Women's History Month

Celebrating Women Whistleblowers Who have Changed the World

Together with Whistleblowers of America, NWC recognizes woman whistleblowers with this dedicated page and graphic series. This collaboration is an example of what NWC can do to recognize whistleblowers who face unique challenges and celebrate whistleblowers who, despite sexism at both private work and in the government, found the courage to blow the whistle for the public good.

Women whistleblowers have changed the world, please enjoy their stories below:

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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Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper exposed corporate misconduct in the infamous WorldCom scandal paving the way for the enactment of the SOX corporate reform law. Cynthia Cooper exploded the bubble that was WorldCom when she informed its board that the company had covered up $3.8 billion in losses through the prestidigitations of phony bookkeeping. In recognition of her […]

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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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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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Vera English

Vera English was a former General Electric (GE) employee who discovered widespread radiation contamination by GE. English was fired in retaliation for reporting the contamination in 1984. Her subsequent Supreme Court case established the right of whistleblowers to pursue cases under state law with the National Whistleblower Center filing an amicus brief in support for her […]

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Lea Frye

Lea Frye, a former senior reservoir engineer at Anadarko Petroleum Corp., raised concerns about the fraudulent overstatement of the value of oil reserves by Anadarko executives. In 2016, Frye filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), alleging investor fraud and insider trading at Anadarko. Her complaint alleged that executives at Anadarko […]

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Bunnatine Greenhouse

Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse served as the highest-ranking civilian-contracting official at the Army Corps of Engineers when she blew the whistle on a highly improper $7 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton for the repair of Iraqi oil fields following the 2003 invasion. In retaliation for her disclosures, Greenhouse was removed from her position. After a long […]

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Kiki Ikossi

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory whistleblower Kiki Ikossi was retaliated against after filing complaints to the Navy Research Lab HR Office for workplace gender discrimination in the early 2000s. Her attorney, NWC President, Michael Kohn, argued her case, supported by briefs from other key NWC staff. The decision in Ikossi v. England, together with two prior […]

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Tanya Ward Jordan

Tanya Ward Jordan blew the whistle on gross mismanagement, violation of civil rights laws, abuse of authority and flaws in the Department of Commerce’s application of a personnel pay system in the late 1990’s. As a result of her whistleblowing modifications to the personnel pay system were made; a workforce culture survey was conducted; and […]

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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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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. In 1990, Ms. Rowley was transferred to the FBI office in Minneapolis where she assumed the duties of Chief Division Counsel, which entailed oversight […]

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Dr. Tommie “Toni” Savage

Dr. Tommie “Toni” Savage worked as a highly respected contracting officer with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Huntsville, Alabama Support Center. In her career, Savage received many accolades for her integrity and outstanding performances on the job. In 2006, Savage reported on a pattern and practice of illegal contracting activity resulting in millions […]

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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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Jane Turner

Jane Turner, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent, led the Bureau’s highly successful program combating child sex crimes and crimes against women on Indian Reservations in North Dakotah. After discovering and exposing the FBI’s failures within the child crime program in 1998-1999, Turner was removed from her senior position in retaliation. Turner […]

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Linda Tripp

Linda Tripp, a former White House employee, made disclosures to the Office of Independent Counsel that 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 her […]

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Sherron Watkins

Sherron Watkins exposed corporate misconduct in the infamous Enron scandal paving the way for the enactment of the SOX corporate reform law. Sherron Watkins is the Enron vice president who wrote a letter to chairman Kenneth Lay in the summer of 2001 warning him that the company’s methods of accounting were improper. In recognition of […]

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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 unanimous […]

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Kimberly Young-McLear, Ph.D.

Kimberly Young-McLear, Ph.D. exposed gross misuse of power in how the Coast Guard handled bullying, harassment, and discrimination allegations. An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General substantiated that she had been retaliated against for her whistleblowing activity.  As a result of her whistleblowing, investigative loopholes for these types of claims […]

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