Relying on the Freedom of Information Act and other public records laws, American Oversight does the job that Congress refuses to do, exposing unethical conduct throughout this administration and demanding investigations. We file open records requests and sue agencies to uncover misconduct that otherwise would not see daylight and harness the independent power of the courts to force the administration to obey the law.
Austin Evers, Executive Director
Evers served most recently as Senior Counsel in the Department of State for oversight and transparency matters and prior to that as a litigator at Williams & Connolly LLP. He clerked for two Republican-appointed judges in Massachusetts, including during the high profile trial of the Democratic Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The case was one of the first to address the Supreme Court’s narrowed definition of public corruption in Skilling, and forged Evers’ commitment to promoting honest, transparent government. Evers graduated summa cum laude from Boston College Law School.
Melanie Sloan, Senior Advisor
Sloan is a former federal prosecutor and Capitol Hill staffer, where she worked for now Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, as well as then Senator Joe Biden, and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers. Ms. Magazine referred to her as the “most feared woman in Washington,” she was named one of Washington’s top grassroots lobbyists by The Hill for six consecutive years, and Rolling Stone included her as one of its “100 Agents of Change.” Sloan started Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which she led for more than a decade.
John Bies, Chief Counsel
Bies served for eight years in the Obama administration at the Department of Justice, first as Counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder and then spending seven years as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel where he advised White House and executive branch officials on FOIA, congressional oversight, executive privilege, ethics, separation of powers, and other constitutional, statutory, and administrative law issues. Prior to his service in the government, Bies handled complex civil litigation and investigation and enforcement matters as a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and clerked for Judge Sandra Lynch on the First Circuit. He received his law degree with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School.
Cerissa Cafasso, Counsel
Cafasso began her legal career at McDermott Will & Emery focused on complex civil and antitrust investigations, including negotiations with the Department of Justice. She also dedicated time to pro bono matters. Cafasso later served in the Obama administration at the Department of Labor as Counsel to the Solicitor and Counselor to the Deputy Secretary, providing legal advice on oversight investigations and whistleblower protections. She received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Sara Kaiser Creighton, Counsel
Creighton practiced law at Williams & Connolly where her practice focused on complex civil litigation, trial and appellate advocacy, and pro bono services. Creighton clerked for Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and for Chief Judge Sharon Prost on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Beth France, Counsel
France practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers, with a focus on internal and government investigations, corporate compliance, and government ethics. She later served as Senior Litigation and Oversight Counsel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Sarah Studley, Investigative Attorney*
Studley most recently served as Counsel and Senior Policy Adviser to the Michigan Senate Democrats, where her work focused on the Flint water crisis. She was responsible for developing caucus strategy for the water crisis, including planning and preparing members for legislative hearings and conducting an in-house investigation. Prior to her work with the Michigan Senate, Studley worked at the Franklin Forum and American Bridge 21st Century. She earned her master of public policy and law degrees from Georgetown University.
*Admitted only in Michigan. Practice limited to providing internal counsel; supervised by American Oversight’s Chief Counsel, a member of the D.C. Bar.
Clark Pettig, Communications Director
Pettig is an experienced communications strategist who served most recently as the press secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation and was previously senior vice president at Crosscut Strategies, a Washington, DC strategic communications firm. Pettig began his career on Capitol Hill as a spokesperson and advisor to several members of Congress, and in 2012 he oversaw communications in Michigan and Virginia for President Obama’s reelection campaign. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and earned his master’s from the University of Florida.
Mike Gwin, Deputy Communications Director
Before joining American Oversight, Gwin held a variety of positions in government and electoral politics, including as spokesperson for both Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President as well as the North Carolina Democratic Party. Prior to the 2016 campaign, Gwin served in the Obama administration in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as an aide to Ambassador Michael Froman. He received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Ty Diringer, Staff Assistant
Diringer most recently worked on the 2016 Hillary for America campaign. Previously, he was a fellow with Venture for America and an entrepreneurship fellow at Oberlin College. As an undergraduate at Oberlin, he helped launch and grow two not-for-profit organizations.