Last week, members of Congress, agency leaders, whistleblower advocates, and whistleblowers gathered in a virtual format to commemorate National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. This landmark event included keynote speakers, panels of experts, and recognition of those who risked their careers and personal lives to report wrongdoing.
National Whistleblower Day 2021 was the largest gathering of whistleblower supporters in history, and stretched across three days beginning Wednesday, July 28th.
Day one (July 28th) focused on global whistleblowers and the urgent need for countries to adopt effective whistleblower laws and protections. Panels included experts from Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as Apple whistleblower Thomas Le Bonniec. UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, recipient of the largest IRS whistleblower award in history, spoke about the importance of creating effective reporting channels for corporate whistleblowers.
Day two (July 29th) featured several members of Congress and agency leaders who spoke about the importance of whistleblowers in government. Keynote speakers included Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden, as well as SEC Chair Gary Gensler and Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “The cornerstone of democracy is an informed public,” Wyden said. “Whistleblowers are needed now more than ever.”
Other congressional speakers included Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Kathleen Rice, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Rep. Jackie Speier.
“The overwhelming support from government leaders is a sign of the culture shift happening towards whistleblowers,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto. “Whistleblowers are the future of fraud detection around the world.”
Day three (July 30th), which is the official date of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, was highlighted by the recognition of many whistleblowers who were being honored at the event. Other panels included Life After Whistleblowing, Federal Employee Whistleblowers, and How Whistleblowers Changed the FBI, which featured Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto clients Dr. Frederic Whitehurst and Jane Turner.
For a complete schedule of events and to watch each panel and speaker, visit: https://whistleblowersblog.org/nwd/
National Whistleblower Day 2021 was hosted by the National Whistleblower Center and Whistleblower Network News.