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Vote Here Now for the 2021 Whistleblower of the Year

Posted  December 21, 2021

Whistleblower Insider wants to hear from you on who should be honored as our 2021 Whistleblower of the Year.  As in past years, we are especially interested in those individuals who best encapsulate the qualities of the typical whistleblower — courage, strength, integrity, selflessness, and a deep concern for public health and safety.  Check out last year’s candidates, including last year’s winner, Rebekah Jones.  She was the former data scientist for the Florida Department of Health who refused to manipulate COVID-19 tracking data.

This year’s lineup is equally impressive.  They are set forth below.  You can choose from among this listing or identify your own candidate.  And please add in the comments section why you believe your candidate is deserving of the honor.  Voting will continue through the end of January with results of your top selections to be announced shortly thereafter.  Thanks for voting!

  • Britney Spears Whistleblower Alex Vlasov – He is the former employee of the now-defunct private security firm Black Box, who ultimately brought down the company by speaking out against its private surveillance tactics against Britney Spears.  His revelations helped lead to the dissolution of the controversial Britney Spears conservatorship and sparked a wider debate about the potential abuses of conservatorships more broadly.  Read more about Mr. Vlasov here.
  • Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen – She is the former Facebook data scientist who spoke out against what she sees as the perilous path Facebook has taken in broadening the reach of its social media empire.  Through her highly orchestrated and sophisticated media push and her multiple appearances before legislators and regulators in the U.S. and Europe, she has single-handedly shined a spotlight on the social media giant that may dramatically change how the company conducts its business going forward.  Read more about Ms. Haugen here.
  • Pinterest Whistleblower Ifeoma Ozoma – She is the former Pinterest Public Policy and Social Impact Manager who exposed the company’s internal employee practices that sparked a larger conversation about how tech companies treat their workers.  She also worked to create California’s landmark Silenced No More legislation, which protects whistleblowers who break NDAs to report workplace discrimination and mistreatment based on race, age, and other characteristics.  Read more about Ms. Ozoma here.
  • Catholic Church Whistleblower Phil Saviano – He is one of the first survivors to blow the whistle on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the Church’s efforts to hide it.  He also was the Boston Globe’s key source for its 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning article series, later portrayed in the 2015 Academy Award-winning film Spotlight.  He passed away last month at age 69.  Read more about Mr. Saviano here.
  • NSA Intelligence Whistleblower Reality Winner – She is the former military contractor who shared with the public a top-secret NSA intelligence report about Russia’s attempt to infiltrate the 2016 U.S. Presidential election process.  For this act, she was sentenced to more than five years in prison for violating the Espionage Act, the longest ever for an unauthorized release of government information to the media.  She was recently released after serving three years of her sentence, and her journey has caused many to call for legislative changes to better protect intelligence whistleblowers like Winner.  Read more about Ms. Winner here.
  • Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the GroundTruth Project – He is the former Marine and military analyst for the RAND Corporation who fifty years ago released the so-called Pentagon Papers, a top-secret history of the country’s military involvement in Southeast Asia that helped galvanize the Vietnam anti-war movement. To mark this special anniversary, the GroundTruth Project organized a year-long public history project with UMass Amherst on the life and legacy of Ellsberg.  It is a legacy that continues with Ellsberg’s recent release of another classified report detailing how startlingly close the U.S. came to starting a nuclear war with China in 1958.  Read more about Mr. Ellsberg and the GroundTruth Project here.

Thanks for voting and if you have a nomination, please add it to the comments below!

Tagged in: Importance of Whistleblowers, Whistleblower Case, Whistleblower Eligibility, Whistleblower of the Year,

34 Replies to Vote Here Now for the 2021 Whistleblower of the Year

  • Reality Winner sacrificed 3+ years of her life
    to inform us about Russian hackers in our
    2016 Presidential Election. They cheated to
    install Russian asset traitor trump as our
    most corrupt president ever! In addition to
    unjustly making Reality Winner his political
    prisoner, traitor trump did what he could to
    destroy our country, & we are still suffering
    from his environmental destruction, lies & misinformation re Covid & our 2020 Presidential Election. Reality wasn’tonly imprisoned for her public service, she also caught Covid & was sexually assaulted by a guard. Reality is a Shero & worthy
    of Whistleblowee of the year, & many other awards.
    a prison guard. Although she is no longer in
    prison, she still needs a FULL PARDON &
    freedom of speech to share her story, if she

  • Around the world whistleblowers remain targets for doing what most ordinary people regard as the right thing to do. They are rarely more extraordinary or more courageous than the next person but their courage surfaces when confronted with the adversity arising from refusing to retreat. Every award given recognises the importance of whistleblowers to society. We need more awards! Thanks to Constantine Cannon for supporting WhistleblowersUK and the rights of whistleblowers everywhere.

  • N. Persons says:

    Reality Winner – for doing the right thing for her country, while knowing that personal consequences could be dire. Reality is a genuine Patriot, who should be respected as such, rather than being persecuted and incarcerated as a political prisoner in her own country. She must be given her freedom, fully pardoned and held in high esteem as an American hero. I suggest that she be very well compensated financially for the time wrongly taken (stolen!) from her life.

