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Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director

Stephen M. Kohn is the Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and the author of The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step by Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself  (Lyons Press, 2011).

Stephen M. Kohn is one of the nation's leading advocates for corporate and government whistleblowers. His record of winning whistleblower cases, at trial and on appeal, dates back to 1984. Many of his court victories have become landmark precedents in modern workplace law, establishing the employee's right to free speech under the First Amendment. A respected scholar as well as a litigator, he has testified in Congress on behalf of whistleblowers and helped draft language incorporated into key whistleblower laws, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.  

In 2012 he successfully represented Swiss bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld in obtaining the largest individual whistleblower reward in history -- $104 million dollars.

In addition to Mr. Birkenfeld, Mr. Kohn has represented numerous clients involved with high-profile cases, including the World Trade Center bombing cases, the Oklahoma City bombing case, the O.J Simpson murder trial, the Linda Tripp Privacy Act case, the FBI crime lab case and the Bunny Greenhouse Iraq War/Halliburton "no-bid" contract case.

From 1984 to 1988, Mr. Kohn served as Clinical Director of the groundbreaking whistleblower rights clinic at the Antioch School of Law and as Director of Corporate Litigation for the Government Accountability Project. He is the author of the first legal treatise on whistleblowing, Protecting Environmental and Nuclear Whistleblowers: A Litigation Manual (NIRS, 1985). Since then, he has authored or co-authored numerous articles and books on the subject, including: The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself (Lyons Press, Mar. 1 2011); Whistleblower Law: A Guide to Legal Protections for Corporate Employees (Praeger, 2004); Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law (Greenwood Press, 2000); The Whistleblower Litigation Handbook (Wiley Law, 1991); and The Labor Lawyers Guide to the Rights and Responsibilities of Employee Whistleblowers (Greenwood Press, 1988). He has also written widely on American law and its relation to human rights.

Stephen Kohn is a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP and serves as the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and a Trustee of the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 2006, Northeastern University awarded Mr. Kohn the prestigious Daynard Public Interest Fellowship, recognizing him as a "social justice path-breaker" and "distinguished practitioner of public interest law" who serves as a role model "demonstrating how legal skills can be used effectively and creatively to make the world a better place."

Kohn earned his Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude from Boston University, a Master’s Degree in political science from Brown University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.

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