Global Witness co-founder Charmian Gooch is the 2014 TED Prize winner. At her NGO she exposes how a global architecture of corruption is woven into the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.

Why you should listen

Charmian Gooch co-founded watchdog NGO Global Witness with colleagues Simon Taylor and Patrick Alley in 1993 in response to growing concerns over covert warfare funded by illicit trade in timber and other industries.

Since then, Global Witness has captured headlines for their exposé of “blood diamonds” in Uganda, minerals in the Congo and illegal timber trade between Cambodia and Thailand, and more. With unique expertise on the shadowy threads connecting corrupt businesses and governments, Global Witness continues their quest to uncover and root out the sources of exploitation and conflict. As they said to the Daily Telegraph: "Consumers have a right to know what they're buying, and what was done to obtain it." 

In 2014 Gooch was awarded the TED Prize (as well as the $1 million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship). Her Prize wish: to know who owns and controls companies, to change the law, and to launch a new era of openness in business.

What others say

“Global Witness ... works to expose the corrupt exploitation of natural resources.” — New Times

More news and ideas from Charmian Gooch


Why dirty money is far too easy to hide

February 4, 2016

Corrupt officials and criminal operators are brilliant at hiding their money and actions from public view. But there’s something we can do about it, says the team at Global Witness. It starts with closing loopholes.

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On “60 Minutes,” TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch shows how easy it can be to move questionable funds into the US

February 1, 2016

A corruption investigator walks into a law firm and says he wants to buy a brownstone, a jet and a yacht. This isn’t the start of a joke. It’s the premise of the latest investigation by Global Witness, the anti-corruption organization co-founded by 2014 TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch. In an investigation revealed on 60 Minutes as well […]

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