Beth Daley, 43

Beth Daley, government oversight activist at POGO in the District, dies at 43

Beth Daley
Beth Daley (Family Photo - Family Photo)
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beth Daley, the director of investigations for the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit government watchdog agency in Washington, died Aug. 22 of breast cancer at Capital Hospice in Arlington County. She was 43.

Ms. Daley joined POGO in 1999 and served as its first director of development and director of communications. During her 10 years with the organization, she worked on a number of projects seeking to expose waste, fraud and abuse.

For years she and her colleagues campaigned to show journalists, government officials and the general public how large energy companies had underreported the amount of oil they extracted from public lands, and thus had underpaid the royalties owed to the federal government.

That work helped expose lax enforcement at the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service. It also resulted in the payment of nearly half a billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury.

Ms. Daley also worked on nuclear security issues and was an adviser to and advocate for whistleblowers.

Beth Marie Daley was born in Glen Ellyn, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. She received a bachelor's degree in history from Northwestern University.

During college, Ms. Daley was a volunteer coordinator for anti-hunger and anti-poverty projects in Chicago. She moved to Washington after graduation and worked for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy from 1989 to 1993. From 1996 to 1997, she was acting president of that group.

She also worked at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and at HALT: An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform before joining POGO in 1999.

She enjoyed traveling, cooking and creating scrapbooks, and she was a volunteer at Hearst Elementary School in Washington.

Survivors include her husband of eight years, Steve Holmer, and their two daughters, Ginger and Traci Holmer, all of Washington; her parents, Steve and Georganna Daley of Glen Ellyn; and a sister.

-- Emma Brown

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