Walter Shaub is a government ethics expert who has advocated for integrity and accountability in government across a career in public service. He leads POGO’s Government Ethics Initiative, which focuses on preventing abuses of government power and resources, reforming government ethics systems, and holding government officials accountable to the public they serve. Shaub has testified before Congress as both a government official and a private citizen, and he has worked closely with government leaders to develop and implement government ethics reforms. He has devoted his professional career to the subjects of government ethics, the federal merit systems principles, prohibited personnel practices, and federal labor and employment law.
Before joining POGO, Shaub served in key roles with other nonprofit watchdogs, government agencies and private sector employers. He served for four years as the Senate-confirmed Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE). While in that role, he was a member of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) and CIGIE’s Integrity Committee. Shaub served at OGE for a total of nearly 14 years as a staff attorney, a supervisory attorney, Deputy General Counsel and, finally, Director. Before that, he served in the General Counsel offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Outside government, he also worked for the law firm of Shaw, Bransford, Veilleux & Roth, P.C., and as a CNN contributor.
Shaub delivered the 2020 Elson Ethics lecture to St. George’s House at Windsor Castle, received the 2019 Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the University of Illinois System, the 2018 Nesta Gallas Award for Exemplary Professional Service in Public Service from the American Society for Public Administration, and a 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from James Madison University. He has written opinion pieces for a variety of publications, including the New York Review of Books, the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, CNN, the LA Times, and other publications. He is licensed as an attorney in both the District of Columbia and Virginia. He earned his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law and his B.A. in history from James Madison University.
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