Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub Lays Out "An Ethics Agenda for 2018"
Jan. 26, 2018
On Jan. 18, Walter Shaub ’96 addressed a packed audience in Claudio Grossman Hall with“An Ethics Agenda for 2018.” Shaub, who was appointed director of the Office of Government Ethics by President Obama in January 2013 and resigned from that post in July 2017, is senior director, ethics, at the Campaign Legal Center, a leading nonpartisan NGO dedicated to protecting and strengthening democratic processes across all levels of government.
In his remarks, Shaub laid out the case for concern and an agenda for those who care about restoring ethics and trust in government. After cataloging a series of abuses and violations of ethics rules and a host of attacks on institutions of self-government, he called on Congress, federal employees, civil society and the press to do their jobs as intended so as to protect against further erosion of our democratic system.
In particular, he highlighted the role of the 1st Amendment and a robust free press, supported by civil society and an educated and engaged population that holds public figures accountable for their conduct. He stressed this was not a partisan, and in fact a traditionally non-partisan, agenda. He also urged those in public service to ask themselves whether they can do their jobs effectively ethically and honestly and, if not, to quickly resign but, if so, to stay and fight for the principles of honest and ethical government, which is above the partisan interest. “Elections have consequences, but they are not an excuse to throw out the constitution and our ethical norms,” he said.