David Burnham -- a writer, investigative reporter and researcher -- is the co-founder and co director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) and an associate research professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. TRAC, a data gathering and distribution organization associated with the university, began operating in 1989.
Burnham started as a reporter in 1958, working for UPI, Newsweek, CBS and other organizations. From 1968 to 1986, he was an investigative reporter with The New York Times in New York and Washington. Among the stories Burnham developed while with the Times in New York City was a police corruption series in the early 1970s that ultimately resulted in major governmental reforms and the movie Serpico. As a reporter in the paper's Washington bureau, he focused on privacy issues and the shortcomings of federal regulation, including those of the Atomic Energy/Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has also written three books and numerous magazine articles. His most recent book, Above the Law: Secret Deals, Political Fixes, and Other Misadventures of the U.S. Department of Justice, was published in January 1996 by Scribner.