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.

A. J. Daverede

A 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, A. J. Daverede served as a Navy Supply Corps officer for 12 years prior to becoming an Archives Technician in NARA’s Initial Processing and Declassification Division in 1996. He served as an Archives Specialist team leader in the same unit, specializing in Navy records in particular and military records in general. As supervisory archivist from 2004 to 2016, A. J. performed accessioning duties and established a quality assurance effort for the then operative National Declassification Initiative, as well as acting as the Workflow Management and then the Production and Release division directors.  A. J. served as the NDC’s Senior Archivist, acting as a subject matter expert for the NDC Director and staff and applying his subject matter expertise within the NDC’s quality assurance processes. He retired in 2019.

A. J. has a Bachelor of Science degree in English from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Arts degree in Military Studies from American Military University in 2002.

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.

M’LISA Whitney

M’Lisa, currently the Director of the Processing & Release Division at the National Declassification Center, has been with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) since 2006.  Previously a supervisory archivist in the Textual Archives Division where she led the Holocaust-Era Assets Digitization Project (2006-2010) then later managed the Department of Justice Litigation Case File Processing Project (2011-2014).  Prior to coming to NARA, M’Lisa worked with the U.S. Air Force in various leadership positions and owned a genealogy research service company operating overseas for several years.  M’Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Sociology from Rutgers University and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland.


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.