“Empower Oversight” Will Inform Americans to Help them Hold Big Government & Big Corporations Accountable for Fraud, Waste & Abuse
WASHINGTON – An expert team of investigators, attorneys, and veteran law enforcement leaders are today launching a new organization dedicated to strengthening public integrity through research, education, and the help of patriotic whistleblowers. Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research (EMPOWR) works to help courageous insiders report corruption to the proper authorities and hold them accountable to act on those reports.
With decades of experience conducting congressional investigations that exposed major scandals and experts who wrote the laws on modern-day whistleblower protections, EMPOWR is well-positioned to combat waste, fraud, and abuse both inside and outside government. Under the leadership of Jason Foster—with 22 years of Capitol Hill experience, including 14 years as counsel to the “patron saint of whistleblowers” U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)—the team at Empower Oversight can tap into a wide network of allies to help apply pressure and demand answers on behalf of those who report wrongdoing.
“In our Constitutional republic, power resides with the people—exercised through their elected representatives. To act as an effective check on unelected bureaucrats and corporate elites, the people and their representatives need to know the facts,” Foster said. “The team at Empower Oversight has seen firsthand how transparency provides a vital check on unfettered power. We are committed to finding the facts so that Americans can confront abuses of authority.”
WHAT WE DO:
- Solicit disclosures of waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct, and mismanagement.
- Work to corroborate claims through deep, independent research.
- Help insiders safely and legally inform authorities, the media, and the public.
- Educate whistleblowers, journalists, Members of Congress, inspectors general, and other official institutions charged with strengthening public integrity.
- Advocate for more effective oversight and whistleblower-driven investigations.
LEADERSHIP (click here for photos and full biographies)
Jason Foster, Founder & President
With more than two decades of experience conducting oversight and investigations on Capitol Hill, Jason Foster has represented four different congressional committees in hundreds of disputes with the Executive Branch over access to documents and witnesses in a broad array of contexts over the years.
Dean Zerbe, Senior Advisor
Dean Zerbe has represented whistleblowers, worked with whistleblowers, and advocated for whistleblowers for most of his career in Washington, D.C., both recently in private practice and earlier as Chief Investigative Counsel and Tax Counsel on the Senate Finance Committee, where he worked on laws to protect and support whistleblowers.
Beth Levine, Senior Communications Advisor
Beth Levine is a partner at KO Public Affairs and has more than two decades of strategic communications, crisis management, government and political experience. Levine previously led communications for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she provided strategic communications advice on various matters such as criminal justice reform, social issues, patents, privacy, prescription drugs, agriculture, the Judiciary, and executive branch oversight.
Robert Heyer, Senior Advisor
During his 30-year government career, Robert Heyer served as an Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, as an Acting Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Secret Service in San Diego, and as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service’s elite Presidential Protection Division at the White House.
Gary Aguirre, General Counsel
Gary Aguirre led the SEC’s insider trading investigation of Pequot Capital Management, formerly the world’s largest hedge fund, and is best known for overcoming retaliation for resisting his SEC supervisors’ demands to give a Wall Street banker preferential treatment due to the banker’s “political clout.”
Peter J. Forcelli, Director of Investigations and Research
Peter J. Forcelli is a retired N.Y.P.D. homicide detective who later served for 20 years as a Special Agent and in several leadership positions for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and was one of several agents who faced retaliation for testifying to Congress about Operation Fast & Furious.
Dan Meyer, Whistleblower Advisory Panel
Dan Meyer is Managing Partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Washington, D.C. office, and a subject-matter expert on whistleblowing in the Intelligence Community (IC) who served as the IC Inspector General’s Executive Director for Whistleblowing & Source Protection, worked to help IC employees make protected disclosures, blew the whistle himself, and co-authored Whistleblower support in practice.
John Dodson, Whistleblower Advisory Panel
John Dodson is the author of The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious—the story of his experience as an ATF agent speaking out about the connections between the ATF’s risky strategy of “gunwalking” and firearms found at the scene of a border patrol agent’s murder, as well as at countless other crime scenes in Mexico.
Oversight: Checks and balances help curb abuse of authority.
Congress, inspectors general, corporate boards, journalists, and citizen watchdog groups each play a critical role in providing oversight to empower the American people and hold the powerful to account. They all can do a better job, and Empower Oversight is here to help.
Everyone has a boss. In our democratic republic, everyone is the boss, at least in theory. Congress and the President are supposed to be accountable to the American public. Agencies are supposed to be accountable to our elected political leaders. Corporate boards of directors are supposed to be accountable to their shareholders. Senior corporate managers are supposed to be accountable to their boards of directors.
Everyone is supposed to be accountable to the rule of law, fairly and equally applied across the board. But too often the real world doesn’t work that way. More robust, competent, and independent oversight is key to preserving the checks and balances needed to curb abuses of authority in big government and big business.
Whistleblowers: Inside sources supercharge oversight.
Whistleblowers need advocates who put their interests first. Too often, the rhetoric of whistleblower protection has been exploited for partisan ends. That is a threat to the historically bipartisan support for those protections and a disservice to whistleblowers. At Empower Oversight, we work as a nonpartisan guide to advise individuals who wish to disclose evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.
Whistleblowers often don’t know where to turn and are worried about their professional future, financial security, and sometimes even their personal safety. It is crucial to navigate the potential minefields and find the right path to safely disclose wrongdoing in a way that has an impact and forces positive change. With decades of professional experience and an extensive network of allies, we are here to help empower oversight—because that’s what whistleblowers do.
Research: Because facts matter.
Too many journalists and activists chase flashy headlines or juicy gossip to generate clicks. But at Empower Oversight, we focus on digging into the details to get the whole story. That might not make the front page as often, but when it comes time to speak out, research and investigation pays off in the end. Vetting and corroborating tips takes time and hard work. It isn’t always sexy, but it is the only way to sort out which leads to follow.
There is no shortage of taxpayer waste and corporate fraud to pursue. Our goal is to find those extraordinary cases that make a difference. Empower Oversight takes the time to research tips that traditional media and watchdog groups might ignore. When the facts are there, we will work to ensure they cannot be ignored any longer.
To learn more about EMPOWR, visit empowr.us. For media or other inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Whistleblowers can securely contact EMPOWR at email@example.com or through this page. Supporters can sign up to stay informed here and can donate here. Follow EMPOWR on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, YouTube and Rumble. Foster’s Substack can be found here.