  • Linda Cardwell says:

    Reality Winner should win, for she was helping to save our democracy.


  • Gary Davis says:

    Reality is a political prisoner and should be pardoned. Her conviction was a gross abuse of power and demonstrated the corruption of the federal government.

  • Mary says:

    Reality Winner displayed a level of bravery and deep love of her country. I admire her.

  • John F Austin says:

    Reality Winner sacrificed 5 years of her life because she knew the information she leaked was too important to trust her superiors with. The fact that she received the maximum sentence, and that she was never pardoned by the current administration, proves she was right.

  • Mirjam Eikelboom says:

    The whistleblower that made profound changes, even in my country + that sacrifices so much is: Reality Leigh Winner!!

  • Melanie Caruso says:

    Reality Winner, what happened to her is a very important story for all Americans to hear, if they did she would be pardoned and given the Medal of Freedom the next day! What Reality did is what a true patriot should do, period.

  • polfilmblog says:

    You managed to get Britney on the list but not JULIAN ASSANGE.


  • Eward C. Stengel says:

    Reality Winner stands head and shoulders above all the rest. Her sacrifice to let the American people know the Russians were trying to interfere with our presidential election should have gotten her a medal, but instead got her the longest prison sentence in American history for leaking classified information to the media.

  • Marti Lew says:

    Reality Winner, the epitome of brave. I cannot fit the injustices done to her within this space – all because she Saw something and Said something. She deserves this award And a Medal of Freedom.

  • Burnet Oliveros says:

    Reality Winner

  • Dawn says:

    Reality Winner should be recognized for doing the right thing, upholding her oath to protect and defend the USA as a service member.

  • Wendy FGM says:

    The political persecution of Reality Winner MUST end. It’s long past time for the Joe Biden administration to give this young Veteran her freedom. She is still silenced. She is still unfree. Why has not one representative in our govt spoken her name… yet, they have used the vital document she released to make our elections safer. Reality Winner made our elections safer. This political persecution needs to stop NOW.

  • Besides Ms Winner serving 6 years in the Air Force and also being a co-winner of the prestigious Pillar Award along with Senator Warnock her releasing the information of the Russian attempt to influence our 2016 election made possible the most honest election in 2020, Ms Reality Leigh Winner is a true PATRIOT and should be recognized as such!

  • Ms Winner sacrificed her freedom for the country she served and that she continues to serve in the Air Force and as a civilian..Duty..HONOR..COUNTRY

  • Richard says:

    Reality Winner for her extreme courage!

  • They all deserve to be the Whistleblower of the Year. Why pick one over the others? Their patriotic courage is unparalleled in today’s political agenda. I vote for all.

  • They’re all heroes, Reality Winner has paid an unjust price meted by a corrupt DOJ. She needs to be restored.

  • Brent Turner says:

    Reality for the win !! For more on election system software – see http://www.therealactivistmovie.com

  • Reality Winners arrest and prosecution was just one of many suppressions of Justice done against the American citizens by the trump administration. It affected the entire country and those injustices are still affecting us. Enforcement of the 14th Amendment Section 3 is overdue! DOJ get to work.

  • Dawn Wooten, corrections officer in Georgia who blew the whistle on illegal sterilizations of Black and LatinX women in ICE detention centers

  • Anonymous says:

    Reality Winner not only gave the American people transparency on the size and depth of the attack by Russia, but she is being severely punished for exposing Republican for aiding and abetting the enemy.

    The fact that she still faces extreme blow back from the state is a disgrace. Dems will never get my vote again if Biden doesn’t give her a full pardon.

  • L. Cleary says:

    Reality should be awarded the Medal of Freedom and have her record expunged. America owes her a BIG apology, especially since our gov’t came out and stated Russia DID hack our votes!

  • Mary says:

    So needed

  • Whistleblowers are one of our best defense against corporate or Gov abuse. All listed deserve our praise. They risk their careers, prison, bodily harm & death threats to right wrongs & abuse.

  • Dwight D Miller says:

    Reality Winner is a hero to me, and she was treated as a political prisoner, for doing the honorable thing. It’s sickening how Ms Winner’s story has been suppressed by those fearing the truth, will eventually reveal the depths of corruption in America.

  • Margaret Houlehan says:

    Reality Winner

  • Steven Henkes says:

    Although Alex’s awareness impacted the basic human rights of his client. Ifeoma’s acute awareness and follow through will positively impact millions of CA worker basic human rights and those within their circles for generations. A true champion.

  • Steve L. says:

    My vote is for Reality Winner. Willing to put it all on the line for the rest of us. That’s strength and courage!

  • RTS says:

    I voted for Frances Haugen for taking on Facebook and trying to do something to stop the flow of misinformation tearing this country apart.

  • There are less famous Whistleblowers who fight for their lives every day. We provide voluntary peer support to help sustain them. Many in turn join our network. Please help recognize Whistleblowers of America and support our mission. We provide trauma informed perspective to struggling current and former employees experience retaliation, discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

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