Areas of expertise: National Security, Government Oversight, Wasteful Defense Spending, Ethics, Open Government, Whistleblower Issues
Since 1993, Danielle Brian has been the Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). She frequently testifies before Congress and regularly meets with Members of Congress and officials at the White House and federal agencies to discuss how to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. Ms. Brian was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to serve on the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Federal Advisory Committee in 2012. In 2013, she was elected chair of the civil society organizations on the Federal Advisory Committee. Ms. Brian was inducted into the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame, was ranked by Ethisphere magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in business ethics, and received the Smith College Medal. Brian serves on the board of Taxpayers for Common Sense, and is the chair of the Steering Committee for OpenTheGovernment.org.
Under Ms. Brian’s direction, POGO has conducted numerous investigations that have resulted in major public policy reforms:
- Exposed wasteful spending, which led to the cancellation of some of the government’s largest contracts, including the Boeing tanker lease, the $13 billion Superconducting Super Collider, the $11 billion Army Crusader, and the Army’s Sergeant York DIVAD. POGO also was a leader in the fight to end production of the F-22 fighter.
- Uncovered oil and gas industry fraud on public lands that led to the Justice Department’s recovery of nearly half a billion dollars, rule changes to prevent future fraud, and the dismantlement of the Minerals Management Service into separate bureaus with strengthened ethics rules.
- Investigated lax nuclear power plant security, sparking improved training and working conditions for guards. POGO’s investigations into the U.S. nuclear weapons complex also increased security at the complex by reducing the number of vulnerable sites.
- Filed and won a lawsuit against then-Attorney General John Ashcroft for retroactively classifying FBI documents.
- Successfully pushed for reforms that bolstered both the independence and accountability of the federal Inspectors General system.