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Monday, February 11, 2008

Cynthia Cooper

Article from the

Time Magazine's Q&A: Whistle-blower Cynthia Cooper

In 2002 Time Magazine named Cynthia Cooper, former vice president of internal audit at WorldCom, one of three "Persons of the Year" for her efforts to retain the integrity of America's corporate institutions in an article entitled "The Whistleblowers." The other two women who graced the magazine's cover that year were Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins. The article's authors, Richard Lacayo and Amanda Ripley, lauded Cooper and her counterparts for their honesty and bravery, saying, "As whistle-blowers, these three became fail-safe systems that did not fail. For believing—really believing—that the truth is one thing that must not be moved off the books, and for stepping in to make sure that it wasn't, they have been chosen by TIME as its Persons of the Year for 2002." Cynthia Cooper has recently published a book that is part memoir, part reflection on her experience as "the mother of [section] 404" (as she was called by the website, called Extraordinary Circumstances. Signed copies of Extraordinary Circumstances are currently available at Lemuria and Cooper will be available to sign more tomorrow, February 15, from 4-6 where she will also be giving a talk about the book, her experience at WorldCom and business ethics.Though it takes a chapter or two for Extraordinary Circumstances to become a fluid narrative, the book is so interesting that the reader can't help but bear with the author until she becomes comfortable in her stride. Cooper's format is engaging in that it captures the dramatic intensity surrounding the situation and is readable for even for a business neophyte. I highly recommend the book and look forward to hearing what Cooper has to say tomorrow at the reading.