List of whistleblowers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of major whistleblowers from various countries. The individuals below brought attention to abuses of government or large corporations. Many of these whistleblowers were fired from their jobs or prosecuted in the process of shining light on their issue of concern. This lists whistleblowers associated with events that were sufficiently notable to merit a Wikipedia article either about the Whistleblower or the event, "Year" is the year of the event. This list is not exhaustive.

Before 1960[edit]

Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
1777 Samuel Shaw Male United States Continental Navy Along with Third Lieutenant Richard Marven, midshipman Shaw was a key figure in the passage of the first whistleblower law passed in the United States by the Continental Congress.[1] During the Revolutionary War, the two naval officers blew the whistle on the torturing of British POWs by Commodore Esek Hopkins, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.[2] The Continental Congress enacted the whistleblower protection law on July 30, 1778, by a unanimous vote.[3] In addition, it declared that the United States would defend the two against a libel suit filed against them by Hopkins.[4]
1864 Silas Soule Male United States Army A Captain in the U.S. Army, Soule was in command of Company D, 1st Colorado Cavalry, which was present at Sand Creek on November 29, 1864, when he refused an order to join the Sand Creek massacre in slaughtering Indian women, children, and elderly men. Soule quickly reported the facts of the massacre to another officer, who alerted the federal government. During the subsequent Congressional inquiry Soule testified against the massacre's commanding officer, John Chivington. Soon afterwards, Soule was murdered, possibly in retaliation. Dying at 26, Soule is remembered as having led a life of "moral courage" at great personal risk.
1893 Edmund Dene Morel Male Congo Free State English shipping clerk turned journalist who reported on the atrocities in the Congo Free State in Africa and became an anti-slavery campaigner. His revelations led to a strong campaign against Belgian King Leopold II's autocratic regime in his African territory, where the rubber plantations brutally exploited slave labor.[5]
1930 Boris Bazhanov Male CPSU Secretariat Stalin's personal secretary, who fled abroad in 1928, and while living in the Western countries, exposed many secrets concerning Stalin's rise to power and the Stalin regime. First book of his memoirs was published in Paris in 1930.
1931 Herbert Yardley Male United States Cipher Bureau Cryptologist and Head of the Cipher Bureau, the first U.S. SIGINT agency better known as "The Black Chamber", who exposed the inner workings of the organization and its surveillance policies in his eponymous 1931 book, The American Black Chamber, after the United States Department of State withdrew funding from the organization's activities in 1929, citing ethical concerns. However, while "The Black Chamber" ceased operations following the withdrawal of funding, the publication of Yardley's book two years later and its resultant controversy in government circles caused the amendment of the Espionage Act of 1917 to prohibit the disclosure of foreign code or any communication transmitted through code. Though Yardley remains a controversial figure in the intelligence community, he was honored by the National Security Agency in 1999.[6][7]
1933 Smedley Butler Male United States Marine Corps Retired U.S. Marines Corps Major General, a two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor, who alleged to the McCormack-Dickstein Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives that business leaders had plotted a fascist coup d'état against the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in what became known as the Business Plot. In his book War Is a Racket, Butler listed well-known U.S. military operations that he alleged were not about protecting democracy as was told to the public but in furthering the business interests of U.S. banks and corporations.
1933/ 1934 Herbert von Bose Male Schutzstaffel Press Chief of Adolf Hitler's conservative Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen. He used his position inside the government apparatus to pass on information about secret atrocities and malfeasances committed by the Nazi Government and Part organizations (especially the SA and SS) to the foreign press - especially to Claud Cockburn, editor of the London-based muckraking journal The Week - in order to alarm the world public about those goings-on. On June 30, 1934, he was murdered by a squad of SS-men dispatched to his office by Heinrich Himmler, who shot him in the back of the head. Jessica Mitford dubbed him "Deep Throat of the Third Reich"[8]
1942 Jan Karski Male Polish Home Army Polish resistance fighter, who during World War II twice visited the Warsaw ghetto, and met with United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with the UK Foreign Secretary, and with the Polish shadow government in London, to report what he had witnessed concerning conditions for Jewish people, and the extermination camps. His report was not taken seriously by any authority.[9][10]


Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
1963 John Paul Vann Male United States Army American colonel, who, during the Vietnam War, reported to his superiors that American policy and tactics were seriously flawed, and later went to the media with his concerns. Vann was asked to resign his commission, did so, but later returned to Vietnam.
1965 Meier 19 [de] Male Swiss Police
1966 Peter Buxtun Male United States Public Health Service Exposed the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.[11]
1967 John White Male United States Navy White, a former U.S. Navy officer, wrote a letter to the editor of the New Haven (Conn.) Register asserting that U.S. President Lyndon Johnson provided false information to Congress in 1964 about alleged attacks on U.S. naval ships by the North Vietnamese that led to the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The resolution was used to justify U.S. entry into the Vietnam War. White continued his whistleblowing activities with an appearance in the 1968 documentary In the Year of the Pig. In 2014, he published his account of the 1964 incident, The Gulf of Tonkin Events: Fifty Years Later (A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War).
1971 Daniel Ellsberg Male United States State Department Ellsberg was a former RAND Corp. military analyst who, along with Anthony Russo, leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret account of the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. The Pentagon Papers revealed endemic practices of deception by previous administrations, and contributed to the erosion of public support for the war. The release triggered a legal case concerning government efforts to prevent the publication of classified information that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (New York Times Co. v. United States). Ellsberg himself was the subject of retaliation by the Nixon Administration.
1971 Frank Serpico Male New York Police Department Former New York City police officer who reported several of his fellow officers for bribery and related charges in front of the Knapp Commission probing police corruption in the NYPD. Serpico was the first police officer in the history of the NYPD to step forward to report and subsequently testify openly about widespread, systemic corruption payoffs amounting to millions of dollars.[12] The 1973 film Serpico is an account of his story.
1971 Perry Fellwock Male National Security Agency Former NSA analyst who revealed the existence of the NSA and its worldwide covert surveillance network in Ramparts magazine in 1971.[13] At the time, the NSA was an ultra secretive scarcely known organization. Because of the Fellwock revelations, the U.S. Senate Church Committee introduced successful legislation to stop NSA spying on American citizens. Fellwock was motivated by Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers.[14][15]
1971 Vladimir Bukovsky Male Soviet abuse of psychiatry In the Soviet Union, during the leadership of general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used as a tool to eliminate political dissidents.[16] In 1971, Vladimir Bukovsky smuggled to the West a file of 150 pages documenting the political abuse of psychiatry, which he sent to The Times.[17] The documents were photocopies of forensic reports on prominent Soviet dissidents.[18] In January 1972, Bukovsky was convicted of spreading anti-Soviet propaganda under Criminal Code, mainly on the ground that he had, with anti-Soviet intention, circulated false reports about political dissenters confined in mental hospitals.[19] Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union was denounced in the course of the Congresses of the World Psychiatric Association in Mexico City (1971), Hawaii (1977), Vienna (1983) and Athens (1989).[20]
1972 Martha Mitchell Female Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP) Mitchell learned key details of the Watergate scandal by eavesdropping on her then-husband John N. Mitchell, and snooping through documents he brought to their home. She went on to share what she learned with the press, and was subsequently kidnapped and held captive for several days in an attempt to keep her quiet. The Nixon campaign underwent a campaign to discredit Mitchell as "crazy" and having a drinking problem. James W. McCord Jr., who was convicted in the scandal, later corroborated Mitchell's story. The Martha Mitchell effect is named for her experiences.[21] In 1973, she provided testimony in the Democratic Party's civil suit against the CRP.[22]
1972 W. Mark Felt Male Federal Bureau of Investigation Known only as Deep Throat until 2005, Felt was associate director of the FBI, the number-two job in the Bureau, when he leaked information about President Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate scandal.[23] The scandal would eventually lead to the resignation of the president, and prison terms for White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and presidential adviser John Ehrlichman.
1973 Stanley Adams Male Hoffmann-LaRoche A senior executive at Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche, Adams supplied evidence to European Economic Community regulators on the company's price fixing in the international vitamin market.[24] The EEC revealed his name during the resulting investigation and Adams was arrested for industrial espionage by the Swiss government and spent six months in jail. He fought for ten years to clear his name and receive compensation from the EEC.
1973 A. Ernest Fitzgerald Male United States Department of Defense U.S. Air Force auditor who exposed to Congress a $2 billion cost overrun associated with Lockheed's C-5A cargo plane. Fitzgerald retired from the Defense Department in 2006.[25]
1973 Henri Pezerat Male French National Centre for Scientific Research Henri Pezerat, working on the Jussieu Campus, detected asbestos fibres falling from the ceiling and created a committee to study and inform people about the dangers of asbestos.
1974 Karen Silkwood Female Kerr-McGee There have been a number of nuclear power whistleblowers who have identified safety concerns at nuclear power plants. The first prominent nuclear power whistleblower was Karen Silkwood, who worked as a chemical technician at a Kerr-McGee nuclear plant. Silkwood became an activist in the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union in order to protest health and safety issues. In 1974, she testified to the United States Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns. The 1983 film Silkwood is an account of this story.
1976 Gregory C. Minor, Richard B. Hubbard, and Dale G. Bridenbaugh Male General Electric Nuclear power whistleblowers. On February 2, 1976, Gregory C. Minor, Richard B. Hubbard, and Dale G. Bridenbaugh (known as the GE Three) "blew the whistle" on safety problems at nuclear power plants, and their action has been called "an exemplary instance of whistleblowing".[26] The three engineers gained the attention of journalists and their disclosures about the threats of nuclear power had a significant impact. They timed their statements to coincide with their resignations from responsible positions in General Electric's nuclear energy division, and later established themselves as consultants on the nuclear power industry for state governments, federal agencies, and overseas governments. The consulting firm they formed, MHB Technical Associates, was technical advisor for the movie, The China Syndrome. The three engineers participated in Congressional hearings which their disclosures precipitated.[26][27][28][29]
1977 Frank Snepp Male Central Intelligence Agency CIA analyst at the US Embassy, Saigon who published Decent Interval in 1977 about Operation Frequent Wind and the failures of the CIA and other American entities to properly prepare for the Fall of Saigon. Although he redacted all names, methods, and sources from the book, after it was published, CIA Director Stansfield Turner had Snepp successfully prosecuted for breach of contract for violating his non-disclosure agreement.[30] Snepp lost all income, including royalties, from publication of the book, a verdict upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
1981 Ralph McGehee Male Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Ralph Walter McGehee (born 1928) served for 25 years in American intelligence, being a former case officer of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). From 1953 to 1972, his assignments were in East Asia and Southeast Asia, where he held administrative posts. After leaving the Central Intelligence Agency, McGehee brought to the public his highly critical views, based on his experience. He has discussed and illustrated how the CIA's covert actions and interventionist policies can produce unfavorable outcomes. A 1981 allegation by McGehee about CIA involvement in the Indonesian killings of 1965–1966 was censored by the CIA, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to sue on his behalf. The CIA prevailed.
1981 Viktor Suvorov Male GRU Former Soviet military intelligence officer, who after his defection to the West in 1978, exposed in his books various secrets related to the Soviet military and foreign intelligence. The first book of his memoirs was published in 1981.
1984 Clive Ponting Male United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Senior civil servant in the UK Ministry of Defence who leaked classified documents to Labour Member of Parliament Tam Dalyell confirming that the General Belgrano was sunk by British forces during the Falklands War while outside the total exclusion zone, contradicting statements by the Thatcher Government.
1984 John Michael Gravitt Male General Electric Became the first individual in 40 years to file a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act after the statute had been weakened in 1943.[31] Gravitt, a machinist foreman, sued GE for defrauding the United States Department of Defense when GE began falsely billing for work on the B1 Lancer bomber. Gravitt was laid off following his complaints to supervisors about the discrepancies. The case of Gravitt v. General Electric and Gravitt's deposition to Congress led to federal legislation bolstering the False Claims Act in 1986.[32][33] The amended Act made it easier for whistleblowers to collect damages. Gravitt's suit proceeded under the 1986 amendments and GE settled the case for a then record $3.5 million.[34]
1984 Duncan Edmonds Male Canadian Government Canadian civil servant who reported to his chief, the top Canadian civil servant, that Minister of Defence Robert Coates had visited a West German strip club while on an official mission, with NATO documents in his possession, creating a security risk. Coates was asked to resign from Cabinet by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who also fired Edmonds and made him persona non grata in government circles.[35]
1984? Ingvar Bratt Male Bofors Engineer who revealed himself as the anonymous source in the Bofors Scandal about illegal weapon exports.[36] An act that led to a new Swedish law[37] concerning company secrets which commonly is referred to as Lex Bratt.
1985 Cathy Massiter Female MI5 Former MI5 officer who accused the British security service of having over-zealously interpreted which groups qualified as subversive, thus justifying surveillance against them. Massiter revealed that MI5 had spied on trade unions, civil liberty organisations and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[38][39]
1985 Ronald J. Goldstein Male EBASCO Constructors Inc. Nuclear power whistleblower Goldstein was a supervisor employed by EBASCO, which was a major contractor for the construction of Houston Lighting and Power Company's South Texas Project (a complex of two nuclear power plants). In the summer of 1985, Goldstein identified safety problems to SAFETEAM, an internal compliance program established by EBASCO and Houston Lighting, including noncompliance with safety procedures, the failure to issue safety compliance reports, and quality control violations affecting the safety of the plant. SAFETEAM was promoted as an independent safe haven for employees to voice their safety concerns. The two companies did not inform their employees that they did not believe complaints reported to SAFETEAM had any legal protection. After he filed his report to SAFETEAM, Goldstein was fired. Subsequently, Goldstein filed suit under federal nuclear whistleblower statutes. The U.S. Department of Labor ruled that his submissions to SAFETEAM were protected and his dismissal was invalid, a finding upheld by Labor Secretary Lynn Martin. The ruling was appealed and overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that private programs offered no protection to whistleblowers. After Goldstein lost his case, Congress amended the federal nuclear whistleblower law to provide protection reports made to internal systems and prevent retaliation against whistleblowers.[40]
1986 Roger Wensil Male B.F. Shaw Co. Roger D. Wensil was America's first nationally recognized whistleblower at a nuclear weapons facility.[41] In 1985, Wensil was wrongfully dismissed by the DuPont BF Shaw Company after exposing the illegal sale and use of drugs taking place at the Savannah River Nuclear Weapons Facility, which provided weapons-grade plutonium for the U.S. government.[42] Wensil was reinstated by the Department of Energy in 1987, but he again faced workplace retaliation and forced out of his job shortly after.[43] Wensil's case led to the passing of the nuclear weapon whistleblowers protection in 1992.[44]
1986 Mordechai Vanunu Male Israeli nuclear weapons program Revealed Israel's clandestine nuclear program to the British press. He spent seventeen and a half years in prison as a result, the first eleven of these in solitary confinement. After his release, sanctions were placed on him: among others, he was not allowed to leave Israel or speak to foreigners. The sanctions have been renewed every twelve months. At present, he is appealing a further six-month prison sentence imposed by an Israeli court for having spoken to foreigners and foreign press.[45][46]
1987 Joy Adams Female B.F. Shaw Co. Joy P. Adams was terminated in retaliation after testifying in support of Roger Wensil, a whistleblower who disclosed safety violations at the federal Savannah River nuclear weapons facility in South Carolina.[47]
1987 Howard Samuel Nunn Male Duke Power Company Howard Samuel Nunn blew the whistle on the Duke Power Company and won his case in 1987.[48] Nunn alleged that he was fired from Duke Power Company's Catawba Nuclear Power Station for raising concerns about safety and quality control, according to the court decision.[49]
1987 Douglas Plumley Male Federal Prisoner Doug Plumley was a federal prisoner at the maximum-security prison in Lompoc, California in 1987.[50] Plumley lost his job with the federal prison training program after writing a letter of complaint about the use of allegedly hazardous chemicals at Lompoc. He then filed another complaint concerning his dismissal to the Department of Labor. Plumley's case led to a ruling by an administrative law judge that prison inmates can be considered "federal employees," thus protected against employer retribution under the whistleblower protection law.[51]
1988 Joseph Macktal Male Halliburton Macktal was an electrician for Halliburton Brown and Root (HB&R) who witnessed hazardous conditions during the construction of the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant.[52] After he reported the safety issues to HB&R, the company's lawyers coerced him into signing a non-disclosure agreement that prohibited him from going to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with his concerns.[53] Macktal willfully violated his non-disclosure agreement, sparking a seven-year legal battle that resulted in the Department of Labor ultimately voiding his entire settlement agreement and allowing him to pursue his whistleblower case.[54] Macktal's case set a legal precedent for whistleblowers who reported safety violations within the nuclear industry by disallowing non-disclosure agreements.[55]
1988 Peter Wright Male MI5 Former science officer of MI5 who claimed in his book, Spycatcher, that the UK Security Service plotted to remove Prime Minister Harold Wilson from office and the Director General of MI5 was a Soviet spy. After its publication in Australia, which the Thatcher government tried to block, the government attempted to ban the book in Britain under the Official Secrets Act. Through litigation, it succeeded in imposing a gag order on English newspapers to prevent them from publishing Wright's allegations. The gag orders were upheld by the Law Lords.[56][57] Eventually, in 1988, the book was cleared for legitimate sale when the Law Lords acknowledged that overseas publication meant it contained no secrets.[58] However, Wright was barred from receiving royalties from the sale of the book in the United Kingdom. In November 1991, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the British government had breached the European Convention of Human Rights in gagging its own newspapers.[59][60] The British Government's legal cost were estimated at £250,000 in 1987.[61]
1988 Harry Templeton Male The Mirror Group Harry Templeton worked as a printer on newspapers owned by Robert Maxwell's Mirror Group. In 1985, Templeton was appointed as a trustee of the Mirror Group Pension Scheme, but was fired in 1988 after challenging Maxwell's misuses of pension funds.[62] Only after Maxwell's death a couple of years later was it revealed that Maxwell had stolen £400m of staff pension money.
1988 Roland Gibeault Male Genisco Technology Gibeault filed a qui tam lawsuit against defense subcontractor Genisco Technology Corp. after working undercover for 18 months with the FBI and DCIS to uncover the company's fraudulent test methods that were used to pass key components for the High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) missile. The FBI and DCIS case resulted in a plea-bargained $725,000 fine and three Genisco executives sent to federal prison.[63][64] Gibeault, who was fired from Genisco following revelation of whistleblowing, received $131,250 of the fine.[65] In 1989, Gibeault and fellow employee Inge Maudal also filed qui tam actions against Genisco's parent company, Texas Instruments.[66]
1988 Michael Haddle Male Healthmaster, Inc. Worked for Healthmaster, Inc. and blew the whistle on whistleblower retaliation when he was fired from his job because he was involved and testified in a Medicare fraud case against Healthmaster.[67] He filed a complaint in 1998 and the Eleventh Circuit court ruled that he had not been retaliated against, but the Court of Appeals reversed that finding, also in 1998. The U.S. Department of Justice submitted an amicus brief in support of Haddle before the decision was reversed.[68]
1989 Douglas D. Keeth Male United Technologies Corporation Filed a qui tam lawsuit against United Technologies Corp. (UTX) where he held the title vice president of finance. Mr. Keeth and others had investigated billing practices at UTX's Sikorsky Aircraft division, uncovering inflated progress billings going back at least as far as 1982. UTX offered Mr. Keeth a $1 million severance payment if he would keep quiet, but Keeth rejected the offer. In 1994, UTX paid $150 million to the government and Keeth was awarded a bounty of $22.5 million.[69]
1989 William Schumer Male Hughes Aircraft Filed a lawsuit January 1989 alleging fraud by Hughes Aircraft with respect to the B-2 bomber. In 1997 the Supreme Court held that the claim should have been dismissed as based on invalid retroactive legislation because the alleged fraud occurred in 1982–1984, before the 1986 amendments to the Fraudulent Claims Act which might have permitted it. The government did not support Schumer in his lawsuit as it had determined the alleged fraud had actually benefited the government by shifting costs from the cost-plus B-2 contract to the fixed-price F-15 contract.[70]


