Government Accountability Project’s Legal Director

Tom Devine

Tom Devine is Government Accountability Project’s Legal Director and has worked at the organization since 1979. Since that time, Tom has formally or informally assisted over 7,000 whistleblowers in defending themselves against retaliation and in making fundamental differences on behalf of the public – such as shuttering accident-prone nuclear power plants, rebuffing industry ploys to deregulate government meat inspection, blocking the next generation of the bloated and porous “Star Wars” missile defense systems, instituting a national commercial milk testing program for illegal animal drugs; and sparking the withdrawal of dangerous prescription drugs such as Vioxx. He has not lost a case since 2006 and has prevailed in advocacy at numerous U.S. courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.

Tom has been a leader in the campaigns to pass or defend 34 national or international whistleblower laws, including nearly all in the U.S. federal enacted over the last two decades. These include the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 for federal employees; thirteen breakthrough laws since 2002 creating the right to jury trials for corporate whistleblowers; the new European Union Whistleblower Directive creating free speech rights for all 28 member nations; as well as United Nations, Organization of American States, World Bank, and African Development Bank policies legalizing public freedom of expression for their whistleblowers; and even national laws in nations such as Serbia. In addition, Tom has traveled to 36 countries for whistleblower rights advocacy, including numerous speaking tours for the U.S. State Department that sparked its staff informally naming him the “Ambassador of Whistleblowing.” He has served as a technical expert for drafting or advocacy 14 more whistleblower laws or policies in Liberia and Tunisia to Great Britain and Italy.

Tom has authored or co-authored numerous books, including 2011’s The Corporate Whistleblowers Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth, which won the 2012 International Business Book of the Year Award at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Other publications include Courage Without Martyrdom: The Whistleblower’s Survival Guide; Caught Between conscience and Career: Expose Abuse Without Exposing Your Identity; chapters in numerous books, law review articles, magazine articles, and newspaper op-eds; and is a frequent expert commentator on television and radio talk shows. Tom is the recipient of the “Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award” and the “Defender of the Constitution Award” bestowed by the Fund for Constitutional Government. In 2006 he was inducted into the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame. Since 2012 he has been recognized annually by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington DC’s top employment lawyers. He serves on the Board of Whistleblowing International Network, the global coalition which he helped to found.

Tom is a Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate of Georgetown University. He was an All-American debater and captained the team that set a still-standing national record for tournament championships. He earned his J.D. from the Antioch School of Law and sat on the board of the Disaster Accountability Project, as well as Whistleblowers International Network WIN), which he helped found.