Meeting the Moment: Whistleblower Advocate Andrew Bakaj, ESIA BA '03
This event is open to all GW community members for virtual participation via Zoom. Details for joining the event by computer or phone will be sent the day before the event. Please be mindful of the Time Zone of the presentation (ET).
Online registration is now closed on this site. To participate, please visit the Zoom registration page for this event to get your unique webinar link. If you have any questions, please email Matt Donovan in Elliott School Alumni Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Elliott School Alumni Programs and the school's Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative for a conversation with Andrew Bakaj, BA ’03. Following President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2019, Bakaj guided the anonymous whistleblower who raised concerns about the call through filing the initial complaint that resulted in multiple investigations by the U.S. Congress, the impeachment inquiry, and ultimately, the first impeachment of President Donald Trump. During this event, Bakaj will speak on the importance of whistleblower protection and discuss his work protecting those who experience retaliatory action as a result of whistleblower activities.
Through his experience as an investigator in the inspector general’s offices at both the CIA and the Department of Defense, and as an intelligence officer, Bakaj is well-versed in the role of the whistleblower. While serving in government, he helped develop the legal apparatus and investigative procedure to protect Intelligence Community whistleblowers. Bakaj now leads Compass Rose Legal Group, where he works as an attorney for national security cases. He was cited by Washingtonian in February 2021 as one of "Washington's Most Influential People" in the legal intelligentsia, as someone who will be shaping the policy debates of the years to come.
Having such intimate knowledge of whistleblower procedure and law, Bakaj was uniquely qualified to advise and represent the whistleblower during the first impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. He faced a gargantuan fight to keep the identity of his client anonymous, while global attention on the impeachment inquiry focused on the concerns raised by that individual. Through his work, Bakaj has faced serious threats himself, all in defense of his firm belief that whistleblowers should remain free to come forward with concerns about government conduct without fear of reprisal or threats of harm.
This conversation will be moderated by Maria Hershey, ESIA BA ’17, a current student at Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America.
This event is part of a series highlighting Elliott School alumni featured in the school's 2019-2020 State of the School report for their efforts to "Meet the Moment" in their own unique way.