Thank you for this opportunity to
introduce to the Committee Tristan Leavitt, an individual who I believe is a
perfect choice to serve on the Merit Systems Protection Board. It’s a privilege
for me to introduce him and his wife, Brittany, and their two eldest children.
Tristan, I know we wish the whole family
could be here today, and that they’re proud of you.
The MSPB is the guardian of the merit
system, a set of principles designed to ensure we have a qualified, effective
civil service that truly serves We the People. The MSPB adjudicates appeals of
federal employees’ claims of prohibited personnel practices and whistleblower
I’ve known Tristan since 2011, when he
began working for me on my Oversight team. All of my staff know my views on the
key role whistleblowers play in holding our government accountable to the
taxpayer. But, there are few who have worked harder to protect whistleblowers
When he worked for me, Tristan helped me
put together the first ever congressional resolution recognizing National
Whistleblower Appreciation Day. He worked with me to propose the creation of
the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, and some of you I’m happy to say
are now members. In Department of
Homeland Security v. MacLean, the first ever case before the Supreme Court
to consider the Whistleblower Protection Act, Tristan helped me put together a
bicameral, bipartisan amicus brief that helped secure the right of
whistleblowers to provide information to Congress. When I last served as Ranking
Member on the Judiciary Committee in the 112th Congress, Tristan was
instrumental in my efforts to oversee federal law enforcement and improve
protections for FBI employees. Indeed, Tristan’s efforts contributed greatly to
the further strengthening of whistleblower protection laws for employees across
the federal government. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone with more
experience working for good government and accountability.
Perhaps most important, Tristan has spent
thousands of hours working with hundreds of whistleblowers who risked their
livelihoods to try to make the government work the way it’s supposed to. He’s
listened to their stories, and he’s worked hard to make sure their claims were
investigated fairly. Through it all, Tristan has shown tremendous patience,
compassion, and wisdom.
I have no doubt that if confirmed, Tristan
will serve on the MSPB with skill and integrity. I wholeheartedly recommend him
to you for this position.