Myron Mehlman Male Mobil A toxicologist, he warned managers at Mobil that the company's gasoline that was being sold in Japan contained benzene in excess of 5 percent, and that levels needed to be reduced. Upon his return to the United States, he was fired. He later successfully sued the company.[71]


Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
1990 Vera English Female General Electric Company Vera English was employed as a lab technician at a nuclear facility operated by General Electric Company (GE).[72] English was terminated after exposing widespread radioactive contamination in the facility. Her Supreme Court case, English v. General Electric Company, set precedent that allowed whistleblowers to pursue cases under state law. Her victory also demonstrated the application of whistleblower protection legislation in cases of whistleblowing in nuclear energy cases.[73]
1990 Arnold Gundersen Male Nuclear Energy Services Nuclear power whistleblower Arnold Gundersen discovered radioactive material in an accounting safe at Nuclear Energy Services (NES) in Danbury, Connecticut, the consulting firm where he held a $120,000-a-year job as senior vice president.[74] Three weeks after he notified the company president of what he believed to be radiation safety violations, Gundersen was fired. According to The New York Times, for three years, Gundersen "was awakened by harassing phone calls in the middle of the night" and he "became concerned about his family's safety". Gundersen believes he was blacklisted, harassed and fired for doing what he thought was right.[74] NES filed a $1.5 million defamation lawsuit against him that was settled out-of-court. A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report concluded that there had been irregularities at NES, and the Office of the Inspector General reported that the NRC had violated its own regulations by sending business to NES.
1992 [75] Mark Whitacre Male Archer Daniels Midland PhD scientist and former Divisional President with Archer Daniels Midland, who worked with the FBI as a secret informant, to blow the whistle on price-fixing cartel in his company. This story is featured in the film The Informant![76][77] where Whitacre is portrayed by Matt Damon.
1992 Keith A. Schooley Keith A. Schooley Male Keith A. Schooley (born 1952) is an American author and former stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, who brought attention to fraud and corruption within the firm at the Oklahoma and Texas offices in 1992 as a whistleblower.[78] As a result, he was terminated from the firm,[79] and sued the corporation in a case that went to the Oklahoma Supreme Court,[80] and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.[81]
1992 Linda Mitchell Female Arizona Public Service Company While working at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Mitchell blew the whistle on the Arizona Public Service Company, which owned the generating station.[82] In 1985, Mitchel reported various safety concerns she had at Palo Verde to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and continued to bring up concerns to management about concerns regarding computer programs the facility used and the layout of the plant.[83] Mitchell filed a complaint in 1989 to the NRC, alleging that the Arizona Public Service Co. tried to suppress an NRC investigator's findings of safety issues at Palo Verde.[82] She was subjected to severe harassment in the workplace and in her personal life and won a Department of Labor discrimination lawsuit in 1992.[84] In 1994, Mitchell was granted permission to have an administrative public hearing before the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; she also asked for the three units at Palo Verde to be halted to 0% power until a review of the work environment could be conducted.[85]
1993 Sarah Thomas Female Arizona Public Service Arizona Public Service (APS) employee Sarah Thomas was harassed and retaliated against by her supervisor after she raised concern regarding safety and regulatory violation that occurred in her workplace.[86] She filed a complaint with the Department of Labor concerning the safety violations, failure to promote, and harassment on the job. APS was ordered to promote Thomas to Senior Test Technician and provide compensation for damages she suffered as the result of discriminatory treatment.

