FOIA 101: How to investigate your government and get people to listen to the results of your investigation

In this session, Dr. Hooker will outline the best ways to gain publicly available information (emails or other correspondences, reports, data, etc.) from Federal and State government agencies. Details will be presented on the Freedom of Information Act as well as public information acts at the state level. In addition, Dr. Hooker will discuss how to analyze and present such information to alert the public and maximize the impact of these findings.  Specifically, ways to reach out to the public via social media and the fourth estate will be presented. Dr. Hooker has trained and worked with many “FOIA buddies” in the 14 years he has been gaining information from the CDC and other Federal agencies.  

Brian Hooker, PhD

Brian S. Hooker, PhD, PE, is an Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding California where he specializes in microbiology and biotechnology. He also teaches chemistry atShasta College.


Brian dedicated over 15 years as a bioengineer and the team leader for the High Throughput Biology Team and Operations Manager of the DOE Genomics: Genomes to Life (GTL) Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). In 1985, Dr. Hooker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California. He earned his Masters of Science degree in 1988 and his doctorate in 1990, both in biochemical engineering, from Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington.


Brian Hooker has many accomplishments to his credit including: co-inventor for five patents, recipient of the Battelle Entrepreneurial Award in 2001, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Recognition Award in 1999, for his work on “Reactive Transport in 3-Dimensions.” The breadth of Hooker’s over 60 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer reviewed journals.


Dr. Hooker has been active in the autism community since 2001 and has a 20-year-old son with autism. He currently serves on the board of trustees for Focus for Health. In 2013 and 2014, Dr. Hooker worked with the CDC Whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, to expose fraud and corruption within vaccine safety research in the CDC which led to the release of over 10,000 pages of documents.