Billie Garde has been instrumental in establishing the Ombudsman Program for BP America and ensuring the program's success. She has served as Deputy Ombudsman since the inception of the program. Garde provides training, consulting, and mediation services to corporate and government entities dealing with complex employment problems in the United States and abroad. In particular, she assists employers in developing and managing employee concerns programs, as well as investigating employee allegations.
Ms. Garde was a principal member of an NRC-mandated independent oversight team assessing the safety culture and work environment of a nuclear plant, and has provided similar services to several other companies in regulated industries. She frequently is retained by companies to develop, assess and assist employee concerns programs, to train management in the effective operation of such programs, to conduct independent investigations of potential misconduct, and to mediate complex employment disputes.
Ms. Garde has a Master's Degree in Adult Education from Northeastern University, Oklahoma and earned her law degree from Antioch School of Law in 1986. She worked for the Government Accountability Project ("GAP") and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice ("TLPJ") for several years before going into private practice.
John Clifford, General Counsel
John Clifford has served as Counsel to the Office of the Ombudsman since the program's inception. He has extensive experience in advising and training staff on maintaining a work environment free from harassment, intimidation, retaliation and discrimination.
Mr. Clifford has practiced law for more than 30 years. He has served as Co-Chairman of the D.C. Bar's Litigation Section and has lectured in numerous programs of continuing legal education. He is admitted in the District of Columbia and Maryland, and is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, District of Columbia.