Erin Brockovich in 2007

Erin Brockovich Female PG&E Discovered widespread unexplained illness in Hinkley, California and helped the town sue the utility company PG&E for polluting the town's water with chromium 6. The damages ordered by the court were the largest recovered in a direct-action lawsuit at the time at $333 million.[87][88]
1994 William Marcus Male Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) As a Senior Science Advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Marcus witnessed the Office of Drinking Water approve a policy that added fluoride to the nation's drinking water.[89] Marcus was fired after he reported the fluoride could increase cancer rates in the affected population.[90] His testimony led to the discovery of numerous frauds committed by major chemical companies who tried to silence his concerns. Marcus prevailed in front of an Administrative Law Judge and was reinstated with full back pay, as well as a large compensatory damage reward.
1994 André Cicolella Male French Institute for Research and Security André Cicolella showed that fetal malformations are associated with being exposed in utero to glycol ethers. The French Institute for Research and Security decided not to allow him to participate in a symposium that he was organizing on health risks linked with ether glycols, and fired him. In 1998 it was confirmed that he was right.
1995 William Sanjour Male United States Environmental Protection Agency William Sanjour worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for over 25 years, where he constantly challenged the safety practices of the agency and ensured the EPA properly dealt with hazardous waste.[91] In 1995, Sanjour won a landmark lawsuit that set a nationwide precedent and First Amendment right permitting federal employees to blow the whistle on their employers.[92] In Sanjour v. EPA, he challenged agency rules restricting EPA employees from talking to environmental groups, a decision that has not been overruled to this day.[93] Sanjour was the recipient of the 2007 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Sentinel Award, which recognizes those who "choose truth over self."[94]
1995 Allen Mosbaugh Male Georgia Power Company Reported safety concerns at Georgia Power Company in 1990 when he worked at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant as a superintendent of engineering liaison.[95] In 1989, he sent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a memo about a "violation of technical specifications" in regards to specific valves at the plant. In September 1990, Mosbaugh joined Marvin Hobby in petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a review of the Georgia Power Company and impose civil penalties for improper operation at the facility and illegally transferring control to the Southern Nuclear Operating Company. Mosbaugh also recorded his coworkers and superiors that documented safety violations. He was discharged from his job in October 1990 and filed a complaint alleging that his firing was an act of whistleblower retaliation under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, but the administrative law judge ruled in 1992 that Georgia Power Company had not acted in retaliation. In 1993, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a report that supported Mosbaugh's whistleblower retaliation claim.[96] In 1995, the Secretary of Labor concluded that Mosbaugh had been retaliated against after he engaged in "protected activity," which reversed the 1992 ruling.
1996 Shannon Doyle Male Alabama Power Reported safety violations at the J.M Farley Nuclear Plant, run by Alabama Power, to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[97] In 1989, Doyle filed a complaint against Hydro Nuclear Services under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 when the company did not hire him as a "casual employee" because he did not sign a release that allowed the company to perform a background check.
1996 George Galatis Male Nuclear power industry Nuclear power whistleblower George Galatis was a senior nuclear engineer who reported safety problems at the Millstone 1 Nuclear Power Plant, relating to reactor refueling procedures, in 1996.[98][99] The unsafe procedures meant that spent fuel rod pools at Unit 1 had the potential to boil, possibly releasing radioactive steam.[100] Galatis eventually took his concerns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to find that they had "known about the unsafe procedures for years". As a result of going to the NRC, Galatis experienced "subtle forms of harassment, retaliation, and intimidation".[99][101] The NRC Office of Inspector General investigated this episode and essentially agreed with Galatis in Case Number 95-771, the report of which tells the whole story.[102] George Galatis was the subject of a Time magazine cover story on March 4, 1996.[101] Millstone 1 was permanently closed in July 1998.
1996 Jeffrey Wigand Male Brown & Williamson Jeffrey Wigand had been recently fired from his position as vice president of research and development at tobacco company Brown & Williamson when, on February 4, 1996, he stated on the CBS news program 60 Minutes that the company intentionally manipulated the level of nicotine in cigarette smoke to addict smokers. Wigand claims that he was subsequently harassed and received anonymous death threats. He was portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 1999 film The Insider.
1996 Allan Cutler Male Canadian government The first whistleblower on the Canadian "AdScam" or sponsorship scandal. Without legal protection, he was fired by the Canadian government. As the case developed, federal legislation was passed to protect future whistleblowers in the Canadian civil service. Several convictions have been recorded to date with the case, with proceedings still in progress.
1996 David Franklin Male Parke-Davis Exposed illegal promotion of the epilepsy drug Neurontin for un-approved uses while withholding evidence that the drug was not effective for these conditions. Parke-Davis's new owners Pfizer eventually pleaded guilty and paid criminal and civil fines of $430 million. The case had widespread effects including: establishing a new standards for pharmaceutical marketing practices; broadening the use of the False Claims Act to make fraudulent marketing claims criminal violations; exposing complicity and active participation in fraud by renowned physicians; and demonstrating how medical literature had been systematically adulterated by the pharmaceutical industry and its paid clinical consultants. Under the False Claims Act Dr Franklin receives $24.6m as part of the settlement agreement.[103]
1996 Timothy Kerr and George D. Wynalda Jr. Male Boeing In 1996, Timothy Kerr, a US military veteran who was employed as a rigger responsible for the installation of cables to operate equipment such as rudders, flaps, and throttles on Boeing 767 aircraft from 1986 to 1993, initiated a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing. Kerr alleged that Boeing had ignored safety measures by delivering both civilian and military aircraft (including 767s, alongside 747s, 757s, AWACS, and even Air Force One) containing flaws such as "misinstalled cables, badly drilled holes, and overtightened bolts" in order to maintain production schedules. Kerr also noted that some of these flaws were the product of intentional sabotage by Boeing employees due to labor disputes and anti-Asian sentiment, such as the deliberate damage of components on planes destined for China Airlines and various Japan-based civil and military air carriers.[104][105] He was joined by George D. Wynalda Jr., another US military veteran acting as a production line inspector at Boeing's plant in Auburn, Washington, who stated that he observed the same problems persisting up to at least 1996.[106][107][108] Reportage by Ed Vulliamy from The Observer attributed the crashes of Lauda Air Flight 004 in 1991 and EgyptAir Flight 990 in 1999 to the same production line failures identified by Kerr and Wynalda Jr.[109]
1996 Michael Ruppert Male Los Angeles Police Department Former LAPD narcotics officer who contested the CIA director John Deutch's assertions that the CIA was not complicit in drug trafficking during a town hall meeting at Los Angeles' Locke High School on November 5, 1995. At the meeting, Ruppert publicly alleged the existence of classified CIA programs named "Amadeus", "Pegasus", and "Watchtower", claiming to possess evidence for the programs including redacted documents from "Watchtower", and stated that CIA officers had attempted to involve him in protecting these CIA operations during the late 1970s.[110] His account corresponds to similar allegations regarding Operation Watchtower.[111]
1997 Juan Walterspiel Male Pfizer Was terminated by Pfizer after exposing a Nigerian study of Trovan was "in violation of ethical rules for the conduct of medical experiments in humans." His unlawful termination case was confidentially settled.[112]


Nancy Olivieri Female Apotex Starting in 1996, Olivieri was part of a group conducting a clinical trial in order to evaluate the use of a drug of Apotex, deferiprone, in treating persons with a blood disorder, thalassaemia.[113] During the course of the trial, Olivieri became concerned about evidence that pointed to the toxicity of the study drug and to the drug being inefficacious. Olivieri informed both the research ethics board that was monitoring the study and Apotex, the drug maker. The research ethics board instructed Olivieri to inform participants about her concerns. Apotex responded by noting that Olivieri had signed a confidentiality agreement as part of the drug trial and that informing participants about her concerns, the validity of which Apotex disputed, would violate that confidentiality agreement. Apotex threatened to vigorously pursue all legal remedies against her if she disclosed her conclusions to patients. Olivieri disclosed her concerns to her patients and Apotex ended the portion of the study in which she was participating. In 1998, the New England Journal of Medicine published her paper suggesting that deferiprone led to progressive hepatic fibrosis.[114][115]
1997 Frederic Whitehurst Male Federal Bureau of Investigation A chemist at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation who was the FBI Laboratory's foremost expert on explosives residue in the 1990s, Whitehurst became the first modern-day FBI whistleblower.[116] He reported a lack of scientific standards and serious flaws in the FBI Lab, including in the first World Trade Center bombing cases, and the Oklahoma City bombing case.[117] Whitehurst's whistleblower disclosures triggered an overhaul of the FBI's crime lab following a report by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General in 1997.[118][119] In 1997, Whitehurst testified at the House Judiciary Subcommittee's hearings on the FBI crime lab.[120][121] Dr. Whitehurst filed a federal lawsuit claiming whistleblower retaliation, and he reached a settlement with the FBI worth more than $1.16 million.[122] Whitehurst now directs the FBI Oversight Project of the National Whistleblower Center.
1997 David Shayler Male MI5 Along with girlfriend Annie Machon, resigned from MI5 to expose alleged criminal acts by the UK Secret Services, including a failed assassination attempt on Muammar Gaddafi. Shayler also accused the Security Services of planting false stories in the press, substantiated in one example by a court.[123]
1997 Christoph Meili Male UBS A night guard at a Swiss bank, he discovered that his employer was destroying records of savings by Holocaust victims, which the bank was required to return to heirs of the victims. After the Swiss authorities sought to arrest Meili, he was given political asylum in the United States.[124][125]
1997 Alan Parkinson Male Australian Government Alan Parkinson is a mechanical and nuclear engineer who has written the 2007 book, Maralinga: Australia's Nuclear Waste Cover-up, about the clean-up of the British atomic bomb test site at Maralinga in South Australia.[126] In 1993, Parkinson became the key person on the Maralinga clean-up project, representing the then federal Labor government. By 1997, however, there was much cost-cutting involved which compromised the project, and personal differences about how the project should proceed, which led to the sacking of Parkinson by the new Howard government.[127] The clean-up was totally unsatisfactory according to Parkinson and he exposed the situation through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, provoking a strong rebuttal and personal abuse from the government.[127]
1998 Shiv Chopra Male Canadian government A microbiologist and activist who was involved in one of the first major whistleblowing incidents in the Canadian public service.
1998 Paul van Buitenen Male European Commission Accused European Commission members of corruption. (See Resignation of the Santer Commission).
1998 Marc Hodler Male International Olympic Committee IOC member who blew the whistle on the Winter Olympic bid scandal for the 2002 Salt Lake City games.
1998 Linda Tripp Female Clinton Administration Tripp was a White House staff member who disclosed to the Office of Independent Counsel that Monica Lewinsky committed perjury and attempted to suborn perjury, and President Bill Clinton committed misconduct, by denying the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in the Paula Jones federal civil rights suit.[128] A victim of retaliation by the Clinton Administration, Tripp successfully sued the Department of Defense and the Justice Department for releasing information from her security file and employment file to the news media in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974.[129] In 2003, Tripp settled with the federal government for over $595,000. In addition, she received a retroactive promotion and retroactive pay for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000, a pension and was cleared to work for the federal government again.[130]
1999 Harry Markopolos Male Early whistleblower of suspected securities fraud by Bernard Madoff, tipping off the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) repeatedly.
1999 Youri Bandazhevsky Male In 1999, Youri Bandazhevsky released the results that he accumulated about the health problems of children in the contaminated area of Chernobyl. He is arrested in July 1999.


Marlene Garcia-Esperat Female Philippines Department of Agriculture Former analytical chemist for the Philippines Department of Agriculture who became a journalist to expose departmental corruption, and was murdered in 2005. Her assailants later surrendered to police, and have testified that they were hired by officials in the Department of Agriculture.[131]


Janet Howard, Tanya Ward Jordan and Joyce E. Megginson Female United States Department of Commerce Exposed widespread systemic racism and retaliation within the Department of Commerce against African-American employees.[132]


Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
2000s Karen Kwiatkowski Female United States Air Force Retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force who worked as a desk officer in The Pentagon and in a number of roles in the National Security Agency. She has written a number of essays on corrupting political influences of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has said that she was the anonymous source for Seymour Hersh and Warren Strobel on their exposés of pre-war intelligence.[133]
2000s Stefan P. Kruszewski Male Pharmaceutical companies Kruszewski is a whistleblower, with settlements from suits brought against Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, Pfizer, Inc., and AstraZeneca. Kruszewski became aware of inadequate care and the exploiting of state-committed mentally ill children through overmedication and physical and chemical restraints while working for the Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Program Integrity for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When he refused to keep silent about his discoveries, he was fired from his position at the state.[134] Kruszewski won settlements for both a First Amendment case against the state of Pennsylvania[135] as well as his first Qui tam lawsuit against the hospital.[136] In the cases against pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer[137] and AstraZeneca,[138] Kruszewski highlighted clinical science that was misrepresented by the defendants in their marketing and promotion of certain drugs. He also demonstrated problems with off-label marketing (marketing that promotes uses, patients or doses that are not approved by the US FDA) which resulted in heightened, but often non-transparent, risk to the health of patients and exceptional costs to taxpayers and state and federal governments.[139][140][141]
2000s Guy Pearse Male Large fossil fuel companies in Australia According to the research of Pearse, lobby groups representing the largest fossil fuel producing or consuming industries in Australia referred to themselves as the Greenhouse Mafia. These groups are represented in Canberra by the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN). AIGN members boasted to Pearse in recorded interviews how they routinely gained access to what should be confidential information concerning government policy on energy and transport. Pearse cited recorded interviews with AIGN members and said that lobbyists had written cabinet submissions, ministerial briefings, and costings in two departments on at least half a dozen occasions over a decade.[142] According to Pearse, those within groups lobbying for unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions have been able to ensure that government ministers hear mostly matching advice from their own departmental officials. Pearse says that this influence is entrenched to such an extent that fossil fuel industry lobby groups have actually been writing Australia's greenhouse policy at least since the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, and probably even before John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996.[142] Disillusioned, Pearse became a whistleblower, and in July 2007, Pearse released his book on the subject, High & Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia's Future. In early 2007, Clive Hamilton wrote his book titled Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change, drawing heavily on Pearse's research.
2000 Paul Jayko Male Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Paul Jayko was an Environmental Specialist for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.[143] In 1997, when Jayko was assigned as a site coordinator for River Valley Schools area, he discovered that school buildings were built on a site of a former military installation, where carcinogenic materials were buried and disposed.[144] When he attempted to investigate the link between the site and the increased incidence of leukemia in the area, Jayko gradually lost his responsibilities and was ultimately terminated.[145] Later, the manager responsible for retaliation against Jayko lost his bid to become Director Enforcement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in large part due to the finding by the judge in the Jayko case that the head of the Ohio's EPA personally retaliated against Mr. Jayko.[146]
2000 Marsha Coleman-Adebayo Female United States Environmental Protection Agency Marsha Coleman-Adebayo was a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of the Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She blew the whistle on the EPA for racial and gender discrimination in violation of Civil Rights Act of 1964 which began after she was removed from her position in South Africa where her "job was to essentially help the South African government to work on issues that impact public health".[147] In South Africa she brought to the attention of the EPA the dangerous conditions an American company was exposing African workers who were mining to vanadium, a dangerous substance. Her case eventually led to the passing of the No-FEAR Act in 2002 that makes federal agencies more accountable for employee complaints.[147]
2001 James J. Bobreski Male D.C. Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) James J. Bobreski blew the whistle on the D.C. Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) in 1999 while working at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater treatment plant as a contracted process control technician.[148] He raised concerns that the plant's safety alarms were functioning incorrectly and a chlorine gas leak had occurred at Blue Plains.[149] Bobreski was fired after notifying supervisors of faulty gas sensors and told The Washington Post about WASA's actions; he filed a whistleblower protection complaint with the Department of Labor and won his case in 2001. A judge later ruled in 2005 that Bobreski's whistleblower protection had been violated.
2001 Paul Darke Male Leonard Cheshire Disability After resigning from the role of national advocacy officer, Darke set up a website highlighting their role in institutionalising those with disabilities and neglecting those in their care.[150] Among other things, he stated that 'the main reason you cease to be a Leonard Cheshire service user is death' and that charity donations would pay for 'private medical insurance of senior directors and management get-togethers costing £10,000 a weekend'.[151] After a heated debate on BBC Radio 4, as well as 50,000 hits on the website, Leonard Cheshire submitted a complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organization.[152] WIPO ruled that Darke has no right or legitimate interest in the domain name; and that it has been registered and used by him in bad faith.[153] Leonard Cheshire have subsequently changed their name to Leonard Cheshire Disability.[154]
2001 Joseph Nacchio Male Qwest /National Security Agency Nacchio was chairperson and CEO of Qwest when it refused to participate in NSA spying on its customers in February 2001. Qwest was the only telecommunications company to require FISA court orders. Nacchio claims that in retaliation, Qwest subsequently was denied government contracts.[155]

