Team

Whistleblower Aid has built a world-class team to support clients.

Chief Executive Officer

Libby Liu

Ms. Liu is the co-founder and former CEO of the Open Technology Fund where she provided strategic and operational direction as it supported the development of global Internet freedom tools. In addition to directing operational policies and procedures, Ms. Liu coordinated issues in these areas with the US Agency for Global Media, the International Broadcasting Bureau, other associated entities, and outside stakeholders.

Prior to that Ms. Liu was the President of Radio Free Asia (RFA). She provided strategic and operational direction to meet RFA’s mission of providing balanced, objective news to listeners in East Asian countries where such news is unavailable. In addition to directing editorial and administrative policies and procedures, she coordinated issues in these areas with the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the International Broadcasting Bureau, and other associated entities.

Prior to joining RFA, Ms. Liu served as director of administration and strategic planning at the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she played a pivotal role in implementing the NAACP’s Five-Year Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives.

Earlier, Ms. Liu served as director of human resources with the high-tech firm Spyrus Inc. based in San Jose, Calif., and as assistant district attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, where she prosecuted felonies.

Ms. Liu holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley, an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Founder & Chief Disclosure Officer

John Napier Tye

Before he founded Whistleblower Aid, John N. Tye was a whistleblower.

From 2011 - 2014, Mr. Tye worked as Internet Freedom Section Chief at the U.S. Department of State, where he held a security clearance to receive Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented (TS/SCI) information. During a classified briefing, he learned that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was using Executive Order 12333 as a legal loophole to collect, store and search Americans’ emails, phone calls and online communications without a warrant or any suspicion.

Instead of contacting a reporter or Wikileaks, Mr. Tye paid two lawyers, including Mark S. Zaid, a total of $13,000 to help him navigate the lawful reporting process. With his attorneys, he met with the Inspectors General of the State Department and the NSA, the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He also gave a public statement to the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

With the advice of counsel, he was able to publicize his allegations in a completely legal way. Following the government’s pre-publication review process, Mr. Tye published an article for the Washington Post. His complaint was covered by the New York Times, The Guardian, Vice, Ars Technica, and Wikipedia. He also gave a TEDx talk on the issue.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence “commend[ed]” Mr. Tye for using the legal reporting process to raise concerns while protecting classified information. Mr. Tye was named one of the “National Security Law Heroes of 2014” by Just Security Blog.

Mr. Tye remains bound by his obligation to protect classified information that he learned during his government service — and also by his oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Mr. Tye graduated from Duke University Summa Cum Laude, the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School. Mr. Tye has worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Avaaz, and also Southeast Louisiana Legal Services as a Skadden Fellow. He was on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.

Mr. Tye is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Louisiana.

Founding Legal Partner

Mark S. Zaid

Mr. Zaid has worked for over 20 years representing federal workers in cases involving classified information, including whistleblowing, criminal prosecutions, and security clearance disputes. He teaches the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education classes on “The Basics of Filing and Litigating Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Requests” (since 2003), “Defending Security Clearances” (since 2006) and “Handling Whistleblower Cases: More Than the Basics” (since 2016).

Since 2009, Mr. Zaid has been named both a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer every year (including being profiled) and a “Best Lawyer” in Washingtonian Magazine’s bi-annual designation for his national security work. As the National Law Journal once wrote, “if Agent Mulder ever needed a lawyer, Zaid would be his man.”

Mr. Zaid is the Executive Director and founder of the James Madison Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing. Additionally, Mr. Zaid is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Global Security Studies program where he teaches on national security issues.

Mr. Zaid graduated from the University of Rochester Cum Laude and Albany Law School of the Union University of New York. He served as an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review. Mr. Zaid currently possesses TS/SCI clearance and Q level access.

Mr. Zaid is admitted to practice law in the states of Maryland, New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, as well as various federal courts.

Of Counsel

Andrew Bakaj

Bakaj served as an intelligence officer and criminal investigator with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Central Intelligence Agency. Bakaj won DoD’s Investigator of the Year award in 2012 for his work on chemical weapons storage. He personally wrote both CIA and DoD agency regulations prohibiting reprisals against whistleblowers. Andrew Bakaj of Compass Rose Legal Group PLLC serves of counsel to Whistleblower Aid.

Mr. Bakaj is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and New Jersey.

Operations Director

Kyle Gardiner

Mr. Gardiner is the Operations Director for Whistleblower Aid. He helped found Whistleblower Aid in 2017. Mr. Gardiner is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.