Yesterday, the country celebrated National Whistleblower Day. The day celebrates whistleblowers’ contributions to democracy, and commemorates the Founding Fathers’ unanimous passage of the first U.S. whistleblower law on July 30, 1778.
The National Whistleblower Center hosted its annual National Whistleblower Day celebration on Capitol Hill. The U.S. Senate also unanimously passed a resolution recognizing July 30th, 2018 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.”
In recounting the history of America’s whistleblower law, Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, stated: “we must ensure that this incredible act of democracy is remembered.”
The event on the Hill featured series of speakers, including whistleblowers, whistleblower advocates, lawmakers, and public officials. Among the whistleblowers who spoke at the event were bullet-proof vest whistleblower Dr. Aaron Westrick, intelligence community whistleblower Daniel Meyer, and White House whistleblower Linda Tripp. Tripp, who blew the whistle on President Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky, made her first public remarks since 2000. The event also honored over 60 other whistleblowers.
The celebrations this year had a special focus on wildlife crime whistleblowing, featuring speakers including Dan Ashe, former Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and current CEO of the Association for Zoos and Aquariums; Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW); and via video address, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), who recently introduced a bill with Rep. Don Young (R-AK) that contains wildlife crime whistleblowing provisions.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reprised his role as a keynote speaker, and Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz from the Department of Justice also returned this year to make remarks.