Pascal Diethelm (see French Wikipedia), Jean-Charles Rielle (see French Wikipedia) Male Philip Morris USA and University of Geneva Swiss tobacco control advocates and alumni from the University of Geneva who revealed the secret ties of Ragnar Rylander (see French Wikipedia), professor of environmental health, to the tobacco industry. In a public statement made in 2001, Pascal Diethelm and Jean-Charles Rielle accused Rylander of being "secretly employed by Philip Morris" and qualified of "scientific fraud without precedent" the concealment of his links with the tobacco industry for a period of 30 years, during which he publicly presented himself as an independent scientist, while obeying orders given by Philip Morris executives and lawyers, publishing articles and organizing symposia which denied or trivialized the toxicity of secondhand smoke. After a long trial, which went up to the supreme court of Switzerland, all accusations were found to be true.[156] Following this judgment, the University of Geneva prohibited its members from soliciting research subsidies or direct or indirect consultancies with the tobacco industry.[157]
2001 Jesselyn Radack Female United States Department of Justice Radack, a DOJ lawyer, told Newsweek that the DOJ both lied about and destroyed documents regarding John Walker Lindh's interrogation and his parents' attempts to get him a lawyer. The DOJ retaliated by pushing her out of the department, getting her fired from her next job, trying to get her law licence revoked, and other means.
2002 David Lewis Male U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Dr. David Lewis was a senior research microbiologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.[158] His research assessing the link between human health and use of treated sewage sludge prompted the Centers for Disease Control to issue guidelines protecting workers handling treated sewage sludge.[159] Dr. Lewis published an article criticizing the EPA's sludge rule in 1999.
2002 Marvin Hobby Male Georgia Power Company Marvin Hobby was a top ranking corporate officer at Georgia Power Company who reported safety issues at nuclear power plants.[160] In 1989, Hobby informed upper management at Georgia Power Co. that they were not following government policies as it prepared to turn over control of a plant in Waynesboro, Georgia.[161] A few months later, Hobby was removed from his position. In 1995, the Secretary of Labor issued a decision that found Georgia Power Company guilty of violating the whistleblower protection provisions of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 when they fired Hobby.[162] Twelve years after reporting his concerns, Hobby was paid $4 million by Georgia Power Co. for his efforts.[163]
2002 Dr. Aaron Westrick Male Second Chance Body Armor In 2001, Dr. Aaron Westrick was the research director for Second Chance Body Armor ("SCBA"), the largest manufacturer and supplier of body armor in the United States.[164] Westrick witnessed a rapid decline in the quality of bulletproof vests made with "Zylon" fiber after the material was proven to deteriorate at an alarming rate in certain environments.[165] Westrick warned top officials at SCBA and Zylon manufacturer Toyobo Co. Ltd., that covering up defects and ignoring the problem would put federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies' lives at risk and lead to disastrous consequences for the company.[166]

In 2003, a California police officer was shot and killed while wearing a vest made with Zylon fiber, prompting Westrick to file a False Claims Act lawsuit against SCBA and Toyobo Co., Ltd. in 2004.[167] In 2005, the United States Government intervened in the case on behalf of Westrick and after a 13-year legal battle with the Japanese manufacturer of Zylon, Toyobo Co. Ltd., the company agreed to pay a $66 million settlement to the United States for damages.[168][169]

2002 John Roberts Male FBI John Roberts was a former Unit Chief in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Office of Professional Responsibility.[170] In 2001, Roberts testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the pattern of misconduct surfacing at the highest level of the FBI.[171] Despite having obtained permission to appear on the CBS program 60 Minutes, he was immediately harassed and retaliated against for making these public disclosures.[172] This was the first case in FBI history that a senior-level manager was removed from his position based on his mistreatment of Mr. Roberts.[170] The Roberts retaliation case also led to federal legislation bolstering the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 to ensure FBI whistleblowers have the same rights under the law as any other federal employee.[172]
2002 Richard Maok Riaño Botina AKA "@hackerFiscalia" Male Attorney General's Office - Technical Investigation Unit (CTI) "A former computer expert in the attorney general's office, Richard Maok, has been transferred from his job after compiling data documenting that phone calls from inside the attorney general's office had been made to the phones of presumed paramilitary members in northeast Colombia."[173] "He took all the captured cell phones of the paramilitaries in the legal proceedings, made the crossing and discovered a huge amount of coincidences, that is, paramilitaries and many prosecutorial officials communicated permanently. Congressman Gustavo Petro presented that debate to Congress introduced Mr. Riaño and it was made public."[174] In addition to the Attorney General's Office, that infiltration would reach the national police, the army, the prison system, the intelligence agency, the Supreme Court of Justice and the Colombian Congress itself. The investigation took as a starting point the crossing of information referring to facts in which the violation of human rights occurred, which contained the names of the leaders of the most important paramilitary groups of the moment. That infiltration and the paramilitary actions were aimed at eliminating the political opposition, in order to definitely install the Uribe as the family in power. The hacker of the Prosecutor's Office directly holds former president Álvaro Uribe responsible for that situation. The reprisals against the "Hacker" were swift: house raids and home searches, telephone interception, 24-hour surveillance, judicial complaint, and dismissal, took the situation to a limit that led to the request of refuge in Canada, where Maok Riaño resides 15 years ago."[175]
2002 Kathryn Bolkovac Female United Nations International Police Originally hired by the U.S. company DynCorp as part of a $15 million UN contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia. She eventually reported that such officers were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex-trafficking.[176] Many of these were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity, but none have been prosecuted, as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia.[177] Bolkovac filed a lawsuit[178] in Great Britain against DynCorp for unfair dismissal due to a protected disclosure (whistleblowing), and on August 2, 2002, the tribunal unanimously found in her favor.[179]
2002 Cynthia Cooper Female Worldcom Exposed corporate financial scandal. Jointly named Time's People of the Year in 2002.
2002 Sherron Watkins Female Enron Exposed corporate financial scandal as Enron vice president in 2001.

Watkins emailed Enron founder Kenneth Lay about fraudulent accounting at the company, and two months later Enron lost $1.2 billion in shareholder equity. Four months later, the company went bankrupt and had to seek bankruptcy protection.[180][181] When Enron was investigated by Congress, Watkins testified about the fraud at Enron and her experience going to Lay about the issues in the company.[182]

She has since been active in whistleblower advocacy, speaking at the 2019 celebration of National Whistleblower Day.[183] Watkins also submitted comments in August 2019 about the SEC's proposed amendments to their whistleblower program.[184] Watkins was named Time's People of the Year in 2002.[185][186]

2002 Diann Shipione Female San Diego Diann Shipione, a former trustee of the San Diego City retirement board,[187] is credited with exposing unlawful underfunding of the city's pension fund[188] and the omission of multiple billions of dollars of pension and retiree healthcare debt in the City of San Diego municipal bond offering[189] sales documents.[190]

She was, in her professional life, formerly a vice president at UBS Financial Services.[191]

City officials and pension board trustees created a multi-year smear campaign,[192] including filing ethics charges against her[193] and plotting to have her arrested by the San Diego City Police.[194]

The scandal caused widespread fallout in the city's political and financial sectors.[195] Several city officials resigned, including the City Auditor, City Manager, City Treasurer[196] and the Mayor. The City became the target of two federal investigations[197] and in November 2006, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission entered an order sanctioning the City of San Diego for committing securities fraud.[197]

Shipione was eventually proven right about her concerns[198] and received public recognition for her pension system related services from many civic organizations in San Diego.

2002 Coleen Rowley Female Federal Bureau of Investigation Outlined the FBI's slow action before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Jointly named Time's People of the Year in 2002.
2002 William Binney
J. Kirke Wiebe
Edward Loomis
Male National Security Agency NSA officials initially joined House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark in asking U.S. Department of Defense inspector general to investigate wasteful spending on the Trailblazer Project and the NSA officials eventually went public when they were ignored and retaliated upon. They claim that Thinthread was more focused thus more effective and lower cost than Trailblazer and subsequent programs, which automatically collected trillions of domestic communications of Americans in deliberate violation of the U.S. Constitution.
2002 Marta Andreasen Female European Commission Argentine-born Spanish accountant, employed by the European Commission as Chief Accountant, and notable for raising concerns about fraud potential within EU, neglected by the commission.
2002 Glenn Walp
Steven L. Doran
Male University of California
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Glenn Walp and Steven L. Doran were hired to investigate allegations of fraud at the University of California's Los Alamos National Laboratory. They were fired after they exposed breaches of security as well as fraud and mismanagement to the Department of Energy. Their investigation resulted in congressional hearings. Walpo received a $930,000 settlement from the University of California (UC) for wrongful termination.[199] Doran accepted UC's offer of a position as security consultant.[200]
2002 Sibel Edmonds Female Federal Bureau of Investigation Former FBI translator naturalized American citizen of Turkish descent who was fired in 2002 by the FBI for attempting to report cover-ups of security issues, potential espionage, and incompetence.[201][202] She has been gagged by the State Secrets Privilege in her efforts to go to court on these issues, including a rejection in 2005 by the Supreme Court of the United States to hear her case without comment.[203][204] She is the founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) that is looking to lobby congress and help other whistleblowers with legal and other forms of assistance.[205]
2002 & 2004 Jeffrey Alexander Sterling Male Central Intelligence Agency Sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for revealing details about Operation Merlin (covert operation to supply Iran with flawed nuclear warhead blueprints) to journalist James Risen.
2003 Bassem Youssef (FBI agent) Male Federal Bureau of Investigation Bassem Youssef was a Unit Chief in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Counterterrorism Division who blew the whistle on FBI hiring practices and sued the FBI for discrimination in 2003.[206] His lawsuit claimed that in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, he had been passed over for promotions to work in counterterrorism, even though he had relevant experience and was one of the only fluent Arabic speakers at his level at the FBI at the time.[207] Instead, others with less relevant experience and skills were promoted to counterterrorism positions, and when Youssef spoke out against these practices, he was retaliated against.[208] He was assigned a desk job and stated that post-9/11, his skills as an Arabic speaker and polygraph examiner had not been used.[209] In 2006, the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility ruled that the FBI had illegally retaliated against Youssef because of his whistleblowing.
2003 Sgt. Frank "Greg" Ford Male U.S. Army Sgt. Frank "Greg" Ford is a retired counterintelligence agent with over 30 years of military service. He was stationed in Samarra, Iraq in June 2003 with the California National Guard's 223rd Military Intelligence (M.I.) Battalion. After reporting to superiors systematic abuse of Iraqi detainees at Samarra, Sgt. Ford was judged mentally unstable by an Army psychiatrist and renditioned to Landstuhl, Germany to receive further psychological evaluation. In all following psychiatric assessments, Ford was determined to be of sound mind. In later interviews and press appearances, Ford also alleges he witnessed the diversion of U.S.-made weapons of mass destruction from Iraq to Syria and suggests these munitions were deployed by the Syrian military against rebels and civilians during the Syrian civil war.


