For Immediate Release
Joan Claybrook Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Standing Up for Whistleblowers and Accountability
Whistleblowers and Advocates Convene in Washington, D.C., to Urge Congress to Act
WASHINGTON - Joan Claybrook, the former president of Public Citizen,
will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award today during a gathering of
whistleblowers and advocates for her decades of fighting to protect
employees who report wrongdoing.
"It is a great honor to recognize Joan Claybrook for advocacy and
leadership. She has gone beyond the call of duty and is unsurpassed in
results," said Tom Devine, legal director of the Government
Accountability Project, who will present Claybrook with the award. "She
began fighting for whistleblower rights when most of us had never heard
the term. She has led the entire public interest community for almost
four decades. No one has done more to teach a whole generation of
activists how to make a difference, and it will take all their best
efforts combined to replace her impact."
Claybrook retired from Public Citizen in January. Under her
leadership, Public Citizen championed protections for all employees who
blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse, thereby making the public
safer, as well as holding the government and corporations accountable.
"Her career has been truly remarkable and serves as an example to
all of us working in the public interest," said Angela Canterbury,
advocacy director for Public Citizen's Congress Watch division.
"I am honored to accept this award, both on behalf of Public Citizen
and of the employees brave enough to speak out against government
wrongdoing," Claybrook said. "I have no doubt that Public Citizen will
continue to lead the way toward achieving whistleblower protections for
all employees. Without such protections, the personal risks of speaking
out and telling the truth will continue to deter their voices."
Whistleblowers, lawmakers, journalists and advocates from across the
country are gathering on Capitol Hill this week to lobby for stronger
shields for whistleblower. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rep. Chris
Van Hollen (D-Md.), both ardent supporters of whistleblowers, will
speak in favor of protecting these employees. In response to the
removal of protections for federal workers in the stimulus bill, the
National Whistleblower Assembly, sponsored by the nonpartisan Make It
Safe Coalition, will urge Congress to act on this essential
accountability measure before the stimulus spending begins.
"It's important for members of Congress to meet with whistleblowers
and hear their experiences firsthand. We're confident that we will be
able to work with congressional leadership to grant federal employees
the protections they need and deserve," Canterbury said.
Public Citizen, which is a member of the coalition, will work with
members of Congress to enact a federal whistleblower law before
spending from the stimulus package begins to ensure that the government
will be held accountable and taxpayer dollars will be protected.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.