About the Bloggers

David J. Mengel

David is a graduate of James Madison University and started his career at the National Archives in 1991.  He has worked in records declassification, the NARA FOIA office, the Office of Presidential Libraries, the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff, and as Chief of the Special Access and FOIA Staff.  During his career he supervised review of the Nixon White House Tapes, was one of three members of a NARA Panel established to determine if current technology could recover the 18 ½ minute gap, participated on a team established to review 9/11 Commission records for release in 2009, and worked as the Project Manger on the National Declassification Center Business Process Re-Engineering project.  He is currently the NARA Liaison to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), and Deputy Director of the National Declassification Center.

Don C. McIlwain

Since March 2002, Don McIlwain has served as a supervisory archivist in the Initial Processing and Declassification Division at NARA.  He is currently the supervisor for the Classified FOIA/Mandatory Declassification Review team as well as for independent projects within the Division.  Additionally, he serves as a team member on the Program Management Team of the National Declassification Center.   Previously he served as subject area specialist dealing with the accessioning and declassification of records pertaining to the foreign relations of the United States. Don has also worked as an archivist in the Initial Processing and Declassification Division, Textual Projects Division, and Center for Electronic Records.  He began his NARA career in 1990 as an archives technician working in the Records Declassification Division.  He has served as an instructor for several courses including the NARA Lifecycle Briefing for Agency Reviewers, the Modern Archives Institute, and Introduction to Archives for Archives Technicians.

Richard (Rick) Peuser

Richard (Rick) Peuser began his Federal Career at NARA in 1988 as an archives technician in the Central Research Room of the National Archives Building after graduating from the University of Scranton with an MA in American History.  After 8 years as a reference archivist, he began his career as a supervisory archivist in the Archives I Reference Branch.  In 2006 he transferred to the Archives II Textual Reference Branch. supervising the civilian and military reference sections.  In 2015, he became Branch Chief of the Textual Research Operations at Archives II.  Since October 2021 he is the Supervisory Archivist for the Processing and Release Division of the National Declassification Center. 

He is a contributing author of several publications, including, The Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History, Naval Warfare: An International Encyclopedia (Warfare Series), and the Historical Dictionary of the Spanish American War.  He is also author of the article, “Documenting United States Naval Activities during the Spanish-American War” (Prologue). 

Madeline Proctor

Madeline began working at NARA in 1991 as an archivist at the Washington National Records Center. She continued her career at NARA in both the Center for Electronic Records and the Digital Strategy and Services office before joining the Initial Processing and Declassification Division (NDC) as a Supervisory Archivist in January 2006. Madeline is responsible for the declassification of the Civil record groups and is also the archival subject matter expert for both the Civilian and Military record groups. Prior to coming to NARA, Madeline worked as an Information Technology Specialist at the National Library of Medicine, NIH.


Cary McStay has a B.A. in History from Sewanee, and an MLIS specializing in Archives and Records Management from the University of Texas at Austin.  She began her career in 2002 at the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division, and served briefly as a Photo Curator at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  In 2006, she joined the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff at the National Archives as an Archives Specialist, eventually advancing to Archivist.  She became the Supervisory Archivist of the Nixon Tapes Team in December 2010.  She and staff from the Tapes Team became part of the National Declassification Center in November 2018.  She now serves as the Supervisory Archivist for the Special Media and Electronic Records division. Career accomplishments include processing of the Milton Rogovin Photographic Collection, participation in chronological review of the Nixon White House Tapes, creating and leading a complete digitization for preservation and access project for the Nixon White House Tapes, and creating and completing a digital capture project for 250,000 still image negatives from the Nixon administration.