2003 Courtland Kelley Male General Motors Courtland Kelley was the head of the General Motors inspection and quality assurance program for many years. He found faults in the Chevrolet Cavalier and the Chevrolet Cobalt, and repeatedly reported them, with little response. He thought his supervisors were more interested in maintaining sales and their own positions than with expensive recalls. In 2003, Kelley sued GM alleging that the company had been slow to address the dangers in its cars and trucks. Even though he lost the court case, Kelley thought that by blowing the whistle he had done the right and proper thing. Faulty ignition switches in the Cobalts, which cut power to the car while in motion, were eventually linked to many crashes resulting in fatalities, starting with a teenager in 2005 who drove her new Cobalt into a tree.[211] In May 2014 the NHTSA fined the company $35 million for failing to recall cars with faulty ignition switches for a decade, despite knowing there was a problem with the switches. Thirteen deaths were attributed to the faulty switches during the time the company failed to recall the cars.[212]
2003 Diane Urquhart Female Canadian Government Former senior securities industry executive who revealed to the Canadian House of Commons's finance committee that Canadian frozen non-bank asset-backed commercial paper caused a loss of $7–$13 billion held primarily by government, corporation pension funds and treasuries.[213]
2003 Katharine Gun Female United Kingdom GCHQ Leaked top-secret information to the press concerning alleged illegal activities by the United States and the United Kingdom in their push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
2003 Robert MacLean Male United States Transportation Security Administration U.S. Federal Air Marshal who exposed the TSA's agency-wide plan to remove Federal Air Marshals from nonstop, long-distance flights for two months in order to avoid expenditures associated with air marshals lodging in hotels overnight. The plan was formulated in response to a budget shortfall due to overspending. The plan was formulated three days after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an Advisory that warned the airline industry and law enforcement of a suicide hijacking plot in which terrorists would exploit U.S. immigration and airport security loopholes. After outrage from U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton,[214] Charles Schumer,[215] Barbara Boxer,[216] and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney,[217] TSA's plan was rescinded before becoming operational. MacLean was fired after DHS discovered he disclosed the plan.[218] On January 27, 2014, the Obama administration appealed MacLean's federal appeals court win to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court accepted DHS' appeal for review and affirmed the Federal Circuit's decision in MacLean's favor 7–2. The decision was written by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts.[219]
2003 Joseph Wilson Male United States Government Former U.S. ambassador, whose editorial in The New York Times, "What I Didn't Find in Africa",[220] showed reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
2003 Richard Convertino Male United States Department of Justice Former federal prosecutor who obtained the first conviction of a defendant in a terrorism case post-9/11.[221] After Convertino testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in September 2003 about the lack of Bush Administration support of anti-terrorism prosecutions post-9/11, Convertino alleges the Justice Department leaked information and violated a court order to publicly smear him in retaliation for his whistleblowing.[222] Convertino filed a lawsuit under the Privacy Act against the Department of Justice in response to the retaliation he experienced.[223] Additionally, the Justice Department indicted Convertino for obstruction of justice and lying, which Convertino alleges is further whistleblower retaliation.[224] The Department of Justice later dropped their charges against Convertino.
2003 Satyendra Dubey Male India National Highways Authority Accused his employer NHAI of corruption in highway construction projects in India, in letter to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Assassinated on November 27, 2003. Enormous media coverage following his death may lead to Whistleblower Act in India.[citation needed]
2003 David Kelly Male Ministry of Defence In 2003, Kelly was outed as the BBC's source that the British government had embellished a report about weapons in Iraq to justify going to war. He died by suicide the same year.[225]
2004 Joe Darby Male United States Army First alerted the U.S. military command of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison, in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.
2004 Neil Patrick Carrick Male Greater Grace World Outreach A former member and staff member of Greater Grace World Outreach in Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A. who uncovered financial and sexual abuse by church leaders. Eventually, The Baltimore Sun would publish a front-page story uncovering a $500,000 payoff regarding a cover-up of an affair of a staff Pastor. Multiple articles across the United States and Internationally would follow. Following the split of the international organization hundreds of congregations, schools would change their affiliation with the organization. In the following years, several individuals would be convicted of sexual abuse related crimes including staff members from the Baltimore Church.
2004 Hans-Peter Martin Male European Parliament Accused Parliament members of invalid expense claims.[citation needed]
2004 Craig Murray Male United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who opposed the Karimov regime's use of torture and its other violations of human rights, and British Government support for the use of torture.
2004 Gerald W. Brown Male Nuclear power industry Nuclear power whistleblower Gerald W. Brown was a former firestop contractor and consultant who uncovered the Thermo-lag circuit integrity scandal and silicone foam scandals in U.S. and Canadian nuclear power plants, which led to Congressional proceedings as well as Provincial proceedings in the Canadian Province of Ontario concerning deficiencies in passive fire protection.
2004 Mukesh Kapila Male Darfur genocide In 2003–2004 Kapila was the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and the UN Development Program Resident Representative for the Sudan. His reports about the Darfur conflict were at the time dismissed by the Government of Sudan as "a heap of lies", though they succeeded in bringing Darfur to the attention of the world's media for the first time. Kapila lost his job after becoming a whistleblower regarding UN inaction in Darfur, and had to leave Sudan. He also received many death threats which continued for many years.[226]
2004 Samuel Provance Male United States Army System administrator for U.S. Army Military Intelligence at the Abu Ghraib prison who publicly revealed the role of interrogators in the abuses, as well the general effort to cover-up the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse itself.
2004 Peter Rost Male Pfizer Former vice president at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Rost reported about accounting irregularities and other irregularities to his management. He was then transferred from Sweden to a position in New Jersey, a change that he characterized as a retaliatory demotion. He sued Wyeth, and the case was settled out of court on undisclosed terms.[227] He moved to Pharmacia, where he became concerned about off-market labeling of Genotropin. He reported this activity to his managers at Pfizer after Pfizer's purchase of Pharmacia, and later filed a False Claims suit against the company. The Department of Justice declined to join the suit as Pfizer had already disclosed the violations.[228] While a highly paid executive at Pfizer, Rost publicly took positions opposed to those of Pfizer such as advocating drug reimportation and writing a glowing review of a book highly critical of the industry. He was exiled internally by Pfizer and removed from all responsibilities and decision making, a move which Rost says was due to his whistleblowing. In 2004, he testified in Congress as a private individual in favour of drug reimportation, a position strongly at odds with the official policy of the pharmaceutical industry. In December 2005, Rost was fired from Pfizer.[229] In September 2006 he published his experiences in the book "The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman."[citation needed]
2005 Sandra Martinez Cam Female Philippines Jueteng

Sandra Martinez Cam, who is a native of Batuan, Masbate, Philippines rose to fame after exposing several scams involving public officials and agencies in the Philippine government. Among these are the "jueteng" (illegal numbers game) scandal, the presence of illegal drugs and high-powered firearms at the Bureau of Corrections, and the escape of the Reyes brothers via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). An advocate of women's rights, she also uncovered the sex for flight scandal which victimized several female Overseas Filipino Workers in the Middle East. More recently, the fearless Masbatena said she has obtained information that would shed light on the infamous "tanim-bala" (planting of bullets) scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which has been going on since 2012.[230][231]

2005 Renee Dufault Female Food and Drug Administration

Dufault presented research finding to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005 that showed caustic soda (lye) used in the production and manufacturing of High Fructose Corn Syrup, left trace amounts of mercury in foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup. After independent testing verified her finding,[232] she attempted to publish her research and was denied usage of Federal extramural data. She left the FDA in 2008 to make her research public.[233][234]

2005 Richard Levernier Male United States Department of Energy

Richard Levernier is an American nuclear power whistleblower. Levernier worked for 23 years as a nuclear security professional, and identified security problems at U.S. nuclear facilities as part of his job. Specifically, after 9/11, he identified problems with contingency planning to protect U.S. nuclear plants from terrorist attacks. He said that the assumption that attackers would both enter and exit from facilities was not valid, since suicide terrorists would not need to exit. In response to this complaint, the U.S. Department of Energy withdrew Levernier's security clearance and he was assigned to clerical work. Levernier approached the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which handles U.S. federal whistleblower matters. It took the OSC four years to vindicate Levernier, ruling that the department's retaliation was illegal – but the OSC could not reinstate Levernier's security clearance, so he was unable to regain work in nuclear security.[235][236]

2005 Toni Hoffman Female Queensland Health, Australia Toni Hoffman is a senior Australian nurse who exposed the medical malpractice of surgeon Jayant Patel. She originally began to raise doubts about the ability of Patel with hospital management and other staff. Both doctors and surgeons who were familiar with his work were also deeply concerned. Patel became the subject of the Morris Inquiry and later the Davies Commission. Eventually the matter was raised in the Queensland Parliament. Hoffman received the 2006 Australian of the Year Local Hero Award and an Order of Australia Medal, for her role as a whistleblower.[237][238]
2005 Russ Tice Male United States Government Former intelligence analyst for the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Air Force, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Tice first approached Congress and eventually the media about the warrantless surveillance of the U.S. population by the NSA. Tice was a major source for the 2005 New York Times exposé and spoke out widely following subsequent disclosures by other NSA whistleblowers. He was the first to speak publicly and openly with allegations during the era beginning with the George W. Bush administration (which continues into the Obama administration). He had earlier been known for reporting suspicions that a DIA colleague of his might be a Chinese spy.[239]
2005 Maria do Rosàrio Veiga Female World Meteorological Organization Enquired about a fraud, wrote a final report in 2005. Chief IAIS 2002/nov2006, terminated by the WMO.[240][241][242]


Thomas Andrews Drake Male National Security Agency Thomas Drake worked at the NSA in various analyst and management positions. He blew the whistle on the NSA's Trailblazer Project that he felt was a violation of the Fourth Amendment and other laws and regulations. He contacted The Baltimore Sun which published articles about waste, fraud, and abuse at the NSA, including stories about Trailblazer. In April 2010, Drake was indicted by a grand jury on various charges, including obstructing justice and making false statements. After the May 22, 2011 broadcast of a 60 Minutes episode on the Drake case, the government dropped all of the charges against Drake and agreed not to seek any jail time in return for Drake's agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of misusing the agency's computer system. Drake was sentenced to one year of probation and community service.
2005 Bunnatine "Bunny" H. Greenhouse Female Halliburton Former chief civilian contracting officer for the United States Army Corps of Engineers who in 2005, exposed illegality in the no-bid contracts for reconstruction in Iraq by a Halliburton subsidiary.[243][244] The Army retaliated against Greenhouse by demoting her and removing her from her job as a high-level contractor. She testified before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing in 2007 about her experience blowing the whistle and the aftermath of her disclosure.


