Henry Kerner

Special Counsel
Office of Special Counsel


In June 2017, Henry Kerner was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as Special Counsel of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in October 2017.
Since coming to OSC, Special Counsel Kerner has implemented new processes and procedures to dramatically increase OSC’s responsiveness to whistleblower complaints and focus on customer service. For example, OSC has prioritized meeting a 45-day statutory deadline to determine whether there is a “substantial likelihood” of wrongdoing in whistleblower disclosure cases. Furthermore, Kerner oversaw a significant restructuring of OSC’s programmatic units to streamline the handling of prohibited personnel practice investigations. This reorganization involved combining units with overlapping responsibilities to make OSC’s processes more efficient. Over the last two fiscal years, despite unprecedented challenges in the form of government shutdowns and a global pandemic, OSC has set new agency records for the number of favorable actions achieved on behalf of whistleblowers.
Kerner graduated from Harvard Law School and spent 18 years working as a career prosecutor in California. In 2011, Kerner joined the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the chief investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. Under Chairman Darrell Issa, and later, Chairman Jason Chaffetz, he led investigations of the federal bureaucracy and fought on behalf of whistleblowers to protect American taxpayers. Mr. Kerner also served as staff director under Ranking Member Sen. John McCain of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the lead investigative committee of the Senate.
Kerner left Capitol Hill in early 2016 and joined Cause of Action Institute as assistant vice president for investigations. Cause of Action is a nonpartisan oversight group committed to exposing waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government.


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