Truth Be Told: Reflections From Whistleblowers
In this program, aimed at the next generation of workers and leaders, Government Accountability Project experts introduce the concept of whistleblowing to college students and facilitate conversations with whistleblowers who reflect on their experiences. Some whistleblowers share stories of suffering shocking forms of reprisal; some share stories of the their disclosures catalyzing change; all share how the experience of putting ethics into practice promotes the public interest. Government Accountability Project has brought this program to more than 30 colleges and universities, including Auburn University, Florida International University, Harvard University, Indiana University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to a large public event, participating speakers are always happy to speak in individual classes or have meals with faculty and students during their campus visits. Inquire about hosting a Truth Be Told program for your organization.
For nearly four decades, Government Accountability Projects’ legal experts have offered a Whistleblower Protection Clinic for law students at UDC Law School (and its predecessor Antioch Law School) on how to advance government and corporate accountability by representing employee whistleblowers and assisting in efforts to expose abuses of authority and threats to public health, safety, and the environment.
Academic Research & Collaborations
Government Accountability Project regularly collaborates with scholars across a wide range of disciplines to support research projects related to whistleblowing. This can involve supporting data gathering efforts for quantitative and qualitative research, helping define the scope of a research project, identifying scholarship that would be useful for improving whistleblower protection legislation, or serving as expert sources by sharing our direct experience working with whistleblowers. Examples include the following.
- Collaborating with Dr. Kate Kenny, Professor of Management at Queen’s University Belfast Management School, Northern Ireland, and Dr. Marianna Fotaki, Professor of Business Ethics at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK, on a research project that has gathered empirical data on the tangible and intangible costs suffered by whistleblowers after making disclosures. Government Accountability Project experts offered advice on the project’s scope and its survey design as well as supported data gathering by identifying and inviting whistleblowers to participate in the research project. This post-disclosure research project will be instrumental to advocacy and reform efforts aimed at offering support to employees after blowing the whistle. The purpose of this research is to promote a culture that values those who make disclosures that protect our institutions and society at large. Visit https://www.whistleblowingimpact.org/ to learn more about Drs. Kenny and Fotaki’s research.
- Serving as experts for scholars working on books and articles about different aspects of whistleblowing. For example, Government Accountability Project worked with Professor Heidi Kitrosser, a law professor at the University of Minnesota School of Law whose scholarship focuses on the constitutional law of federal government secrecy and separation of powers. Our lawyers served as interview sources and assisted Professor Kitrosser by identifying and brokering introductions to whistleblowers relevant to her research for her forthcoming book about the law and policy of whistleblowing among federal government employees and contractors. Additionally, Professor Fred Blevens, Professor of Journalism at Florida International University, interviewed Dana Gold, our Director of Education, for a chapter he contributed to The Trump Presidency, Journalism, and Democracy (Routledge, January 2018).
- Collaborating with interdisciplinary faculty at Syracuse University, over the course of several years, on speaking events involving Government Accountability Project experts and well-known whistleblowers sharing their stories. Spearheaded by Professor of Theatre Management James Clark, these events have involved large public lectures, classroom visits in the public health, government and journalism schools, art exhibits featuring whistleblowers painted by artist Robert Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait series, and originally created performance pieces by theater department students about whistleblowers’ stories.