Brad Birkenfeld Male UBS An American banker who formerly worked for UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, he was the first person who exposed what has become a multibillion-dollar international tax fraud scandal over Swiss private banking.[245][246] He provided extensive and voluntary cooperation with the U.S. government, registering as an IRS whistleblower, Birkenfeld is the only U.S. citizen to be sentenced to prison as a result of the scandal.[139]
2005 Thomas Tamm Male United States Department of Justice Attorney for the DOJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review who initially informed The New York Times for the story that became a 2005 exposé on mass warrantless surveillance. His home was raided in 2007 during FBI investigation of the leaks and he began to openly speak out publicly in 2008.
2005 Shawn Carpenter Male Sandia National Laboratories Discovered that a sophisticated group of hackers were systematically penetrating hundreds of computer networks at major U.S. defense contractors, military installations and government agencies to access sensitive information. After informing his superiors at Sandia, he was directed not to share the information with anyone, because management cared only about Sandia's computers. He, however, went on to voluntarily work with the U.S. Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to address the problem. When Sandia discovered his actions, they terminated his employment and revoked his security clearance. His story was first reported in the September 5, 2005, issue of Time. On February 13, 2007, a New Mexico State Court awarded him $4.7 million in damages from Sandia Corporation for firing him. The jury found Sandia Corporation's handling of Mr. Carpenter's firing was "malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent, or in bad faith."
2005 Rick S. Piltz Male National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exposed Philip Cooney, a White House official who edited a climate change report to reflect the administration's views without having any scientific background.[citation needed]
2005 Shanmughan Manjunath Male Indian Oil Corporation Former manager at Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), and spoke against adulteration of petrol. He was shot dead on November 19, 2005, allegedly by a petrol pump owner from Uttar Pradesh.[citation needed]
2005 Paul Moore Male HBOS Executive at the UK bank HBOS who in 2005 was fired, allegedly after warning his senior colleagues that the company's sales strategy was at odds with prudent management. In 2009 Moore spoke out about his warnings to the Treasury Select Committee of parliament during its investigation into the turmoil in the UK banking system.[247]
2005 Andy Eller Male U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist who was fired and then reinstated for filing a complaint for the department using flawed science to get approval for developer projects that put the endangered Florida panther at risk.[248]
2006 Gary J. Aguirre Male United States Securities and Exchange Commission Exposed the SEC's failure to pursue investigation of John Mack in insider trading case involving Pequot Capital Management and Arthur J. Samberg. Aguirre was fired for complaining about special treatment for Mack, which prompted investigations by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, culminating in a joint report vindicating Aguirre. Through his FOIA request filed to learn more about his wrongful termination, he uncovered the "smoking gun" that forced the SEC to reopen its case against Pequot, leading to a settlement of $28 million in 2009. A month later, the SEC settled Aguirre's lawsuit for wrongful termination, paying $755,000. Aguirre also won a lawsuit against the SEC filed in District Court.[249][250]
2006 Rosemary Johann-Liang Female U.S. FDA In 2006, Rosemary Johann-Liang, deputy director of the Division of Drug Risk Evaluation, in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, recommended that the product label for the diabetes drug Avandia include a strong warning that the use of the drug could result in congestive heart failure. She was reprimanded by FDA managers, who transferred the Avandia safety review work to her supervisor. Johann-Liang was vindicated in May 2007, when the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine aired similar concerns about problems with Avandia, and the FDA finally requested a "Black Box" warning label for the product. Johann-Liang ended up resigning from the FDA.[251][252]
2006 Michael DeKort Male United States Department of Homeland SecurityUnited States Coast Guard Michael DeKort was an American systems engineer and project manager at Lockheed Martin who posted a whistleblowing video on about the Lockheed Integrated Deepwater System Program.[253] In 2008, DeKort was awarded the Society on Social Implications of Technology's public service award.[254] As well as the Barus Ethics Award from the IEEE for his efforts to ensure accountability and whistleblowing video.[255]
2006 Walter DeNino Male Student and lab technician who questioned Eric Poehlman's integrity.[256]
2006 Marco Pautasso Male World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO Senior Auditor blew the whistle on fraud and attempted fraud committed by WIPO Director-General Kamil Idris in November 2006[257][failed verification].[258] Worked at WIPO from 2003 to 11/2006; now consultant.
2006 Mark Klein Male AT&T, National Security Agency Retired communications technician for AT&T who revealed the details of the secret 2003 construction of a monitoring facility in Room 641A of 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco, the site of a large SBC phone building, three floors of which are occupied by AT&T. The facility is alleged to be one of several operated by the National Security Agency as part of the warrantless surveillance undertaken by the Bush administration in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.[259]
2006 Cate Jenkins Female United States Environmental Protection Agency Wrote memos to the EPA Inspector General, U.S. Congress, and FBI detailing the chemical composition of dust from the September 11 attacks and its hazards to responders.[260] She alerted The New York Times in 2006[261] and said in a 2009 CBS interview[262] that the EPA explicitly lied about the danger of the dust which caused chemical burns in the lungs of responders, debilitating illnesses in many that included fatalities, and that it could have been prevented with proper safety equipment. Jenkins claims that the EPA has been misleading about evidence of debris inhalation hazards since the 1980s. She was fired and in 2012 successfully sued to be reinstated.[263][264]
2006 Michael G. Winston Male Countrywide Former executive at the Countrywide Financial Corporation.[265]


Richard M. Bowen III Male Citigroup Starting in June 2006, Senior Vice President Richard M. Bowen III, the chief underwriter of Citigroup's Consumer Lending Group, began warning the board of directors about the extreme risks being taken on by the mortgage operation that could potentially result in massive losses. When Bowen first blew the whistle in 2006, 60% of the mortgages were defective. The amount of bad mortgages began increasing throughout 2007 and eventually exceeded 80% of the volume. Many of the mortgages were not only defective, but were fraudulent. Bowen attempted to rouse the board via weekly reports and other communications. On November 3, 2007, Bowen emailed Citigroup chairman Robert Rubin and the bank's chief financial officer, chief auditor and the chief risk management officer to again expose the risk and potential losses, and claiming that the group's internal controls had broken down. He requested an outside investigation of his business unit that eventually confirmed his charges. In retaliation, Citigroup stripped Bowen of most of his responsibilities and informing him that his physical presence was no longer required at the bank.[266][267]


Adam B. Resnick Male Omnicare Starting in 2006, Resnick sued the pharmaceutical company Omnicare, a major supplier of drugs to nursing homes, under federal whistleblower law, as well as the parties to the company's illegal kickback schemes. Omnicare allegedly paid kickbacks to nursing home operators in order to secure business, which constitutes Medicare and Medicaid fraud. In 2010, Omnicare settled a False Claims Act suit filed by Resnick and taken up by the U.S. Department of Justice by paying $19.8 million to the federal government, while the two nursing homes involved in the scheme settled for $14 million.[268][269] A second whistleblower lawsuit filed against Omnicare it by Resnick and Total Pharmacy Services V.P. Maureen Nehls related to kickbacks that were part of its 2004 acquisition of Total Pharmacy Services was settled for $17.2 million by Omnicare and $5 million by the Total Pharmacy owners.[270][271]


Jane Turner Female Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI whistleblower Jane Turner was an FBI agent for 25 years blew the whistle on the mishandling of child sex crime case on North Dakota Indian Reservations.[272] As a response to her reporting, the FBI removed Turner from her position. In 2005, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the right of Turner to obtain a jury trial against the FBI and monetary damages.[273]

Turner also blew the whistle when she witnessed her colleagues stealing items from Ground Zero of 9/11 during inspections of the site.[274] In 2007, Turner won the final judgement when the Department of Justice vetoed the FBI's appeal of a jury verdict that found the FBI guilty of illegal retaliation against Turner.[275][276]

Turner's case has since been used by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Senate in understanding how to improve the FBI Whistleblower Program.[277][278]

2007 Daniel Richardson Male Bristol-Myers Squibb Daniel Richardson is a former Senior District Business Manager for Bristol-Myers Squibb.[279] With other whistleblowers, Richardson filed qui tam action against their employer for illegal drug pricing and marketing activities that resulted in increased Medicare and Medicaid costs.[280] The company had to pay $515 million fines and penalties to resolve a broad array of federal and state civil allegations. Richardson and the other whistleblowers received a total of approximately $50 million in rewards.[281]
2007 Justin Hopson Male New Jersey State Police During his first few days as a rookie New Jersey State Trooper, Hopson witnessed an unlawful arrest and false report made by his training officer. When he refused to testify in support of the illegal arrest, he was subjected to hazing and harassment by his fellow troopers. He uncovered evidence of a secret society within the State Police known as the Lords of Discipline, whose mission it was to keep fellow troopers in line. Trooper Hopson blew the whistle on the Lords of Discipline, which sparked the largest internal investigation in State Police history. Hopson filed a federal lawsuit alleging that after he refused to support the arrest, Hopson was physically assaulted, received threatening notes, and his car was vandalized while on duty. In 2007, the State of New Jersey agreed to a $400,000 settlement with Hopson. Justin Hopson and his book were featured on ABC News 20/20 "Confessions of a Cop" in 2012 and "Crossing the Line" in 2014.


Sergei Magnitsky Male Russian accountant and auditor Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky (Russian: Серге́й Леонидович Магнитский; April 8, 1972 – November 16, 2009) was a Russian accountant and auditor whose arrest and subsequent death in custody generated international media attention and triggered both official and unofficial inquiries into allegations of fraud, theft and human rights violations. Magnitsky had alleged there had been a large-scale theft from the Russian state sanctioned and carried out by Russian officials. He was arrested and eventually died in prison seven days before the expiration of the one-year term during which he could be legally held without trial. In total, Magnitsky served 358 days in Moscow's notorious Butyrka prison. He developed gallstones, pancreatitis and a blocked gallbladder and received inadequate medical care. A human rights council set up by the Kremlin found that he was beaten up just before he died. In 2013, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization, obtained records of companies and trusts created by two offshore companies which included information on at least 23 companies linked to an alleged $230 million tax fraud in Russia, a case that was being investigated by Sergei Magnitsky. The ICIJ investigation also revealed that the husband of one of the Russian tax officials deposited millions in a Swiss bank account set up by one of the offshore companies.
2007 Irène Frachon Irène Frachon Female Servier laboratories Irène Frachon is a French pulmonologist. Working at the University Hospital of Brest, she played a decisive role in the case of Mediator (benfluorex), a drug used as an appetite suppressant, marketed in France by Servier laboratories from 1976 to 2009, which would have caused the death of many patients until its withdrawal in 2009. Her 2007 book Mediator 150 mg: How Many Dead? prompted lawsuits, public outcry and a government inquiry.[282]
2007 John Kiriakou Male Central Intelligence Agency In an interview to ABC News on December 10, CIA officer Kiriakou disclosed that the agency waterboarded detainees and that this constituted torture. In the months following, Kiriakou passed the identity of a covert CIA operative to a reporter. He was convicted of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and sentenced, on January 25, 2013, to 30 months imprisonment. Having served the first months of his service he wrote an open letter describing the inhuman circumstances at the correction facility.[283]
2007 Anthony D'Armiento Male U.S. Coast Guard Disclosed to a fellow whistleblower unclassified information which showed deficiencies in the U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System program and that contractors were failing to meet contractual requirements with apparent U.S. Coast Guard complicity. Was placed on administrative leave, threatened with criminal prosecution, subjected to a retaliatory investigation by Coast Guard Investigative Service, ordered to "cooperate" and had a weapon pulled on him in the office of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General.[284]
2008 Anat Kamm Female Israeli Defense Force Leaked documents to the media that revealed the IDF had been engaging in extrajudicial killings.[285] While serving as an assistant in the Central Command bureau, Kamm secretly copied classified documents that she leaked to the Israeli Haaretz journalist Uri Blau after her military service was over. The leak suggested that the IDF had defied a court ruling against assassinating wanted militants in the West Bank who could potentially be arrested safely.[286][287] Kamm was convicted of espionage and providing confidential information without authorization.
2008 Rudolf Elmer Male Julius Bär A long-term employee of the Swiss bank whose final position entailed overseeing its Caribbean operations until he was terminated in 2002, Elmer blew the whistle on Julius Bär in 2008 when he gave secret documents to WikiLeaks. The documents detailed Julius Bär's activities in the Cayman Islands and alleged tax evasion. Convicted in Switzerland in January 2011, he was rearrested immediately for having distributed illegally obtained data to WikiLeaks. Julius Bär alleges that Elmer has doctored evidence to suggest the tax evasion.[288][289][290][291][292]


Robert J. McCarthy Male United States Government Robert J. McCarthy served as Field Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior and as General Counsel, U.S. Section, International Boundary and Water Commission. The Oklahoma Bar Association honored him in 2008 with its Fern Holland Courageous Lawyer Award for helping to expose the Interior Department's mismanagement of $3.5 billion in Indian trust resources. In 2009, McCarthy disclosed massive fraud, waste and abuse by the IBWC, that imperiled the health and safety of millions of people on both sides of the U.S.- Mexico border and seriously damaged the border ecosystem. In both cases he was forced from government service, but continued to advocate for the victims of government abuse. In addition, his scholarly publications have revealed the fatal flaws in whistleblower protection laws, as well as the need for radical reform of specific government agencies.[293]
2009 Hervé Falciani Male HSBC's Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank Since 2009 he has been collaborating with numerous European nations by providing information relating to more than 130,000 suspected tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts—specifically those with accounts in HSBC's Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank
2009 Wendell Potter Male CIGNA Former head of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the nation's largest health insurance companies. He testified against the HMO industry in the U.S. Senate as a whistleblower.[294][295]
Cathy Harris Female United States Customs Service A former United States Customs Service employee who exposed rampant racial profiling against Black travellers while working at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Harris's book, Flying While Black: A Whistleblower's Story, she personally observed numerous incidents of Black travellers being stopped, frisked, body-cavity-searched, detained for hours at local hospitals, forced to take laxatives, bowel-monitored and subjected to public and private racist/colorist humiliation. The book also details her allegations of mismanagement, abuses of authority, prohibited personnel practices, waste, fraud, violation of laws, rules and regulations, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, workplace violence, racial and sexual harassment, sexism, intimidation, on and off the job stalking, etc., and other illegal acts that occurs daily to federal employees especially female federal employees at U.S. Customs and other federal agencies.
2009 Ramin Pourandarjani Male Iranian Government An Iranian physician who reported on the state use of torture on political prisoners. He died of poisoning shortly thereafter.[296]
2009 John Kopchinski Male Pfizer Former Pfizer sales representative and West Point graduate[297] whose whistleblower ("qui tam") lawsuit launched a massive government investigation into Pfizer's illegal and dangerous marketing of Bextra, a prescription painkiller. Pfizer paid $1.8 billion to the government to settle the case, including a $1.3 billion criminal fine, which was the largest criminal fine ever imposed for any matter.[298] The Bextra settlement was part of a $2.3 billion global settlement – the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.[299]
2009 Jim Wetta,
Joseph Faltaous,
Steven Woodward,
Jaydeen Vincente,
Robert Rudolph,
Hector Rosado,
Robert Evan Dawitt,
William Lofing,
Bradly Lutz
Male Eli Lilly Nine sales representatives for Eli Lilly filed separate qui tam lawsuits against the company for illegally marketing the drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.[300] According to the settlement, the drug was marketed for other medical conditions not approved by the FDA, known as off-label use. The Government's investigation was triggered by a lawsuit filed by nine sales representatives (Realtors).

[301] Eli Lilly pleaded guilty to actively promoting Zyprexa for off-label uses, particularly for the treatment of dementia in the elderly. The $1.415 billion penalty included an $800 million civil settlement and a $515 million criminal fine—the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation in United States history.[302] Contingent upon the United States receiving the Federal Settlement amount, the nine whistle blowers shared $78,870,877, of the federal share of the civil settlement.[303]

2009 Alexander Barankov Male Belarus Ministry of Internal Affairs Claimed corruption among Belarusian police; charged with bribery and fraud in 2009; became a political refugee in Ecuador in 2010; as of August 2012, faces extradition back to Belarus.[304]
2009 Linda Almonte Female JP Morgan Chase Filed suit under the Dodd Frank Act whistleblower program regarding alleged corrupt practices including robosigning at JP Morgan.[305]


Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
2010 Andrew Maguire Male Andrew Maguire is a British commodities trader and whistleblower. He presented evidence to United States regulators alleging that fraud had been committed, and that prices in the international gold and silver markets had been manipulated. He went public in April 2010 with assertions of market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and HSBC of the gold and silver markets.[306]
2010 Chelsea Manning Female United States Army U.S. Army intelligence analyst who released the largest set of classified documents ever, mostly published by WikiLeaks and their media partners. The material included videos of the July 12, 2007, Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables; and 500,000 army reports that came to be known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs.[307] Manning was convicted of violating the Espionage Act and other offenses and sentenced to 35 years in prison.[308]


Monica Bennett-Ryan Female Australian Defence Intelligence and Security Authority (DSA) In 2009, Monica Bennett-Ryan, an Australian whistleblower, uncovered corruption in Australia's Defence Intelligence and Security Authority (DSA). In 2011, without any evidence, she and two others, Janice Weightman and Owen Laikum, publicly declared they had been ordered to falsify information on security clearances. The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, ordered an investigation and the Investigator General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) in 2013 found their claims to be true. Over 20,000 paper clearances had been compromised, including more than 5,000 Top Secret clearances. (ABC Lateline, May 2011) "The Parliament owes these three brave people a great debt of gratitude for coming forward in the circumstances." Senator David Johnston (Ministerial Statement to the Senate in the Parliament of Australia, 9 Feb 2012) You can the details of this corruption and its ongoing effect here, A PRE-COVID SOCIAL EXPERIMENT The Dark Side Of Australia's Defence Intelligence
2011 Michael Woodford Male Olympus Corporation Corporate president, revealed the Olympus scandal in which past losses concealed and written off via excessive fee payments[309]
2011 Blake Percival Male USIS Percival filed a Qui Tam Whistleblower claim under seal in 7/2011 alleging that USIS had defrauded the U.S. Government by submitting unfinished background investigations to the government for payment.[310] USIS had been under scrutiny since it was revealed that they had performed the background investigation of Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis.[311]
2011 Everett Stern Male HSBC AML compliance officer for HSBC who uncovered billions of dollars of illegal money laundering transactions that he began reporting to the FBI and the CIA in 2011, which led to an SEC investigation and a $1.92 billion fine against HSBC the following year. These encompassed charges of money laundering for drug traffickers, terrorist financiers, and nations under U.S. and international sanctions.[312]
2011 Manasse Nzobonimpa Male EALA In 2011, Manasse Nzobonimpa made allegations accusing a group of officials of the Burundi Government (including the President Pierre Nkurunziza) of corruption and human rights violations. He was then forced into exile with his family[313]
2011 Marine Martin Marine Martin Female Sanofi This mother discovered in 2011 that the malformations and autistic disorders of her children were due to the drug she was prescribed to relieve her epileptic seizures, including during her pregnancy: Depakine. No instructions mentioned the risks, no doctor informed her. Thousands of women would be in the same situation. In 2011, she founded APESAC, an association grouping victims' families.[314] Alongside other families, she sued the laboratory that markets sodium valproate in France.[315]
2012 Vijay Pandhare Male Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, Government of Maharashtra Pandhare was a bureaucrat belonging to the Irrigation Department in the Indian state of Maharashtra. He blew the whistle on the Maharashtra Irrigation Scam of 2012 that led to the resignation of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.[316]
2012 Carmen Segarra Female U.S. New York Federal Reserve's appointed regulator to Goldman Sachs Carmen Segarra discovered that Goldman Sachs did not have a conflict of interest policy when it advised El Paso Corp. on selling itself to Kinder Morgan, a company which Goldman Sachs owned a $4 billion stake. She was forced by her superiors at the Federal Reserve to falsify her report, but stated that her professional view of the situation had not changed. She was shortly thereafter fired.[317] The New York Federal Reserve disputes that she was fired in retaliation.[318]
2012 Silver Meikar Male Estonian Reform Party In May 2012 Meikar published an article, admitting that he had donated cash to Estonian Reform Party in 2009 and 2010, coming from unknown sources and given him by co-politician Kalev Lillo, according to a proposition made by Kristen Michal, Reform Party's secretary general.[319] The scandal became known as Silvergate. Lillo and Michal were presented with criminal charges. After a long and heated discussion in media, charges were dropped, as it was not possible to gather enough evidence. On October 24, 2012, Meikar was expelled from the party.[320] Consequently, Kristen Michal stepped down as the minister of justice.
2012 Antoine Deltour Male PricewaterhouseCoopers In 2012 Deltour's leaking of 28,000 pages of confidential documents revealing how multinational companies routed funds to lower corporate tax bills, gave rise to the Luxembourg Leaks journalistic investigation and attracted international attention to tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg and elsewhere.[321] There was no suggestion that the arrangements were illegal under Luxembourg law, but the disclosures prompted wider public debate on corporate tax avoidance schemes and criminal charges against Deltour.
2013 David P. Weber Male United States Securities and Exchange Commission Weber, an attorney and Certified Fraud Examiner, was the assistant inspector general of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He learned of misconduct in the Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford investigations, and of suspected hacking by a unit of the Chinese military.[322][323] He insisted that agency management report the misconduct and hacking to Congressional Oversight Committees, but instead was terminated for supposedly unrelated reasons. Shortly after his lawsuit became public, news stories broke that the People's Liberation Army compromised information technology at 160 U.S. corporations and government agencies.[324][325]
2013 Edward Snowden Male National Security Agency Booz Allen Hamilton contractor Snowden released classified material on top-secret NSA programs including the PRISM surveillance program to The Guardian and The Washington Post in June 2013.[326][327]
2013 Witness K Australian Secret Intelligence Service Exposed the Australia-East Timor spying scandal, that the Australian government had bugged negotiations with East Timor to force them to sign contracts that allowed the Australian government to continue extracting from their oil and gas fields, and that the then Foreign Minister of Australia, Alexander Downer went on to score a lucrative contract with Woodside Petroleum, who held the license over the oil fields. The Australian government is attempting to try Witness K and their lawyer, Bernard Collaery in a secret court for breaching national security.[328]
2014 John Tye Male U.S. State Department Former State Department official John Tye released an editorial in The Washington Post in July 2014, highlighting concerns over data collection under Executive Order 12333. While Tye's concerns are rooted in classified material he had access to through the State Department, he has not publicly released any classified materials.[329]
2014 Fabrice Houdart Male World Bank Former World Bank Senior Country Officer who uncovered illegal scheme to award bonus to World Bank CFO Bertrand Badré. President Jim Yong Kim eventually apologized to staff and rescinded the bonus. Houdart, known for organizing staff protests within bank headquarters, was subsequently investigated for his human rights advocacy. He resigned from the Bank in 2016 after 14 years of service to join the United Nations.[330][331][332]


Howard Wilkinson Male Danske Bank During his time as a manager at Danske Bank, Howard Wilkinson witnessed a $200 billion money laundering scheme that funneled money from Russia to the United States through Europe.[333][334] He reported the suspected activities at the Estonian branch where he worked until 2014, but his internal reports were ignored.

In 2018, news of a massive money laundering scheme and an anonymous internal whistleblower at Danske Bank broke.[335][336] Wilkinson's name was illegally leaked a few days later.[337] In December 2018, Wilkinson testified in front of the Danish Parliament, discussing his role as a whistleblower and addressing the EU whistleblower laws.[338][339] Wilkinson's case was featured on the CBS 60 Minutes television program in May 2019.[340]

2014 Daniel Hale Male National Security Agency Leaked classified information about drone warfare to the press.[341][342][343][344] The documents revealed actions that, if proven, would amount to war crimes.[345] In March 2021, Hale pleaded guilty to retaining and transmitting national defense information.[346] On July 27, 2021, he was sentenced to 45 months in prison for violating the Espionage Act of 1917.[347]
2015 John Doe Mossack Fonseca John Doe is the pseudonym used by the anonymous whistleblower in the 2015 Panama Papers leak, who disclosed 11.5 million documents detailing financial and attorney–client information from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.[348]
2016 Julio Escobar Male Universal health Services Julio Escobar and his wife Carmen Correa filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Universal Health Services (UHS) after the death of their teenage daughter Yarushka Rivera.[349] Rivera died of a seizure after being treated at Arbour Counseling Services, a mental health service provider operated by UHS. An investigation into the death revealed that Arbour had violated the state Medicaid regulations during Rivera's treatment by allowing unlicensed and unsupervised clinicians to diagnose and prescribe medication.[350] The unanimous Supreme Court decision on Universal Health v. Escobar set a significant precedent that permits corporations to be liable for fraud under the False Claims Act when they fail to disclose material non-compliance with regulatory requirements.[351]
2016 Edgar Matobato Male Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato (born Edgar Matobato y Bernal) is a self-confessed professional hitman and serial killer who claims to be a former member of the Davao Death Squad or the "DDS", an alleged vigilante group organized by former Davao City Mayor now Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tasked to summarily execute suspected criminals.

