duty station is at the Archives building on Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of the government district of the City.

What is your job in a nutshell?
This is what our website states: “develops security classification policies for classifying, declassifying and safeguarding national security information generated in Government and industry.” Along with several other colleagues, I also staff the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB). The PIDB is an advisory board established by Congress to promote public access to records concerning national security decisions and actions. My third function is to help staff the Interagency Security Appeals Panel (ISCAP), a forum that provides further review of classification decisions for public and users of the classification system. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell!

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the Minutes of the July 22, 2010, public meeting of the PIDB. The meeting held on Capitol Hill examined two pertinent topics of interest to the public: the declassification of historical Congressional records and the issues surrounding the category of classification known as Formerly Restricted Data (FRD). Taking an interest in national security policy and actions helps us become informed citizens; by extension we become participants in the process.

How long have you been at NARA? Have you worked at any other NARA location?
I’ve been with the agency since 2002 and have worked with Presidential Materials Staff, Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Digital Strategy and Services of the Policy and Planning Staff. The current position is my fourth in the Agency.

What has changed since you started at NARA?
Frankly, the most exciting change has been the dynamic enthusiasm — dare I say, leadership — of the current AOTUS.

Moreover, the administration’s new Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” places new challenges and opportunities for our (ISOO’s) oversight functions; though change or transformation may be productive and exciting for some, change may also be opaque and heavy-going for some.

Do you have a favorite day at NARA, or a favorite discovery or accomplishment?
Everyday brings something new – not necessarily brilliant, but new, yes.

What are your passions or interests outside of work?
I’ve three interests: reading, travel, and 19th century Hawaiian and colonial / post-colonial South Asian photography.

What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?
Michael Ondaatje’s “Running in the Family” is my current favorite; it’s poetical, fictional, and factual; a melding of the author’s fecund imagination.

Meet more NARA employees: http://www.archives.gov/careers/employees/

One thought on “"What Are You Working On, Neena Sachdeva?"

  1. Ms. Sachdeva’s work with classified documents sounds fascinating, but one filled with much responsibility. I am glad there are people like Ms. Sachdeva who develop policies that allow public access to government records while at the same time safeguard our national security.

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