New Investigation:

How Lax EPA Oversight Enabled Jackson's Water Crisis.

Danielle Brian

Executive Director/President


Areas of Expertise

Government oversight, ethics, open government, whistleblower issues

Danielle Brian is the executive director and president of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). Under her leadership, the organization has grown from two employees and a budget in the thousands of dollars in 1993 to an organization with a staff of fifty and a budget of eight million.

Danielle has testified before Congress over 40 times.

In the past decade, POGO’s work has resulted in

  • the passage of major reforms including the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, the Freedom of Information Reform Act, and the Inspectors General Enhancement Act;
  • exposing and resolving conflicts of interest at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of the Interior, and the Food and Drug Administration;
  • saving the Office of Congressional Ethics and preventing the gutting of the Congressional Budget Office;
  • eliminating the Pentagon’s wasteful Overseas Contingency Operations account;
  • the passage of a new oversight rule that will make thousands more human organs available for transplant; and
  • training over 40% of congressional committee staff on how to effectively use their oversight powers.

POGO’s investigative work under her stewardship has received journalism awards such as the Sigma Delta Chi award, the Robert D.G. Lewis Watchdog Award, the Dateline Award, and the Reed Award for Best Civic Engagement Education Resource, as well as awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, the Association for Business Journalists, and others.

POGO has received the highest reviews for organizational and financial performance from the three largest charity evaluators in the country: Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau, and

Danielle has been named by Washingtonian magazine as one of the most influential people shaping good government policy; has been recognized by the National Journal as one of the top 50 people changing the game in Washington, receiving top rankings for her impact and innovation in the field of political activism; and was inducted into the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame.

In 2010, she was awarded the Smith College Medal, an award for alumnae who exemplify the true purpose of a liberal arts education. Danielle received her bachelor’s degree in government from Smith College, and her master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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