He appeared before the Philippine Senate on September 15, 2016[352] during a hearing on extra-judicial killings. At the hearing, Matobato recounted his experiences as a killer and narrated how he killed his victims. He revealed that Duterte once killed a certain Hamizola using an Uzi, emptying the gun on the victim. On October 7, 2016, Edgar Matobato was turned over by Senator Antonio Trillanes to the Philippine National Police after an arrest warrant was issued to him.[353]

2017 Tyler Shultz Male Theranos Exposed a multi-year fraud scheme to mislead investors into believing the company had a working product. Testified at Elizabeth Holmes's trial.[354][355]
2017 Reality Winner Female Pluribus International Corporation (an NSA contractor) Leaked an intelligence report about Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[356]
2017 Susan Fowler Female Uber Wrote a blog post about sexual harassment and the toxic work environment at Uber.[357]
2017 Natalie Edwards Female Financial Crimes division (FinCEN) of the United States Treasury Natalie Edwards, a senior official with the Financial Crimes division (FinCEN) of the United States Treasury, informed BuzzFeed News of numerous suspicious activity reports (SARs) involving Maria Butina, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, the Russian Embassy in the United States, and a Russian firm associated with money laundering, Prevezon Alexander, LLC. The information in these SARs contained details about Russia's involvement in the 2016 United States presidential election.[358][359][360][361]
2018 Christina Balan Female Tesla Voiced concerns over quality and safety issues internally at a 2014 meeting, alleges she was silenced, discredited, and pushed out of the company. Later initiated arbitration for discrimination and retaliation with whistleblower status. The arbitrator found she had been underpaid because she was under-leveled, but did not agree it was due to her gender and denied her whistleblower status because the issues she complained about did not constitute a safety concern.[362]
2018 Martin Tripp Male Tesla Shared confidential documents off the record with Business Insider showing more than $100 million in wasted raw materials due to excessive scrap rates. After an investigation determined the source to be Martin Tripp, Tesla sued him and filed a fake report with authorities that he was planning a mass shooting. A judge sided with Tesla, ordering Tripp to pay $400,000 to Tesla for violating the terms of his employment by leaking the documents.[363][364]
2019 Athol Williams Male Bain & Company Athol Williams was a Partner at Bain & Company in South Africa until 2010. In 2018, the Nugent Commission found Bain to have committed a 'premeditated offensive' against the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Bain rehired Williams in 2019 to advise on a remedy plan in light of the Nugent Commission's findings. The same year Williams alerted the Zondo Commission to suspicions that Bain was withholding relevant information relating to its involvement with politicians and politically connected people, including former President Jacob Zuma, in state capture. Williams confirmed suspicions during his two-day testimony before the Zondo Commission in 2021, providing extensive documented evidence and implicating 39 parties. The Zondo Commission described Bain's activities as 'unlawful' and pointed to evidence of collusion to break public procurement rules. Late in 2021, Williams went into exile, following warnings that his safety was under threat.
2019 Aleksandar Obradović Male State-owned company Krušik Valjevo Aleksandar Obradović leaked documents which revealed corruption and fraud inside of a state-owned company Krušik Valjevo where he was a manager. Those documents showed company represented by a father of the minister of the police buying weapons by privileged price from Krušik. Weapons manufactured in Krušik were later found used by ISIS fighters in Yemen. Obradović was arrested at his workplace on charges of espionage. He spent three weeks in central prison in Belgrade before being sentenced to house arrest, after 2 months he was released from house arrest but he wasn't let back in the factory.[365][366][367][368][369]


Anonymous Central Intelligence Agency On August 12, 2019, an unnamed CIA officer[370] filed a whistleblower complaint with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community[371] under provisions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.[372] On September 18, The Washington Post broke the story, saying the complaint concerned a promise U.S. President Donald Trump made during communication with an unnamed foreign leader.[373] On September 24, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced a formal impeachment inquiry,[374] which was widely attributed to the whistleblower's complaint.[375][376] What became known as the Trump–Ukraine scandal culminated on December 18 in the impeachment of the president.[377] On February 5, 2020, the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump of the charges brought against him by the House.[378]


Li Wenliang Male Wuhan Central Hospital Li Wenliang (Chinese: 李文亮; pinyin: Lǐ Wénliàng; 12 October 1986 – 7 February 2020) was a Chinese ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital who warned about the COVID-19 pandemic on 30 December 2019.[379][380] On 3 January 2020, Wuhan police summoned and admonished him for "making false comments on the Internet."[379][381] Li returned to work but later contracted the virus from an infected patient. He died from the infection on 7 February 2020.[382][383]
2019 Chelsey Glasson Female Google Left Google in 2019 alleging pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. Helped create a law in Washington State to extend the time to file a complaint.[384]
2019 Laurence Berland, Rebecca Rivers, Paul Duke, Sophie Waldman, Kathryn Spiers Male Google Terminated for accessing and disseminating internal documents about ICE contracts. Started a petition to end Google's relationship with the agency. Filed charges with the NLRB which were found to be valid and settled for undisclosed terms.[384]
2019 Curtis Ewbank Male Boeing Filed an ethics charge against Boeing with the FAA for rejecting safety upgrades to cut costs prior to fatal crash of the 737 Max aircraft.[385]


Year Image Name Gender Organization Action
2020 Paul Lackey Male Nikola Corporation Exposed a fraud scheme misleading investors into thinking they had working EVs. Testified at Trevor Milton's trial.[386]
2020 Valérie Murat Female Vins de Bordeaux labeled HVE - CIVB Valérie Murat, a founder and spokesperson for "Alerte aux Toxiques!" (Toxic alert!) in France was prosecuted for denigration in the fall 2020 by the Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine (CIVB) and 26 other complainants. The complaint came after Murat spoke out about the toxic nature of conventional wine-growing practices in the Bordeaux region to produce wines labeled HVE or sold as environmentally friendly in France. CIVB argues that the remarks made by Murat are denigrating and undermine the good reputation of Bordeaux wines. The legal action includes 125,000 euros in compensatory damages.[387][388]
2020 Amar Benmohamed Male Police racism and abuses in Paris High Courthouse A chief brigadier, he witnessed hundreds of cases of abuse and racism in the cells of the Paris high court back in 2017. After raising his concerns internally, he testified publicly in the media outlet StreetPress to denounce these abuses. He suffered significant retaliation from his superiors for speaking out. At the end of January 2022, he received a second warning for testifying to deputies of the French National Assembly in February 2021 at the invitation of the French NGO Maison des Lanceurs d'Alerte.[389]
2020 Rick Bright Male United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Bright, the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), alleged that the Trump administration ignored his early warnings about the COVID-19 pandemic and illegally retaliated against him by ousting him from his role. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel determined that Bright had been illegally retaliated against.[390]
2020 Ifeoma Ozoma, Aerica Shimizu Banks Female Pinterest Reported Pinterest to the state of California for systemic racism and sexism. Ozoma also brought a law to California that protect's whistleblower right to speak out.[391][384][354]
2020 Thomas le Bonniec Male Apple Reported Apple to the EU for privacy violations for collecting invasive and excessive recordings made via Siri without users's knowledge or consent.[392]
2020 Lindsey Gulden Female Exxon Reported Exxon to OSHA for illegal termination related to being pressured into inflate profitability.[393]
2020 Emily Cunningham, Maren Costa Female Amazon Filed charges with the NLRB which were settled with undisclosed terms after a demand for Amazon to improve its environmental impact.[384]
2020 Chris Smalls Male Amazon Protested Amazon's handling of COVID-19 pandemic and was allegedly terminated for violating the company's pandemic safety protocols. He said he never went in the building during the demonstration. New York City's Commission on Human Rights investigated his firing. Smalls later led a national effort to unionize Amazon warehouses.[394][395]
2020 Alexandra Abrams Female Blue Origin She was fired from her job for allegedly violating federal export control regulations. She denies receiving any warnings and alleges she was fired for resisting changes to employment contrac involving arbitration clauses. Published an essay authored with 20 other anonymous employees alleging a toxic, sexist work environment and safety concerns. Reported the company to the FAA.[396][397][398]
2020 Rebekah Jones Female Florida Department of Health After being fired without cause, Jones accused Florida DOH officials of ordering her to post misleading data to the state's public COVID-19 dashboard to support Governor Ron DeSantis's reopening plan. Jones received whistleblower protection from the state of Florida in May 2021. Other anonymous employees supported her claims that Ron DeSantis's office was pressuring their agency, ignoring their epidemiologists, and later reports confirmed that he was misrepresenting the state's vaccination rates.[399][400]
2020 Sophie Zhang Female Facebook Wrote a memo that was leaked to BuzzFeed News after allegedly being fired for poor performance. She had raised concerns internally about issues with political manipulation on the site that were ignored. Was invited to speak to international governments to advise on regulations to limit the harms of social media.[394]
2020-2021 Frances Haugen Female Facebook Frances Haugen, formerly a product manager in the civic integrity department at Facebook, disclosed thousands of internal documents related to user research and impact, special policy exceptions for high-profile users, and hate speech, among others, to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Wall Street Journal, in a leak termed the Facebook Files.[401][402][384]
2021 Chanin Kelly-Rae Female Amazon Quit her role as Amazon Web Services's global manager of diversity due to what she alleged to be racial biases. Was the only person who spoke to Recode on the record out of a dozen interviewed.[384][403]
2021 Alex Vlasov Male Jamie Spears Was hired to spy on Britney Spears during her father's oppressive conservatorship.[404]
2021 Ashley Gjøvik Female Apple Ashley Gjøvik was a senior program manager at Apple for six years. In 2021, she raised concerns about environmental contamination at her office in Sunnyvale, California, violations of employee privacy, harassment, and retaliation. She was later terminated that same year for allegedly leaking confidential intellectual property, which she denies, alleging her firing was retaliatory for publicizing her concerns.[405][406]
2021 Janneke Parrish Female Apple Fired from Apple after raising concerns regarding a discriminatory work culture for failing to comply with an investigation into the leak of a company-wide meeting. Filed a charge with the NLRB alleging it was retaliation for leading #AppleToo.[407][408]
2021 Cher Scarlett Female Apple Reported Apple to the NLRB alleging suppression of worker organizing and discussions about pay. Also reported Apple to the SEC for allegedly misleading the agency in a filing about using concealment clauses in exit packages to silence victims of harassment and discrimination. Violated an NDA to share the details of an agreement with the Financial Times to expose what she believed to be proof. Her actions prompted 8 state treasurers to call on the SEC to investigate.[409][354]
2021 Timnit Gebru Female Google Was forced out of Google after refusing to retract a research paper that warned of dangers of large natural language process models in machine learning.[384]
2021 Elyse Osterweil, Martin Phillips, Sarah Gallagher, William Irwin Female EPA Reported management and tenured staff manipulated chemical assessments to downplay hazardousness, which in some cases led to potentially dangerous chemical exposure.[410]
2021 Simon Latimer Male World Aquatics In December 2021 Simon Latimer wrote a formal whistleblower complaint[411] to FINA's Chief Executive Brent Nowicki accusing FINA's vice president, Zhou Jihong from China, of unethical behavior.[412] Latimer alleged that Zhou manipulated judging panels and bullied judges in the diving events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Zhou was subsequently ordered by FINA's Ethics Panel to apologise for complaints about her behavior and a recommendation was made to disestablish her position.[413] Latimer also claimed that Zhou's unethical behaviour extended to coaching Chinese divers at the 2020 Olympic Games while concurrently a FINA Vice President and this was corroborated by video evidence.[414]
2021 Martin Bickeboeller Male Boeing Filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration for inadequate oversight over third party suppliers.[415]
2022 Peiter Zatko Male Twitter Peiter "Mudge" Zatko served as Twitter's Chief Security Officer from July 2020 until he was terminated in January 2022 for what Twitter alleged to be poor performance. In August 2022, Zatko alleged that his termination was retaliatory for refusing to cover up security vulnerabilities and the contents of a 200-page whistleblower complaint to the SEC was published by CNN and The Washington Post.[416][417]
2022 Mark MacGann Male Uber Served as Uber's European lobbyist from 2014 to 2016. Says he quit because he had ethical issues and that Uber's culture was not a safe place to challenge bad practices without fear of retaliation that put his family at risk. He shared 124,000 confidential documents with The Guardian and IJIC. The documents showed that between 2013 and 2017 the company lobbied international governments for favors, utilized a kill switch to inhibit government access to documents, made investment deals with Russia, and exploited victims of violence for favorable regulations.[418]
2022 Megan Mohr, Chris Deaver, Orit Mizrachi, Margaret Anderson, Jayna Whitt Female Apple Spoke out to the Financial Times about a culture of secrecy, harassment, retaliation, hostility, and sexism. They also alleged inaction, toxicity, and apathy from HR and management. They also highlighted an apparent practice of pushing victims out of the company with small severance packages with silencing clauses.[409]
2022 Steven Marshall Male Queensland Police Service Released tapes of allegedly racist and misogynistic statements made by Queensland police.[419][420]
2023 Arturo Bejar Male Instagram Provided evidence to the senate that Instagram was aware of the negative impact the social media site had on teens.[421]
2023 Lukasz Krupski Male Tesla Reported and shared records and data about the company's driver-assistance software for safety concern.[422]
2024 Ed Pierson Male Boeing Testified before United States congress about working conditions in Boeing's Renton, Washington facilities leading to mistakes and damaged parts implicated in the crashes of two airplanes that killed 346 people when the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation Systems (MCAS) were triggered.[423]
2024 John Barnett Male Boeing Filed a whistleblower complaint with the FAA and appeared in numerous media publications about safety concerns at Boeing. Barnett was in the middle of a whistleblower lawsuit against the company when he died by suicide.[424]
2024 Sam Salehpour Male Boeing Testified before United States Congress about a "criminal cover-up" and safety risks at Boeing. Filed a whistleblower complaint with the FAA.[425][426]
2024 Joshua Dean Male Spirit AeroSystems Filed a complaint about defective parts manufactured for the Boeing 737 MAX that later resulted in a door blowing off a plane while in flight.[427] In April 2024, Dean contracted the Influenza B virus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and later died in the hospital after developing Pneumonia.[428]


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External links[edit]

Media related to Whistleblowers at Wikimedia Commons