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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

Whistleblower Panel at Baruch College Launches Fourth Year of Tour, Focuses on Financial Whistleblowing

October 08, 2014
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(Washington, DC) – On Tuesday, Oct. 21, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) launches its fourth year of the American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability with a presentation at Baruch College of the City University in New York. The stop will feature prominent whistleblowers Jon Oberg, D. Phil. (student loans) and Sherron Watkins (Enron scandal), along with expert whistleblower advocates.

GAP's Whistleblower Tour is a dynamic campaign aimed at educating the public – particularly university students – about the phenomenon and practice of whistleblowing and its critical role in promoting government and corporate accountability. This event, focused on whistleblowers who disclose financial fraud, will feature a moderated discussion and is free and open to the public with pre-registration.

A full description of the Tour can be found at

This Tour stop is sponsored by GAP and Baruch College's Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity of the Zicklin School of Business. The program will begin with lunch and registration at 12:00 p.m., with the panel running from 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at 55 Lexington Avenue, Room 14-220.


  • Jon H. Oberg, while working in a research capacity at the Department of Education in 2003, discovered illegal payments to lenders of federal tax dollars for student loans, which department officials instructed him not to investigate further. On his own time, he researched the payments and reported them to Congress, which in 2004 ended the payments prospectively, saving billions of dollars. In 2007, Oberg sued the lenders under the False Claims Act. Three years later, the Department of Justice announced it had settled four of the cases for over $57 million.
  • Sherron Watkins was Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron when the financial scandal broke in 2001. She is considered by many to be the whistleblower who helped to expose widespread fraud when she alerted then-CEO Ken Lay to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron "might implode in a wave of accounting scandals." She later testified before congressional committees investigating Enron's demise. Watkins was named one of TIME Magazine's 2002 Persons of the Year.
  • Jordan A. Thomas is an attorney, and a writer, speaker and media commentator on securities enforcement, corporate ethics, and whistleblower issues. He is a partner and Chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow LLP, where he represents whistleblowers reporting violations of the federal securities laws to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Prior to entering private practice, Thomas served as an Assistant Director and Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Louis Clark serves as both President and Corporate & Financial Accountability Director of GAP. Clark assumed the directorship of GAP in 1978, having first served as legal counsel for the organization. As President, Clark serves as a spokesperson and public ambassador for GAP, and frequently negotiates with government and corporate officials about legal cases and social reform initiatives. Clark often meets with international delegations to describe GAP's methodology, the laws that are needed to protect employees who speak up about internal problems, and the use of information to promote institutional reform. In his role as Corporate & Financial Accountability Director, Clark oversees numerous cases involving financial fraud in private companies and the government agencies that regulate them.
  • Jennifer M. Pacella, who will moderate the panel, is an Assistant Professor of Law at Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business. She is also a member of GAP’s Curriculum Faculty Committee. Her scholarship focuses on the structure and effectiveness of federal whistleblower programs, specifically in the securities law context, as well as the anti-retaliation protections and bounty rewards elements of these programs. Prior to joining the Zicklin faculty, Pacella served as a law clerk to Judge Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced business law in Shearman & Sterling LLP’s New York office.

GAP President Louis Clark, stated: "It's an honor to bring this whistleblower tour to Baruch College for our first stop this year. We hope to share with students the experiences of society’s truth-tellers. We will be discussing possible ethical dilemmas that future graduates might face, particularly those who will be working within the financial industry and, therefore, best able to confront or support others who disclose fraud or wrongdoing."

Professor Pacella stated: "Whistleblowing is an essential tool in the detection of fraud and misconduct in any industry and is of utmost importance to the leaders of tomorrow – our students. We are honored to have such a distinguished group of speakers here at Baruch College as part of GAP's American Whistleblower Tour and truly value the opportunity to hear their courageous stories and insights."

About the Tour

This stop at Baruch College is the first of several to be held this academic year. The next stop is at the University of Connecticut on November 4, with more Tour stops in the planning stages for Spring 2015.

During the 2013-14 academic year, the American Whistleblower Tour visited 10 colleges, including Stanford, Princeton, Syracuse, Florida International University, and USC’s Annenberg School. GAP secures some of the most prominent whistleblowers in American history for its Tour; past whistleblower presenters have included Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Frank Serpico (NYPD), Kathy Bolkovac (UN sex trafficking), and Thomas Drake (NSA).

Goals of the Tour include raising awareness about the vital role whistleblowing has in our democracy, preparing America's youth for ethical decision-making, countering negative connotations associated with whistleblowing, connecting prospective whistleblowers to available resources, and encouraging academic studies of whistleblowing.


Contact: Sarah Damian, Interim Communications Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 130

Contact: Manuel (Manny) Romero, Baruch College Director of Public Relations
Phone: 646.660.6141

Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.


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