Sunday Read: Asian Americans Contributions to Whistleblower Law

National Whistleblower Center
4 min readJun 3, 2024


This article highlighting the contributions of Asian American whistleblowers was sent as part of NWC’s “Sunday Read” series. For more information like this, please join our mailing list.

May was Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and National Whistleblower Center (NWC) acknowledges the significant contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have made to whistleblower law in the United States, demonstrating courage, integrity, and a commitment to justice.

In this Sunday Read, NWC highlights the contributions of two Asian American allies: Erika Cheung and Dar-Lon Chang. Their brave actions have helped expose fraud, corruption, and wrongdoing in various sectors, leading to greater accountability and transparency in society.

ExxonMobil Whistleblower Dar-Lon Chang

Dar-Lon Chang is a former engineer at ExxonMobil, who in 2022 disclosed that the company marketed natural gas as clean energy in the 2010s without measuring methane leakage to verify that the global warming impact of producing and distributing fracked methane gas was less than coal. Numerous studies since the 2010s have pointed to the dangers of methane emissions from oil and gas production.

Chang’s whistleblowing became part of a larger investigation into Exxon’s practices regarding climate change. Lawsuits were filed against the company in Massachusetts and New York, accusing it of misleading investors and the public about the risks associated with climate change. The judges in these suits found in favor of ExxonMobil, but still triggered further investigations by regulatory agencies and brought significant public scrutiny to ExxonMobil’s actions.

Chang was a 16-year Exxon employee and while his disclosures led to significant legal and public relations challenges for his former employer, they also contributed to a broader discussion about climate policy and corporate ethics.

Chang is now a climate activist and President of GeoSolar Technologies, a clean energy startup that renovates homes and buildings to be free from gas, healthy in air quality, and all-electric with solar photovoltaic panels and geothermal or air-source heat pumps.

Chang appeared on the NWC’s Earth Day online panel in 2020 and its Climate Corruption Campaign panel in 2022. During the latter session, Chang warned that the damage done to the environment by human civilization, particularly due to oil digging and fracking, is reaching an irreversible point that will have dire repercussions.

“It should hit home to engineers that the laws have not caught up with the morality of the climate crisis,” he told NWC audiences in 2022. “We are about a decade away from being past the point of no return and not being able to reverse the damage we have caused.”

Chang added that those with insight into acts of pollution, wrongdoing, or abuse need to speak up soon in order to prevent further damage to the environment.

“We don’t have time to wait for the laws to catch up,” he noted. “Engineers have to bring in their morality and their conscience into their decisions about making the consequences of their activities known to the public so that we make better decisions.”

Theranos Whistleblower Erika Cheung

Erika Cheung is one of the key individuals to blow the whistle on Theranos, a once high-flying blood-testing startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes.

Theranos boasted a revolutionary blood testing technology that promised a wide range of tests using a few drops of blood. Erika joined Theranos at the age of 22 after obtaining a dual bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology and Linguistics.

While working as a lab tech, Cheung became increasingly concerned about the accuracy and reliability of the company’s blood-testing technology as well as the company’s patient practices. Cheung anonymously filed complaints with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which sparked an investigation that shut down Theranos’ ability to process patient samples. Federal regulators found dozens of deficiencies across the company’s’ laboratory practices.

Cheung’s courageous act was crucial in exposing how Theranos misled investors, patients, and the public about the capabilities of its technology and fraudulent business practices. The fallout had far-reaching implications for the biotech industry and startup culture in Silicon Valley, underscoring the importance of accountability, transparency, and ethical practices in business and healthcare. She founded and is now the Executive Director of a non-profit, Ethics in Entrepreneurship.

NWC Whistleblower Appreciation Day 2023 attendees will recall Cheung as one of the event’s featured speakers. She presented on how startup culture contributed in her case to an unwillingness from executives to listen to her when she raised concerns about Theranos’ products.

Gratitude for AAPI Whistleblowers

By speaking out against fraud and misconduct, Dar-Lon Chang, Erika Cheung, and many others have helped protect the public interest, promote accountability, and uphold the rule of law. Their actions serve as a reminder of the importance of integrity, courage, and ethical leadership in creating a fair and just society.

Resources for Whistleblowers

The decision to come forward is not one to be taken lightly, nor should selecting a whistleblower lawyer. NWC provides resources that can connect you with the right legal professional prior to taking any action.

Networking Opportunities for Whistleblowers, Lawyers and Experts

On June 10th, NWC is hosting a Bar Trivia fundraiser to celebrate Pride Month!

The fun kicks off at 6 PM EST at Sudhouse DC (1340 U Street, NW). Broaden your network and put your knowledge to work. Everyone will enjoy happy hour-priced food and drink, invaluable networking opportunities and the winners will go home with gift cards, books, and other fun prizes.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite today ➡️

Support NWC

NWC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and our awareness-building work is made possible with the support of our generous donors. Please consider donating $100 today to help us continue our important advocacy for whistleblowing and whistleblowers around the world. Donors of $100 or more will receive a copy of Rules for Whistleblowers: A Handbook for Doing What’s Right, written by NWC Chairman Stephen M. Kohn, Esq.

This story was written by Justin Smulison, a professional writer, podcaster, and event host based in New York.



National Whistleblower Center

National Whistleblower Center is the leading nonprofit working with whistleblowers around the world to fight corruption and protect people and the environment.