The Student Press Law Center today named Frank Daniel LoMonte as its new executive director. He succeeds Mark Goodman, who will leave the SPLC at the end of the year to become Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University.
LoMonte will officially join the SPLC on Jan. 2, 2008. Currently he is an associate attorney with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Atlanta, where he has had a diverse commercial practice focusing on energy and telecommunications litigation. Prior to joining that firm in 2003, LoMonte was law clerk, in 2002-2003, for the Hon. R. Lanier Anderson, III, at the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and law clerk, in 2000-2002, for the Hon. C. Christopher Hagy, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. LoMonte also has more than 12 years' experience as a journalist, including serving two years as a state Capitol reporter for the Florida Times-Union, nine years as bureau chief for the Morris News Service in Atlanta, and two years as Washington correspondent for Morris.
"The board of directors of the SPLC enthusiastically welcomes Frank LoMonte to the organization. His strong credentials -- both legal and journalistic -- made him a compelling candidate to lead the SPLC, and his passion for our cause impressed us as just the right combination of qualifications we sought. We are confident he will continue the SPLC's important and outstanding work advocating for student journalists, while pursuing new and creative ways to expand our outreach," said Rosalind Stark, board chair.
Since early 2005, LoMonte has been a member of the Student Press Law Center's Attorney Referral Network, a group of about 150 attorneys across the country who serve, on a pro bono basis, to represent student journalists facing legal conflicts. In addition, he has been involved in pro bono cases to represent juveniles in immigration court deportation proceedings. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and holds memberships on the state legal committee of the ACLU of Georgia, Georgia First Amendment Foundation, American Constitution Society and the American Bar Association. He is an active volunteer with the Atlanta Bar Asylum Project and Atlanta Legal Aid.
In 2000, LoMonte received his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was symposium editor of the Georgia Law Review. He received his bachelor's degree from Georgia State University in 1994, and also attended the University of Florida where he held multiple staff positions, including editor in chief, of The Independent Florida Alligator. He also spent two years on the staff of his high school newspaper at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla.
According to the SPLC's outgoing executive director, Mark Goodman, "Frank's passion for student journalists and their rights of free expression came through loud and clear during the several interviews the board of directors held with him. His work on his own college newspaper, his track record in civil liberties issues, his commitment to the issues central to the Student Press Law Center's mission and his strategic way of thinking are just what the SPLC needs as it develops plans for the future. I know the SPLC is in capable hands, with Frank LoMonte as executive director."
For more, see the SPLC website here.