Bad Watchdog Season 2 launches June 20.

Working with Whistleblowers on Oversight and Investigations

Whistleblowers are vital information sources for congressional investigations, and they often risk major injury for coming forward: career implosion, retaliation, doxxing, online harassment, and worse. Learn how to work more safely and effectively with whistleblowers to advance your oversight efforts.

 

Sep 22, 2023 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Presenters:

  • Shanna Devine, Director, Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds, U.S. House of Representatives. Ms. Devine is responsible for advising the House community on best practices for working with whistleblowers from the public and private sectors. She has over a decade of experience working in partnership with whistleblowers and Congress. She began her career with the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection and advocacy organization, where she served as Legislative Director and Investigator until 2016. Most recently, Ms. Devine advocated for whistleblower and other occupational rights for the public-interest organization Public Citizen. Throughout her career, Ms. Devine has worked with Congress to strengthen whistleblower protections and communications. She has led campaigns for passage of landmark whistleblower laws, including Congress’ unanimous passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. She has extensive experience conducting trainings on best practices for working with whistleblowers, and in 2015 and 2016 she played a strategic role in the establishment of the bipartisan Senate and House Whistleblower Protection Caucuses. Since 2008, Ms. Devine has advised whistleblowers within the public and private sector on how to safely and constructively work with Congress.
  • Rebecca Jones, Deputy Director, Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds, U.S. House of Representatives. Ms. Jones works with the Director to assist House offices in establishing best practice whistleblower intake systems, to provide trainings to House offices on how to safely work with whistleblowers, and to analyze and provide legal overview of relevant whistleblower laws. She became passionate about the importance of whistleblowers over a decade ago while working at the Government Accountability Project, a leading nonprofit whistleblower protection law firm. This passion for whistleblowers and the critical role they play was one of the core reasons why she chose a career in law. Most recently, she advocated for best practice whistleblower protections while working as a Policy Counsel at the Project On Government Oversight, a nonprofit organization focused on good government reforms. Ms. Jones has extensive experience working directly with whistleblowers, particularly in helping individuals understand their legal rights and outlets for making protected disclosures such as how to work with Congressional offices. Throughout her career she has taught individuals and groups about whistleblower protections and the inherent value of one voice speaking out against wrongdoing.
    Ms. Jones has testified before Congress about the importance of protecting whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and had the privilege of co-authoring Caught Between Conscience and Career, a guidebook to help whistleblowers safely disclose waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland. 

The session was moderated by Tim Stretton, Director of POGO's Congressional Oversight Initiative.

Training Resources: