National Whistleblower Center

National Whistleblower Center
Founded: 1988


The National Whistleblower Center is a nonprofit educational advocacy organization that works for the enforcement of environmental laws, nuclear safety, civil rights, and government and industry accountability through the support and representation of employee whistleblowers. The primary goal of the Center is to ensure that whistleblower disclosures about improper government and industry actions are defended and heard.

The Center was established to protect and advocate on behalf of whistleblowers by a group that included attorneys with expertise in whistleblower laws, respected international human rights advocates, and members of public interest groups. The founders wanted to ensure an effective safe haven to protect individuals who risk their careers to serve the public interest. The Center's first major case involved clients who were both government whistleblowers seeking protection under the First Amendment and nuclear power professionals facing termination and blacklisting. In its first full year of operation, the Center achieved a major policy victory by forcing the Reagan-era Labor Department to ban "hush money" agreements in environmental and nuclear safety areas.

The Center has developed work in the areas of environmental protection and nuclear safety, forensic sciences, FBI oversight, and financial mismanagement in the Defense Department. It has helped establish some of the most important precedents in the area of government oversight, including a 1997 presidential directive ordering the U.S. Attorney General to implement regulations protecting FBI whistleblowers. The Center has also sponsored landmark legal cases that have increased protections for whistleblowers, and it has participated as a friend of the court in major Supreme Court cases.

Current Programs:

The National Whistleblower Center partners with the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (NWLDEF), a public interest law firm, in connecting with whistleblowers with qualified attorneys and in securing legal victories. NWC also educates decision makers and the public about the critical role played by whistleblowers in safeguarding democracy and the rule of law."

Web Site:

In addition to describing the Center's mission and activities, the organization's Web site offers detailed information to whistleblowers seeking assistance in several industries. It also provides e-mail addresses and other ways to reach members of Congress for those who wish to voice support in favor of whistleblower legislation. Another feature of the site is the Whistleblower Internet Law Library, which has links to Internet sites that contain information and resources about whistleblower and employment law issues and other legal and legislative matters.

A large portion of the Center's income usually comes from foundations with the rest generated from individual contributors. Tax-deductible donations are accepted by mail.

Contact: John Kostyack, Executive Director
Phone: (202) 342-1902
Fax: (202) 342-1904

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