Meet Whistleblowers

There are deep-seated animosities against whistleblowers in both the public and private sectors. Whistleblowers risk their reputations and careers, and sometimes even put their lives in jeopardy when they report wrongdoing. Whistleblowers deserve to be recognized and honored. For this reason, the National Whistleblower Center has made the creation of a permeant National Whistleblower Day one of its priorities.

Here is a list of a few of the whistleblowers who have courageously spoken out about fraud, waste and abuse of power despite the personal risks.

Jane Turner

Jane Turner was a highly decorated, 25-year veteran Special Agent with the FBI. She served in the most difficult investigatory positions and was the first women named as the head of an FBI resident agency. She led the FBI’s highly successful programs combating crimes against women and child sex crime victims on North Dakota Indian […]

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Dr. Frederic Whitehurst

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst is a former FBI scientist who “blew the whistle” on misconduct within the FBI crime lab, resulting in extensive reforms being made. He was America’s first successful FBI whistleblower. His case exposed forensic fraud in the FBI crime lab and subjected it to outside oversight for the first time. In 1997, Kohn, […]

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Harry Barkо

Harry “Hap” Barko, Jr., a former contract administrator for KBR in Iraq, discovered that Halliburton/KBR and other contractors inflated the costs of construction services on military bases in Iraq. Mr. Barko, who was stationed at Camp Al Asad, discovered that KBR used a subcontract procedure which vastly inflated the costs of constructing laundry facilities and […]

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Will Kramer

Will Kramer was an occupational health and safety consultant when he documented deeply disturbing conditions and improper handling of hazardous waste at several plants that recondition industrial plastic containers and steel drums. The plants are owned by a publicly traded multinational corporation, Greif Inc. Kramer reported potential health, safety, environmental and securities violations to government […]

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Bradley Birkenfeld

Bradley Birkenfeld is a former international banker and wealth manager with UBS. In 2012, Mr. Birkenfeld made history when he obtained the largest whistleblower reward ever given to an individual whistleblower in the twenty-five year history of federal qui tam or whistleblower reward laws, for reporting IRS Tax Fraud. The award was obtained by attorneys from the law firm […]

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James Bobreski

James J. Bobreski was a process control technician working as a contractor at the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater treatment plant. In 1999, he raised concerns about faulty chlorine gas alarms and the unlawful storage of over 100 tons of liquid chlorine. Mr. Bobreski observed that alarms to detect […]

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Mary Bozoyan

A veteran math teacher, Mary Bozoyan, publicly criticized the principal of William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, NY in a grade-fixing scandal and was swiftly retaliated against. Bozoyan’s allegations against the principal included illegally changing grades, falsifying records, stealing school funds, covering up sexual affairs between staff and students, and hiding a hazing incident. […]

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Dr. Janet Chandler

Janet Chandler, a Chicago clinical psychologist, blew the whistle on “violations of patients’ rights scientific protocol” at a federally funded research project at Cook County Hospital on the treatment of pregnant cocaine and heroin addicts and their children. Chandler brought a successful False Claims Act lawsuit against Cook County Hospital for forging data and failing […]

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Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Dr. Coleman-Adebayo sacrificed her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to speak out against vanadium poisoning in South Africa. She is the author of, NO FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at EPA. NO FEAR tells the story of vanadium miners in South Africa and Dr. Coleman-Adebayo’s efforts to protect them. Although she won […]

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Richard Convertino

Richard Convertino is a former top United States Prosecutor who successfully prosecuted the first terrorist case after 9/11. After winning the case, he blew the whistle to the U.S. Senate about serious DOJ misconduct in the war on terror. Convertino’s case was featured on “This American Life.” He was severely retaliated against and lost his career. […]

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Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins

Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins exposed corporate misconduct in the infamous Enron and WorldCom scandals paving the way for the enactment of the SOX corporate reform law. Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins exposed corporate misconduct in the infamous Enron and WorldCom scandals paving the way for the enactment of the SOX corporate reform law. Sherron […]

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Julia Davis

Julia Davis is a national security whistleblower, anti-terrorism/immigration expert, who exposed glaring shortcomings in the processing of applicants for admission into the U.S. from terrorist countries. Julia served as a Customs and Border Protection Officer at the San Ysidro Port of Entry – the largest and busiest land border crossing in the U.S. and in […]

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Brian Donlon

Brian Donlon blew the whistle on academic fraud in the Montgomery County Maryland Public School System. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled on July 12, 2018 that public school teachers are not covered under the Maryland Whistleblower Act. Sparked by Donlon’s case the Maryland General Assembly passed the Public School Employee Whistleblower Act  in April of 2017, unfortunately, […]

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Sibel Edmonds

Sibel Edmonds is the founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers. She appears frequently on national radio and TV as a commentator on matters related to whistleblowers, national security, and excessive secrecy & classification. She has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, […]

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Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, former United States military analyst, blew the whistle on U.S. Government misconduct in the Vietnam War by leaking the “Pentagon Papers.” The Pentagon Papers revealed that, early on, the government had knowledge that the war as then resourced could most likely not be won. Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 along with other charges of […]

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Vera English

Vera English was a pioneer whistleblower in the 1980’s.  Ms. English was fired from General Electric after exposing widespread radiation contamination. Her Supreme Court case established the right of whistleblowers to pursue cases under state law. Vera English was a pioneer nuclear whistleblower in the 1980s, whose victory in the U.S. Supreme Court (English v. […]

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Dr. Jonathan Fishbein

Dr. Jonathan Fishbein is one of the highest-ranking drug whistleblowers in American history. In 2005, Fishbein alleged that an NIH-funded clinical trial of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine, conducted in Africa, was invalid because of poor data collection, faulty record-keeping, and lax quality control. He was fired from his position as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office for […]

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Ernie Fitzgerald

In 1968, Fitzgerald reported a $2.3 billion cost overrun in the Lockheed C-5 aircraft program. As a congressional witness before the Joint Economic Committee, he testified with candor and transparency about billions of dollars in avionics program cost overruns and other technical problems. Fitzgerald was illegally fired by President Nixon. Mr. Fitzgerald’s landmark federal whistleblower […]

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Bunnatine Greenhouse

Bunnatine Greenhouse stood alone in opposing the approval of a highly improper multi-billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the reconstruction of Iraq. In retaliation for her courage she was removed from her position as the highest-ranking civilian contracting official at the Army Corps of Engineers. After a prolonged and highly contentious legal battle, her […]

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Kiki Ikossi

Navy Research Lab whistleblower Kiki Ikossi won the right for federal employees to pursue “mixed case” whistleblowers claims under the Whistleblower Protection Act. Ikossi v. England, 406 F. Supp. 2d 23. (D.D.C. 2005). This decision, together with two prior Court of Appeals decisions, Butler v. West and Evano v. Reno, form a trilogy of cases that produce a roadmap that […]

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Paul Jayko

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency employee Paul Jayko lost his position for exposing that public schools were being built on contaminated land causing a high occurrence of cancer.  After a preliminary investigation, he concluded that there was a “strong potential for human health risk.” His report recommended that the Ohio EPA immediately conduct further environmental tests. […]

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Robert Kobus

FBI Operations Manager Robert Kobus had been a loyal and dedicated FBI employee for more than 34 years. Mr. Kobus is also a 9/11 family member having lost his only sibling, Deborah Kobus, that day. He has received nominations for the FBI Directors and Federal Executive Board Outstanding Supervisor of the Year awards and numerous […]

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Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis is an internationally recognized research microbiologist who discovered, at the University of Georgia (UGA) in the early 1990s, that the AIDS virus could be transmitted by certain types of dental equipment that dentists share between patients. His research, published in Lancet and Nature Medicine, led to the current heat-sterilization standard for dentistry worldwide. […]

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Marrita Murphy

Marrita Murphy challenged the unfair taxation of compensation and damages awarded to illegally fired whistleblowers.  Although she was initially successful, the court of appeals buckled under pressure from the government and reversed its decision.  The campaign to end unfair taxation continues. Murphy was blacklisted by her industry after blowing the whistle on the NY Air […]

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Joe Macktal

In 1988, Joe Macktal rocked the corporate world when he violated the terms of secret “hush money” settlements in which workers were paid money to hide safety defects from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Macktal’s case rendered such agreements illegal under federal whistleblower law. Joe Macktal was a journeyman electrician who worked for Halliburton Brown & […]

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William Marcus

As Senior Science Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), William Marcus was fired when he documented that a policy approved by the Office of Drinking Water, the EPA-backed practice of adding fluoride to the nation’s drinking water supplies, could lead to an increase in cancer. Dr. William Marcus was an internationally respected as a […]

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Michael McCray, Esq. CPA (inactive)

Michael McCray blew the whistle on $40 million of waste, fraud and abuse during the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He subsequently engaged in judicial reform efforts by filing a judicial complaint that contributed to the early of retirement of disgraced Federal District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson (U.S. vs. Microsoft); and he […]

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Robert Ranghelli

Robert Ranghelli was fired from the National Funeral Home in VA for blowing the whistle on the company’s mishandling of bodies. Mr. Ranghelli publicly corroborated allegations that military veterans awaiting burial at Arlington National Cemetery were stored unrefrigerated and allowed to decompose before burial. Articles related to Ranghelli’s case: Family Asks Fairfax Prosecutor to Investigate […]

