Thomas Devine

Legal director at Government Accountability Project, USA

Thomas Devine

Legal director at Government Accountability Project, USA

Bio

Tom Devine is legal director of the Government Accountability Project, where he has worked since January 1979. GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization that champions the rights of whistleblowers, those employees who exercise freedom of speech to challenge abuses of power that betray the public trust. During his 35 years at GAP he has represented or informally helped over 6,000 whistleblowers to defend themselves against retaliation or make a difference, such as stopping nuclear power plants that were accidents waiting to happen, defeating five attempts to deregulate government-approved meat inspection, blocking the next generation of Star Wars or removing the killer pain killer Vioxx from the market. He has been a leader in campaigns to pass or defend 32 domestic or international whistleblower laws — from the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in 2012 for federal employees; to twelve breakthrough laws since 2002 creating the right to jury trials for corporate whistleblowers; to new U.N., World Bank and African Development Bank policies legalizing public freedom of expression for their own whistleblowers, the first time any Intergovernmental Organizations have adopted this cornerstone for global accountability. Tom has been an “Ambassador of Whistleblowing” for the State Department in over a dozen nations on speaking tours. He has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Courage Without Martyrdom: The Whistleblower’s Survival Guide, The Art of Anonymous Activism, law review articles, newspaper op-ed articles, and The Corporate Whistleblower Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth, which won the award as “International Business Book of the Year” at the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair. He has received numerous awards, including the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award and the Fund for Constitutional Government’s Defender of the Constitution Award, in 2006 was inducted into the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame by a coalition of public interest groups, and has been selected as one of Washington DC’s top employment lawyers for the last seven years by Washingtonian magazine.

All sessions by Thomas Devine