JOEL CLEMENT

Joel Clement was a top advisor to the Secretary of the Interior on climate change and adverse impacts to native communities in Alaska when, soon into the new Trump administration, he was abruptly and arbitrarily transferred by then-Secretary Ryan Zinke to an obscure government office that collects oil and gas royalty payments. Although dozens of other SES-level employees were similarly transferred, Clement was the only one to hire counsel and blow the whistle on Zinke’s improper actions by placing a skillfully written op-ed piece in The Washington Post and filing a formal complaint with the Office of Special Counsel. He has expressed his grievances publicly in several media appearances. In September 2017 Clement received the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage from The Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest. In announcing Clement as a recipient of the prize, the Trust said that Clement upheld “the highest standards of his civil service oath as a senior federal official” when he blew the whistle on the Trump Administration’s Interior Department for using personnel reassignment to shut down climate change programs, muzzle scientists, and undermine subject matter experts. Clement, now an Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, frequently gives talks around the country and urges others to stand up and speak out against systematic and unwarranted attacks on climate scientists throughout the government under the Trump administration.