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Working with Whistleblowers: A Sunshine Week Training for Public Interest Advocates

  • Open Gov Hub 1110 Vermont Avenue Northwest Suite 500 Washington, DC, 20005 United States (map)

Information that exposes serious abuses of public trust can catalyze accountability and reform. Whistleblowers—employees who discover and disclose significant wrongdoing—are some of the most valuable sources of such information, and as such can be critical to the work of public interest organizations across a wide range of issues. In a political climate hostile to truth and open government, whistleblowers provide transparency essential to a functional democracy.

Public interest organizations who work on particular issues may actively solicit tips or be approached by employees in that sector with evidence of wrongdoing, with the hope of exposing misconduct or preventing harm. However, because employees who reveal misconduct committed by their employers risk professional and personal reprisal, organizations that work with whistleblowers need to do so wisely and well. The power of information to effect change has never been greater, but equally great are the potential risks of disclosure to the whistleblower.

This training will offer advocates key insights and practice tips for working effectively with whistleblowers and information disclosed by whistleblowers, in order to turn their information into power while ensuring the employee truth-teller is not harmed in the course of advocacy. Topics will include:


  • Whistleblowing 101: What (and Who) is a Whistleblower?

  • The Legal Landscape: The Complicated Patchwork of Whistleblower Protection Laws in the US

  • Reprisal Risks to Whistleblowers & Public Interest Organizationss

  • Issues with Anonymity

  • Best Practices for Public Interest Advocates


Boxed lunches will be offered immediately following the training.

The event will be livestreamed AND recorded. We will email all who RSVP on the day of with the livestreaming link, and then after the event we will email everyone with the recording.



Public Citizen

Open the Government

Open Gov Hub

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization, having represented or advised over 8,000 whistleblowers since 1977. GAP serves as an important lifeline for whistleblowers, helping them hold government and corporate institutions accountable by verifying their concerns and presenting problems to public officials, advocacy groups and journalists, and seeking justice if they suffer reprisal. In addition, GAP has drafted, spearheaded the campaigns to pass or helped defend all the federal whistleblower protection laws that exist today, and have established best practice standards for domestic and international whistleblower policies.


Dana Gold, attorney and Director of Education, Government Accountability Project

Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project