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National Whistleblower Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Censorship, Freedom of Speech & Press, Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Legal Services, Public & Societal Benefit, Unknown

Mission: The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Washington, DC with an over thirty year history of protecting the right of individuals to speak out about wrongdoing in the workplace without fear of retaliation. Our mission is to support whistleblowers in their efforts to expose and help prosecute corruption and other wrongdoing.

Results: Within the U.S., NWC has succeeded in establishing National Whistleblower Day and adding key whistleblower protections into the Dodd-Frank Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and numerous other federal laws. NWC has also set major legal precedents not only in banning restrictive non-disclosure agreements in all publicly traded companies, but also in establishing First Amendment rights for federal workers, expanding the scope of protected activities, and protecting qui tam laws. Around the world, NWC has educated policymakers on what constitutes effective whistleblower laws and continues to advocate for stronger protections around the globe.

Target demographics: whistleblowers

Direct beneficiaries per year: corporate, public sector, and environmental whistleblowers around the world.

Geographic areas served: the U.S. and around the world

Programs: legal assistance to whistleblowers, advocacy for stronger whistleblower protection laws, and educating the public about whistleblowers’ critical role in protecting democracy and the rule of law.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I blew the whistle on $40 million of waste, fraud and abused during the Clinton Administration and filed a class-action over 3,000 unprocessed EEOC claims at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which remain unresolved. My case ultimately exposed professional misconduct by U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the John Ashcroft Justice Department and contributed to the early retirement of disgraced federal district judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

As a result of this experience, I am a federal whistleblower and I became leading public interest advocate. Consequently, I have interacted with the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) both as an individual whistleblower and as a public advocate. Due to the complex procedural history involved in my case, I was never able to get formal assistance from NWC—and I understand the frustration of people in dire need seeking help. However, as an advocate and member of the whistleblower community, the National Whistleblower Center is an important—
if not irreplaceable— partner and resource.

Marcel Reid and I co-founded and organize the Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival (www.WhsitleblowerSummit.com), which is recognized as the largest gathering of whistleblowers, on Capitol Hill. The Whistleblower Summit was recently recognized as a “Best Festival” for innovation in Arts, Film & Culture (www.festforums.com/best-of-the-fests). The National Whistleblower Day Luncheon, which is sponsored and hosted by the NWC is a highlight if not the capstone event during the summit.

We anchor the Whistleblower Summit during the week of July 30th to draw public attention to National Whistleblower Day. The National Whistleblower Center does an excellent job of seeking Senate recognition of this date every year. Likewise, the summit has successfully sought state recognition of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day by the Arkansas Legislative Assembly and most recently by the District of Columbia.

Whenever we call on the whistleblower community for support, the National Whistleblower Center has always answered our requests for assistance. A few years ago, the summit hosted, and NWC helped sponsor, a mini-summit at the Clinton Presidential Library and School of Public Service. More recently, the summit organized, and NWC helped sponsor, the first TEDx Salon on Whistleblowers and the First Amendment. (http://whistleblowersummit.com/tedx_salon_2016/)

To make a long story short, collectively the whistleblower community has accomplished some amazing feats over the last ten to fifteen years; and the National Whistleblower Center is an important community pillar and strategic ally in making this happen.

Michael McCray, co-founder
Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first encountered the National Whistleblower Center in the 1990's as I was exposing issues within the fbi crime laboratory. I have associated with the Center ever since that time, serving as a volunteer as well as on the Board of Directors. The Center has an intake service that handles thousands of requests for assistance every year referring such requests out to attorneys who may be able to help the whistleblowers. When requests cannot be handled whistleblowers are referred to the Whistleblowers Handbook which can guide them through their next steps in attempting to address the corruption that they wish to address. Whistleblowing can be a successful path but there are many pitfalls unless the whistleblower is assisted by counsel or at the very least has studied the path forward. My case involved my suing President William Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno, fbi director Louie Freeh, the fbi, the US Department of Justice and the US Government. One can easily imagine that the task would have been impossible without the assistance of competent counsel. However my law suits were all ultimately successful resulting in admissions by the fbi that there were serious problems in the fbi crime lab which the fbi went on to fix. Today the fbi lab is again one of the premier crime laboratories in the world and is leading the profession on the right path. As time passes individuals falsely accused of crimes based upon fbi crime lab failures are seeing their convictions overturned and are being freed from incarceration. Due to the efforts of counsel and the National Whistleblower Center my family and I were able to move on with our lives without losing every thing. Today I practice law in North Carolina and work cases all over the United States as a forensic consultant. Over the years I have seen many whistleblowers who have initially gone to the National Whistleblower Center for assistance successfully make significant changes in our nation while addressing corruption in government as well as private industry.

Kenneth N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I asked the National Whistleblower for help about fraud that is going on in the US. instead I get an email that the more I read the more I thought this is why there is so much fraud going on. Thank you for contacting the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (NWLDEF) Legal Assistance Program. We have reviewed your report, and we deeply regret that we are unable to provide you with a referral because we have no attorney on our list who is accepting referrals on the subject matter for which you have expressed concerns. We have not reviewed the merits of your case, and you should not interpret this letter as expressing any doubts as to the legitimacy of your concerns. Your intake form will be kept strictly confidential. We urge you to learn more about your rights and strongly encourage you to obtain a copy of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself. Information about this book is available at https://www.whistleblowers.org/book/.

We wish you the best in finding representation, and hope that the above list is helpful.


National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education

They won't help me but they will sell me a book? Unbelievable.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I recently contacted the National Whistleblower Center via their online email request form, to request their urgent help in exposing corruption and fraud within the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. As a current whistle blower under AIR21, I am fighting to expose various unlawful safety and security violations, within TSA's Certified Cargo Screening Program, which are placing the airlines and the traveling public at risk of a terrorist attack via air cargo exploitation. Today a received an unsigned and unaddressed email from them which read as follow: "

Attached please find our response to your recent confidential submission to our webpage. We wish you the very best in your endeavors."

Intake Coordinator

Upon reading their attachment, I was totally sickened and disgusted by the very bias, unprofessional, and hypocritically prejudice manner in which they handled this very serious public safety and security issue, in the light of this very recent Ft Lauderdale terrorist attack.

I am convinced that this organization cares nothing about people, the public, justice, or standing up for what is right. With them, (like so many others corrupt organizations) it's only about the money, themselves, and their kind. I would not recommend this organization to anyone.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The National Whistleblowers Center is vital to the development of good whistleblower protection policy in the United States. Without the advocacy efforts of the NWC, the SEC rules for the Dodd-Frank Act would have favored corporate interests, leaving investors just as suspect to Bernie Madoff-like scams as they were before. Instead, the SEC rules are heavily favored toward whistleblower protections, allowing employees with inside information to raise concerns about corporate fraud. The legal staff at the NWC are among the best in the field of whistleblower law. Executive Director Stephen Kohn has just come out with possibly the most whistleblower-friendly book on the subject, helping to guide whistleblowers through the extremely difficult process of blowing the whistle.