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Marcel Reid

Marcel Reid’s whistleblowing forced ACORN to stop misusing public funds and return to their core decentralized mission. Afterwards, she went on to join the National Board of Directors of Pacifica Radio and have Pacifica become the first national media organization to vote to support whistleblowers. Reid also became the first Whistleblower Liaison in Major Media. […]

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Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson reported his employer Bristol-Myers Squibb for illegal marketing drugs which resulted in increased Medicare and Medicaid costs. Richardson, and other whistleblowers, filed qui tam actions against the drug maker. In September of 2007 the Department of Justice announced a settlement in which Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay $515 million to resolve the allegations. […]

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John Roberts

Former FBI Unit Chief John Roberts blew the whistle on severe FBI misconduct. He was a key investigator responsible for uncovering misconduct in many high-profile scandals within the FBI, including the Ruby Ridge shootings. Despite having obtained permission for making these public disclosures, Mr. Roberts was swiftly retaliated against, immediately after the broadcast.  A Department […]

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Coleen Rowley

Coleen Rowley brought several of the pre 9/11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on some of the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. Coleen Rowley grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa. She obtained a B.A. degree in French from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa […]

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William Sanjour

For over 25 years, Mr. Sanjour was among the most effective EPA whistleblowers. In Sanjour v. EPA, he challenged rules restricting EPA workers right to speak to environmental community groups.  The court ordered a nationwide injunction upholding the First Amendment right of federal employees to criticize their agencies. One of the lead whistleblowers in the Reagan […]

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Dr. Tommie “Toni” Savage

Although Dr. Savage’s performance appraisals over her 20-year career ranked her as an extraordinary performer whose “Integrity” was “beyond reproach,” and after she was recently promoted and awarded the “Director of Contracting Professional Award for Integrity,” her career came crashing down when she blew the whistle on the gross and obvious Ranges Program fraud that […]

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Andrew Scollick

Andrew Scollick blew the whistle on a multi-million dollar scheme to systematically deny service-disabled small business veterans contracts as a result of two contracting firms working in conjunction with two of the largest surety bonding companies, Hanover Insurance Company and Hudson Insurance Company, to obtain Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) set-aside contracts from Veteran Administration […]

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Karen Silkwood

Americas first nuclear whistleblower, Karen Silkwood discovered numerous health violations, including exposure to high levels of nuclear contamination, at the Kerr-McGee nuclear power plant near Crescent, Oklahoma. In the summer of 1974, she testified to the Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns. She joined the union and became an activist on behalf of issues of health and safety at […]

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Linda Tripp

Linda Tripp, a former White House employee, made disclosures to the Office of Independent Counsel that the President Clinton had lied under oath resulting in him being found in contempt of court and losing his law license. White House whistleblower Linda Tripp successfully challenged the Department of Defense when it illegally released confidential information from […]

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Russell Tice

Russell D. Tice is a former intelligence analyst and operations officer for the U.S. Air Force, Navy Intelligence’s Naval Security Group (NSG), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Security Agency (NSA). During his nearly 20-year career with various United States government agencies, he conducted many worldwide intelligence missions to include missions related to the Kosovo […]

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David P. Weber

David P. Weber, a former assistant inspector general for investigations at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a certified fraud examiner, was fired October 2012.  He alleged in a lawsuit that the firing was done in retaliation for disclosing possible computer security breaches, and misconduct at the agency to superiors and members of U.S. […]

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Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld

Vandeveld is Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  Since the September 2001 attacks, he has served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards. From May 2007 to September […]

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Roger Wensil

Wensil was America’s first nationally recognized whistleblower at a nuclear weapons facility.  Fired by the DuPont BF Shaw Company for exposing safety violations, Mr. Wensil was reinstated by the Department of Energy, and his case sparked successful efforts to protect atomic weapon whistleblowers under federal law. Mr. Wensil was fired after blowing the whistle on […]

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Dr. Aaron Westrick

Dr. Aaron Westrick was the research director for America’s largest body armor company – Second Chance Body Armor – and was the first official to oppose the sale of bulletproof vests made with Zylon fiber. Based on his disclosures, these defective vests were forced off the market and police officer’s lives were saved. Dr. Westrick […]

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Sheila White

In 1999 Sheila White challenged her employer, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF), a giant in the railway transportation industry, by filing charges of discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace against BNSF in the Western Tennessee. District Court (White v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway). The U. S. Supreme Court issued its […]

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Jeffrey Wigand

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand exposed safety problems related to the tobacco industry. In 1995, Dr. Wigand achieved national prominence when he became the tobacco industry’s highest ranking former executive to address public health and smoking issues. He blew the whistle on the industry’s disregard for the public’s health and safety during an interview with 60 MINUTES and during a […]

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